Art and International Justice Initiative
Art and International Justice Initiative

Workshop: Art and International Justice: Sounds, Design, Visuals

Asser Institute, 16 October 2019

The workshop explored various aesthetic dimensions of international justice. The event opened with a drumming session by Andre Mucs, who plays traditional West African drums. Sofia Stolk - the host - then introduced the concept and the speakers.

Marina Aksenova explored in her talk the role of art in international justice. She focused on practical reasons for linking the two, such as art's ability to mediate emotions and create space for reconciliation, which is one of the goals of international justice. She also looked at the philosophical motives for such an investigation stemming from natural law theory and visual jurisprudence. Does it make sense to engage with visuality in law given the proliferation of images that we witness in our day-to-day existence? Otto and Victor Spijkers discussed in their talk dedicated to design the legal and structural requirements of a building of an international court or tribunal. In their presentation they pondered as to whether symbolisation is an important element in these types of buildings. Mistale Taylor provided some critical responses to the presentation of the Spijkers brothers.

An academic discussion was followed by a roundtable with the artists and mediated by Sofia Stolk. Artists Brigitte Spiegeler, Evangelos Kalogeropoulos and Alexandra Arshanskaya together with musicians Andre Mucs and Daniëlle Uriël shared their unique perspectives on art and international justice. The formal part of the event concluded with a harp performance by Daniëlle Uriël and live drawing by Alexandra Arshanskaya.

The workshop was then followed by a reception and an exhibition of the artwork, which was commissioned specifically for the event. The artists worked with a theme of the nuclear deterrence and the destruction of life. Their creations are particularly linked to the recent judgment of the International Court of Justice in the case brought by the Marshall Islands (2016).

Installation by Evangelos Kalogeropoulos greets the visitors by the entrance.

Andre Mucs opens the event by rhythmic drumming.

Marina Aksenova speaks about the role of art in international justice. On the background works by Alexandra Arshanskaya.

Otto and Victor Spijkers talk about the design of courthouses.

Roundtable with artists moderated by Sofia Stolk. From left to right: Daniëlle Uriël, Andre Mucs, Brigitte Spiegeler, Evangelos Kalogeropoulos, Alexandra Arshanskaya, and Sofia Stolk.

Daniëlle Uriël plays Celtic harp. On the background live drawing by Alexandra Arshanskaya.

Alexandra Arshanskaya drawing the tree of life while listening to the music by Daniëlle Uriël.

"Industrial" by Alexandra Arshanskaya.

"Act" by Brigitte Spiegeler

"God" by Evangelos Kalogeropoulos. 31 out 67 frames - each symbolising one out 67 nuclear testing explosions that took place around the Marshall Islands in the 1940's and 1950's.