Kosa la Vita (Kiswahili = Kriegsverbrechen) Trailer

KOSA LA VITA (kisuahili = war crime)

During the research residency, flausen – young artists in residence, at the Theater Wrede+ in Oldenburg, Flinntheater began developing a new kind of documentary music theatre in collaboration with Quartett PLUS 1.

KOSA LA VITA is about the ongoing war crimes trials against Dr. Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni. In their capacity as president and vice-president of the Hutu militia FLDR, these men allegedly coordinated massacres of civilians in Eastern Congo from their location in Southern Germany via mobile phone and online. Taking this case as a starting point, Flinntheater employed music and language to investigate the new possibilities of global communication and the difficulty of their juridical translatability.

The trial at the Higher Regional Court Stuttgart marked a new era of global entanglement and complexity: a war in the Congo was allegedly orchestrated via text messages from Germany. German investigators had to find evidence for war crimes in the Congo. Witnesses in the Congo were being questioned by the court in Stuttgart via live video stream. This was the first time that the International Criminal Code had been applied in Germany.

Flinntheater’s approach involved six performers with equally important roles (four musicians and two actors) using different artistic languages. They translated and transposed these languages, commented on them, allowing them to clash and overlap. The string quartet picked up musical material from minimal music to patterns of Congolese music to transcriptions of language, while the trial papers were sifted and reviewed including published news coverage, individual trial observations, and conversations with expert witnesses. The resulting performance dialogues explored the aesthetic realisations erupting from these radically varied materials.

Researched and performed byKonradin Kunze, Katharina Pfänder, Lisa Stepf, Sophia Stepf, Kristina van de Sand, Kathrina Hülsmann, Simon Zigah
Music (Composition)Mathias Schubert
Made possible byflausen-young artists in residence, a fellowship pilot project of Theater Wrede+

With the support of Land Niedersachsen, EWE-foundation, Stadt Oldenburg and Musik 21

Performed at Theater Wrede+ Oldenburg, Best off Niedersachen Festival Hannover 2013, Sophiensaele Berlin

Kosa la Vita by Flinn Works


'"What they are attempting to do is really important”, says Wrede. “But it’s so big”, he says, “actually much too big”. KOSA LA VITA is the title of this research project. “It sounds so harmless”, explains Wrede, “But it’s kisuaheli and it means ‘war of crime’”. The companies are dealing with the current trial held at Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart against Ignace Murwanahsyaka and Straton Musoni, who allegedly orchestrated massacres in the eastern Congo via sms and satellite telephone from Mannheim, Germany. No-one can say if there will ever be an adequate translation of this complicated trial for the stage. “But what’s the use of theatre if it doesn’t even try?” says Wrede. “If you are not allowed to fail anymore, then art is dead.”’