FreePlay

Raphael Lemkin, photographer and date of publishing unknown, archive: united nations audiovisual library of international law

Can genocide be stopped? FreePlay is an interactive experiment, a dramaturgically structured conference in the form of a 24-hours-performance, where participants can act as “ambassadors” …

when
24 hours, 5 pm – 5 pm (CET), Oct. 9-10, 2011
where
The Window
6, kandlgasse, 1070 vienna
+ via live conference and live chat

research | moderation | costume design alexandra reill
idea / concept | programming / dramaturgy | space setting warren rosenzweig
public relations alexandra reill / warren rosenzweig
production jewish theater of austria in cooperation with austrian service abroad 
in the framework of the festival kultur.herbst.NEUBAU |
vienna and with international participation 2011

FreePlay was a live audio conference and chat forum for discourse across geographical borders and timezones. Individuals of all ages and backgrounds had the chance to present their propositions, knowledge, opinions, and questions concerning genocide and how we may be able to use the Internet for its prevention.

All FreePlay ambassadors were given the floor. Austrian concept artist Alexandra Reill, aka “Raphaela Lemkin,” moderated for the 24-hour discussion. She also quoted and improvised freely from Robert Skloot′s play If the Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide. For practical reasons, Alexandra Reill moderated in English, but ambassadors were welcome to choose their own languages.

FreePlay provided everybody visiting ore having access to the internet a perfromative-virtual platform to challenge abuse of power and it invited to a creative exchange of ideas on the future prevention of genocide.

For 24 hours, The Window acted as Raphaela Lemkin’s open as much as fragile living room, and she acted as an input creator as well as the arbitrator for compliance with the rules of the game by the international players who participated via live stream and live chat and those who visited The Window itself.

Requirements:
1. Internet connection.
2. Headset (headphones and mike), or headphones and separate microphone.
3. Access code. To receive the access code, an email with the words “Access Code” in the subject line needed to be sent to JTA.
4. You will need to participate in a brief technical test (5-15 min.) at 4 or 8 pm on Fri., Oct. 7.
5. Please be familiar with the basic ideas of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. (*)

Raphael Lemkin (1900 – 1959) was a Polish lawyer who escaped the NS terror and emigrated to the U.S. in 1941. In 1943 he coined the word “genocide” and became the first activist for its prevention. He worked tirelessly until the end of his life to help frame The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and to rally for its ratification by all member states of the UN. The Convention finally came into force 60 years ago, in 1951. Lemkin believed that with the enforcement of the Convention, genocide would become a thing of the past…

text warren rosenzweig | 2011
text editing | translation into german alexandra reill | 2020

FreePlay staged at

— the window | festival kultur.herbst.neubau / vie / int / 2011

FreePlay supported by

— commission of culture 1070 vienna

FreePlay featured by

— wauwau / vie / a / 11
— austrian service abroad / vie / a / 11
— wien.gv.at / vie / a / 11
— kulturherbst neubau / vie / a / 11
— wien.at / vie / a / 11
— neubau.gruene.at / vie / a / 11

(*)
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948.

Article 1

The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article 2

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3

The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article 4

Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Article 5

The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3.

Article 6

Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.

Article 7

Genocide and the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition.

The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force.

Article 8

Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3.

Article 9

Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.

Article 10

The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall bear the date of 9 December 1948.

Article 11

The present Convention shall be open until 31 December 1949 for signature on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State to which an invitation to sign has been addressed by the General Assembly.

The present Convention shall be ratified, and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

After 1 January 1950, the present Convention may be acceded to on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State which has received an invitation as aforesaid.

Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 12

Any Contracting Party may at any time, by notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, extend the application of the present Convention to all or any of the territories for the conduct of whose foreign relations that Contracting Party is responsible.

Article 13

On the day when the first twenty instruments of ratification or accession have been deposited, the Secretary-General shall draw up a proces-verbal and transmit a copy of it to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in Article 11.

The present Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.

Any ratification or accession effected subsequent to the latter date shall become effective on the ninetieth day following the deposit of the instrument of ratification or accession.

Article 14

The present Convention shall remain in effect for a period of ten years as from the date of its coming into force.

It shall thereafter remain in force for successive periods of five years for such Contracting Parties as have not denounced it at least six months before the expiration of the current period.

Denunciation shall be effected by a written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 15

If, as a result of denunciations, the number of Parties to the present Convention should become less than sixteen, the Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date on which the last of these denunciations shall become effective.

Article 16

A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any Contracting Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General.

The General Assembly shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such request.

Article 17

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all Members of the United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in Article 11 of the following:

(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received in accordance with Article 11;
(b) Notifications received in accordance with Article 12;
(c) The date upon which the present Convention comes into force in accordance with Article 13;
(d) Denunciations received in accordance with Article 14;
(e) The abrogation of the Convention in accordance with Article 15;
(f) Notifications received in accordance with Article 16.

Article 18

The original of the present Convention shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.

A certified copy of the Convention shall be transmitted to all Members of the United Nations and to the non-member States contemplated in Article 11.

Article 19

The present Convention shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into force.