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Othering’ is a term used in human geography that refers to the process by which a person or a group is perceived as not fitting the norm and is therefore excluded, sidelined or stigmatized.

How does an accused relate to the prosecutor? Who is excluded from the institutions of international law? What are the hidden implications of partaking in the resolution of conflict? What does it mean to overturn ‘othering’ in the context of The Hague as the International City of Peace and Justice?

These were some of the questions a group of 49 designers from the Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) Masters departments grappled with when commissioned to examine ‘othering’ by the Municipality of the Hague. The 16 teams, made up of students with over 15 nationalities from the master departments Contextual Design, Information Design and Design Curating and Writing, responded with a series of challenges, speculative reimaginations and proposals for change.
The Hague is a city that is undeniably linked to the topics of peace and justice. Despite the many specialist institutions of international law, the rhetoric that surrounds the concepts of peace and justice is often contradictory, confused and entangled with different beliefs and interpretations. This undercurrent of conflicting ideologies and interpretations in The Hague is often the result of ‘othering’. Which, in turn, manifests itself in skewed systems of justice. Therefore, many well-intentioned goals of resolving conflict are not always inclusive, being dealt with from a rigid set of procedures. Yet decisions, made from afar in the Netherlands, intimately affect many lives globally.
The students looked past the strong branding of The Hague as a ‘city of Peace and Justice’ and examined the issues of the system of international law and the city from a questioning perspective. This approach was made possible by the fact that they are outsiders looking in – the foreigner's perspective yielding new insights and fresh interpretations. Through first hand research, observations, visits to various institutions, interviews and in-depth analysis the students came to understand the complications and potential avenues for change in the context of the city.
The diversity of the final outcomes explore new ways of thinking that counter the normative processes of peace and justice. The projects deal with topics such as trauma, silence, translation errors, security, unequal distribution of resources and even karaoke. In bringing new voices to The Hague, the students attempt to critique the existing hierarchy and suggest more inclusive and sensitive approaches to the systems surrounding international law.
Exhibition Overturning Othering - The futures of international law and individual accountability
15 projects by 49 international students from the Master departments Contextual Design, Information Design and Design Curating & Writing, Design Academy Eindhoven.

Friday 21 September (International Day of Peace) at 17.00 -18.00: Opening & guided tour by students.
18.00: peace dinner, please see for details, registration and the full programme:
Opening times exhibition:
Friday 21 September 12.00—19.30
Saturday 22 September 12.00—19.30
Sunday 23 September 12.00—18.00
De Electriciteitsfabriek
De Constant Rebecqueplein 20
2518 RA Den Haag

The exhibition is part of the Just Peace festival:
Published: 21-Sep-2018 10:32


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