The Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich in natural resources valued at an estimated 300 billion dollars. In light of the rising demand for raw materials around the world in past decades, this wealth in gold, diamonds and coltan has thrown the region into one of the bloodiest conflicts since the Second World War. Many African nations, Western allies and international mining conglomerates have been involved in a series of horrific wars in the Congo which were incited by the genocide in Rwanda. The second Congo war between 1998 and 2003 has been called the “first African world war” and is said to have resulted in over three million casualties. The eastern provinces of Kivu and Ituri on the border to Rwanda and Uganda are particularly volatile regions, in which independent groups of militia have combatted each other since the 1990s. This conflict escalated into a third Congo war in 2007 which officially ended in 2009, though skirmishes continue to flare in East Congo even today.
In 2015, the Swiss director Milo Rau staged a fictitious investigation into the causes of the conflicts in this eastern African country featuring principal participants and experts in the eastern Congo city of Bukavu and in Berlin.
In cooperation with LEMAFRIKA Culture et Développement in Bukavu, the Fruitmarket Kultur und Medien GmbH in Cologne under the artistic direction of Milo Rau will now stage the second phase of the “Congo Tribunal”. The aim is to continue the public artistic investigation, discursive expression and documentation of the project’s theme. In symposiums, installations, an interactive web TV format and graphic novel, the project will invite protagonists, intellectuals and artists from Africa and Europe to address the central issues and thematic areas of the tribunal, as well as the future possibilities of political-documentary art. The organisers plan to present the project in numerous cities in Germany, Switzerland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.
Artistic directors: Arne Birkenstock (DE), Milo Rau (CH)
Artists: International Institute of Political Murder (DE), Yves Kulondwa (CD), Lexxus Legal (CD), Solange Lisuku (CD), Muchiri Njenga (KE), Marc Antoine Vumilia (CD)