Photograph by Miran Kramar  






the truth about the hague
four player card game.
Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic, Zagreb, October 2015.

The Truth about the Hague is a card game where four players take on the role of suspected war criminals inside the Scheveningen Detention Centre at the Hague, awaiting trial by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The detainees (players) must pool resources in exchange for luxury items and treats, to silence the eyewitnesses who are willing to testify against them. If the detainees cooperate then they will all be acquitted, but there is the opportunity for them to work against each other which will ultimately end up in some being convicted.

Instruction Booklet (PDF)

The content is informed by reports and rumours of conditions in the detention unit published by investigative journalists and the ICTY itself, and by They Would Never Hurt a Fly: War Criminals on Trial in The Hague, a book by Slavenka Drakulic. The title of the game is the title of a poem written by Simo Zarić while he was a detainee of the ICTY – a verse of this forms the design on the back of the cards.

The work was exhibited in October 2015 at Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic, as part of a group show ‘Avoiding Eye Contact’ (alongside works by Chloe Turpin, Oliver Ressler and Ivana Pipal).

Our research period was supported by ECF STEP Beyond travel grants.

Shame On You Website
Exhibition Review (Croatian)

This piece emerged from a research residency in summer 2014 when we were invited by Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic to explore the topic of shame for their ongoing project Shame on You! Influenced by Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing we aimed to examine the shame of the perpetrator within the post-war context of the Balkans. We met with writers, institutions and researchers in Zagreb to talk about shame in relation to present-day Croatia and its recent history. Shame is elusive and complex: we were left with more questions than answers. How is shame articulated in the private and public sphere? Is shame articulated by nation states? After many creative twists and turns, we formulated the truth about the hague. The game includes a range of possible collective and individual interactions – declaring, lying, listening, sharing, accusing, shaming. By simultaneously inviting players to cooperate and tempting them to betray the group it draws out some interesting feelings and conversations.