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Artistic People’s Tribunal opens in London

The people’s tribunal, presented by British-Romanian company BÉZNĂ Theatre, opens Thursday, 9 September at Camden People’s Theatre, London. Staged as part of the theatre venue’s Sprint Festival, the production will experiment with a new theatre format by presenting factual and creative elements in the form of an artistic and independent people’s tribunal.

Artistic People’s Tribunal opens in LondonThe durational work, which runs across three days until 11 September, will charge the British Government with crimes of aggression in Afghanistan since 2001. Coalition forces including Britain and the United States of America launched their global ‘War on Terror’ in 2001 in response to the attack on the World Trade Centre, New York.

The tribunal will hear first-hand testimonies from eyewitnesses of the ‘War on Terror’ including that of former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Moazzam Begg, author Gulwali Passerlay and a series of anonymised Afghan women.

The tribunal will also hear evidence from a panel of renowned international law experts and professionals including Richard Falk, Andrew Feinstein and Habib Ahmadi. The panel will also feature leading experts, academics and activists including Malia Bouattia, Dr Sanaa Alimia & Hany Rahimi. The tribunal will culminate on the third day with the presentation of key evidence and the verdict by the panel.

A People’s Tribunal is organised, run and made by the people and findings can be used in the legal proceedings of future court cases. Presented in partnership with the International State Crime Initiative, Shadow World Investigations and Camden People’s Theatre, through a credible and legitimate people’s tribunal, BÉZNĂ Theatre intend to open a conversation with the British public about Britain’s domestic and foreign policy.

Sînziana Cojocărescu and Nico Vaccari of BÉZNĂ Theatre said: “To mark the 20th year of Britain’s involvement in the War on Terror, BÉZNĂ Theatre feels it necessary to offer British audiences an alternative people’s narrative to the War on Terror, one that generally isn’t discussed by the political establishment or the media. Our artistic hearing will focus specifically on the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, where the War on Terror began and where war has not yet stopped. We have no doubt about the potential theatre has to investigate and expose mechanisms of oppression and violence that affect each and every one of us – perhaps the most powerful role that theatre can and should serve is a social-political one. The People’s Tribunal on Crimes of Aggression: Afghanistan Sessions will be the world premiere of an investigation of a war which is seen by many as an illegal invasion.

Brian Logan, Artistic Director, Camden People’s Theatre said: “We have worked with the activist-artists BÉZNĂ for several years, always inspired by their rigour, commitment, and their excellent theatre-making. We’re so excited to be working with them on this extraordinary project: part tribunal, part experiential theatre, and 100% a radical new experiment in what live performance is capable of.

Social media and web links: www.beznatheatre.org | FB/Insta/Twitter: @BEZNATheatre
www.cptheatre.co.uk | Twitter: @CamdenPT | INSTA/FB: @camdenpeoplestheatre
Age restriction: 16 + | Running time: various

Company information
Created by BÉZNĂ Theatre (Sînziana Cojocărescu, Nico Vaccari and Claire Gilbert)
Researchers & Dramaturgs Laura Disley, Inuri Tennakoon, Xhulia Tepshi, Catriona Gotz, Zuhalhan Kızıltuğ, Nina Prusac, Tanmeet Singh, Alice Cropper and Lena Wammer Østgaard
Commissioned writers for testimony Shala Nyx, Monirah Hashemi and Chris Thorpe
ISCI Consultant Dr. Thomas MacManus

Cast Shala Nyx, Lizzie Clarke, iulia isar, Sama Rantisi, Nicholas Biardon, Mat Wernham, Hasib Mohammed & Hasib Fakhir

Testimony & recording direction Ala Buisir
Composer Kareem Samara
Assistant Director Lora Krasteva
Clinical Psychologist Nimisha Patel

Listings information
People’s Tribunal on Crimes of Aggression: Afghanistan Sessions
Camden People’s Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 2PY
Thursday 9 – Saturday 11 September 2021
FREE but ticketed


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