The Trial
Courtroom lecture performance on nonhuman legal personhood
Premiere: Konsistorin sali, Helsinki University, November 2014
Performed in English, duration: approx. 90 min

The Trial is a participatory performance that explores the standing of non-human animals in law. Based on a re-enactment of the Perho wolf poaching case, the performance examines ways in which existing legislation constructs our relationship with other species, and how the emerging fields of law (such as animal law, wild laws or nature jurisprudence) would change these relations.

The Trial is an experiment on developing and testing this new legal ground. The performance appropriates the form of a trial, playing out existing cases in a dramatized, documentary style theatrical setting. The audience is invited to take on roles in the legal process. The cases and related legislation are presented to the audience, and both the claimant and the accused have their own attorneys. The verdict is given by a jury that consists of members of the audience. Thus the participant/viewers have to actively take a stand on the application of the laws.

Concept, text and directing: Gustafsson&Haapoja
Advisory group: Suvi Kokkonen, Sami Säynevirta, Visa Kurki.
On stage: Max Bremer, Mirjami Heikkinen and Arttu Kurttila.
Sound designer: Maura Korhonen.
Lighting assistant: Milla Martikainen.

The Trial was commissioned by Baltic Circle festival/Eva Neklyaeva