Imagining Justice: bringing together lawyers and artists

Published 14 October 2019

While artists and international jurists have many interests in common, they often remain two worlds apart. ©iStock.

While artists and international jurists have many interests in common, they often remain two worlds apart. The Asser Institute research project Imagining Justice aims to change that by seeking cooperation between artists, lawyers and academics for events such as “Art and International Justice: Sounds, Design, Visuals” which will be held on Wednesday October 16 at the Asser Institute. The event will feature an exhibition, live music, presentations, and a round table on the role of art in international justice. 

Art and International Justice: Sounds, Design, Visuals

The Asser Institute and the Art and International Justice Initiative (ARTIJ) – a platform bringing together art and international justice - are co-organising the event in which we explore the relationship between art and international justice from different angles: sounds, design and visuals. The event will bring together lawyers, artists, musicians and architects for an open dialogue about the mutual interests of art and international justice.

Art and International Justice: Sounds, Design, Visuals includes performances by musicians André Mucs and Daniëlle Uriël who link their music to processes of reconciliation. Marina Aksenova, co-founder and director of ARTIJ will present her views on the role of art in international justice. Otto and Victor Spijkers will reflect on the architectural design of ad hoc tribunals and the potentially sustainable function of these buildings in post-conflict reconstruction and transitional justice.

Next to musical performances, presentations and a round-table, we will present an exhibition with artworks that engage with a case brought before the International Court of Justice by the Marshall Islands against the nuclear powers. In their works, the artists reflect on themes of inequality, the law v. justice dilemma and the destruction of life. 

To see the full programme and to register for the event click here. 

Imagining justice

Asser researcher and project leader Sofia Stolk: “The main objective of the new Asser project Imagining Justice is to explore how people working in the fields of visual art and international law can interact and stimulate each other in thinking about the contemporary dilemmas of the globalising world and to deepen our understanding of international justice. To imagine international justice is to think about its possible meanings, to conceptualise its possible forms and to reflect on international law’s opportunities, challenges and possible alternatives. The project rests on the idea that a change of perspective can provide us with new insights. An interaction between art and law can excite, harmonise, destabilise and estrange. It can also shed a different light on complicated concepts such as humanity, dignity, trust and justice. These concepts have interested jurists and artists alike.”

The Imagining Justice project is part of Asser research strand ‘Dispute settlement adjudication in international and European law, which explores new, alternative and interdisciplinary methods for analysing fundamental changes in international courts and tribunals and in international law itself. 

The project is led by Sofia Stolk and Maria Sperling.