DARK NUMBERS is a performance by Bosnian-born theatre director Tea Tupajić. She invited veterans of the UN peacekeeping force Dutchbat to collaborate and perform in this production.
"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." George Bernard Shaw
Dutchbat III was a Dutch battalion under the command of the United Nations during the Bosnian war of the 1990s. Its task was to protect by its presence the Muslim enclave and designated UN safe zone of Srebrenica. On July 11 1995, Bosnian Serb forces under General Mladić took the town. The population sought refuge in the UN safe compound. Under the pretext of evacuating the population, most of women and children were sent away on buses. General Mladić assured Dutchbat III that the remaining men and boys would be safe, and would soon follow the women.
On July 21, Dutchbat III left the enclave.
During the next few days, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces.
The International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague declared the events an act of genocide in 2004; Kofi Annan called this the worst crime committed on European soil since the end of World War II.
In the belief that art can offer a space for answers the judicial proceedings never gave, Tupajić opens up one of the darkest episodes in recent European history and presents intense, uncensored stories from Dutchbat veterans. Who were these young men and women? What motivated them to go off to a war that wasn't theirs? What images still keep them awake at night?
concept & realisation Tea Tupajić performers Liesbeth Beukeboom-de Jong, Wim Dijkema, Hans de Jong, Gerry Kremer, Olaf Nijeboer, Alice Schutte and Jeroen van der Werken technics Attila Nemeth Frascati Producties in co-production with Veem House for Performance (Amsterdam) & BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), Theatre Garonne (Toulouse) Teaterhuset AvantGarden (Trondheim) and Inkonst (Malmö).
Tea Tupajić (Sarajevo, 1984) studied at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. Her work, which has a strong international orientation, seeks out the common ground between theatre, performance, video art and the happening. She usually casts non-professional performers in key roles. In her productions she creates a space, together with her performers and the audience, where meetings, discussion, experience and reflection can take place: a free space that opens up new perspectives on complex political and social issues. Her work is shown internationally at festivals and in theatres, galleries and public spaces.