transcripts

Transcript Ep 0 – Sharon Stone & the Haircut of International Justice

Disclaimer: Asymmetrical Haircuts is produced as a podcast, meaning it is meant to be listened to and not read. Because of this, we recommend that you listen to the episode while reading, because the written word does not do justice to the emotion or tone used by our speakers. However, because we recognise there might be bandwidth issues or you might be using a hearing aid, we have provided written transcripts for all our available episodes.

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[INTRO TUNE]

Justice plays an important role.

I consider this tribunal a false tribunal and indictments, false indictments.

Such abhorrent crimes should not go unpunished.

Proceedings will be long and complex.

All rise.

Janet H. Anderson

Hi, welcome to Asymmetrical Haircuts. A different view on International Justice with me, Janet Anderson

Stephanie van den Berg

And me, Stephanie van den Berg. You’re here because you’re interested in The Hague and justice, and you want to hear insights from a couple of journalists with asymmetrical haircuts, which would be us. 

Janet H. Anderson

But asymmetrical haircuts, we need to explain that to start with. I’ve got an asymmetrical haircut. How about you? 

Stephanie van den Berg

So do I and we found out that this is kind of the haircut of International Justice.

Janet H. Anderson

Well, the reason why we found that that was because this amazing actress who had forgotten exactly who she was. Sharon Stone, she’s some icon from the 1990s came to The Hague, because the Hague is city of peace and justice, to take part in this big gala. And we looked at each other, both sort of in our 50s and said: “Hey,” she said, actually, “hey, we’ve got the same haircut.” And she also had a haircut to have asymmetrical-ness. So that’s why we thought it would be fun to to use this.

Stephanie van den Berg

And then Janet send me a selfie of her with Sharon Stone with the haircut and I thought I have that haircut. And we realised that a lot of women who do International Justice have the same haircut. I guess it’s the haircut of quirky interested women in their middle age or something like that.

Janet H. Anderson

And we’re mainly going to interview not necessarily only women with asymmetrical haircuts, but mainly women experts.

Stephanie van den Berg

Yeah, because we found out that when we are looking for expert, a lot of the experts are always the same men. And this is always because I find as a journalist for Reuters, when I call people to comment, a lot of the women are like that I tried to call because I’m trying to get more diverse in my sources. They say, “Oh, this is not super specific about what I know about. So and I don’t want to say something in general. So I won’t comment.” And you call man, an academic, and he says, “Well, I don’t know so much about it. But I’m happy to comment.” And so we realised to change this up, we have to invite women specifically to talk about the topics that interest them, and to get a kind of different view because they bring a different kind of experience.

Janet H. Anderson

But we do want both men and women to be listening, and not only women. And we might occasionally… are we allowed to have a man on occasionnaly? 

Stephanie van den Berg

I think totally, otherwise we would, we would have reverse discrimination. But the idea is to get people on the show that you don’t generally hear from or that don’t appear in all the blogs or in all the articles.

Janet H. Anderson

And the kind of subjects we’re going to do. Well, we are obviously a little bit obsessed by this world of International Justice. I started getting involved from about 1998 onwards when I was looking at the Rwanda Tribual, you know, then back here in The Hague at the Yugoslav Tribunal. And now we’ve got the International Criminal Court. But we’ve also got this kind of explosion of material that we can cover all over the world.

Stephanie van den Berg

Yeah, and same for me. I started as a journalist covering national Dutch news in the… in around 2001. And I had was sent to the Yugoslav Tribunal to cover that and realise that, hey, this is something very specific that’s going on. This is interesting. And I became kind of an expert on the spot. So then when you follow one of those tribunals, you get asked the others as well and you kind of get sucked in by the by the story.

Janet H. Anderson

We’re not going to assume that people who are listening are completely neophytes. We’re going to assume that they have some understanding of some of the terminology that we’re using. But of course, they can always let us know if they want some more explanation of things. And we’re going to try and tackle some of the big picture things because only… you’re working day in day out as a journalist in this sphere, aren’t you? So you know what the news is?

Stephanie van den Berg

I know what the news is, but I like to focus a bit more on the background and the kind of bigger developments. And as you say, we were not going to expect you to know nothing about International Justice, but we will explain because we also get lost in who exactly was Katanga, Lubanga or what are the names of those Yugoslav generals again.

Janet H. Anderson

So we’ll keep the… the amount of acronyms down. We’ll keep the level of discussion up as high as we can and make it as fun as we can. But we will be going into what is probably now seen as quite a crisis going on in this sphere. I mean, the way I see it, is that since the 1990s, when everybody said, “Yeah, you’re what a good idea. Let’s have some International Justice, we can all agree to this.” It’s just been on the slide since then, right down to everybody is now coming to the practical conclusion that this is really, really tough, and they’re looking for other avenues beyond the big tribunals to make it happen.

Stephanie van den Berg

Yeah, so for a long time, in the beginning, it was all about getting this ICC set up, this international court and when it would all the cases would go there, and it would be wonderful. And now we’re finding out that it’s it’s hard to set up this institution, it’s hard to get it working, it’s hard to actually get cases. And it’s still far away in The Hague, far removed from the people that it actually concerns. So you kind of seeing rather than having this big tribunal that would get a lot of synergy and could do all the cases you’re seeing now and move back to smaller tribunals.

Janet H. Anderson

And lots of different things being set up in different places. Makes it maybe a bit more difficult for us to cover occasionally, because we’re based here in the Netherlands. But it’s exciting!

Stephanie van den Berg

It is exciting. And to cover some of the stuff we’re going to talk about on this podcast to give you a bit of a preview of what we might have, we have talked about… we have talked with Celeste Hicks with the who wrote a book about the Habré trial in Senegal, which is an example of one of those cases that was done outside of The Hague and locally and an idea of African justice delivered in Africa by African jurists, 

Janet H. Anderson

And also an example of something that’s happened so so long after the actual events, but still incredibly meaningful for the victims.

Stephanie van den Berg

Absolutely, and, and kind of quick and cheap for which all the international community likes to have. We’re going to talk about stuff that we don’t talk about very much in International Justice, namely, specifically perpetrators and what happens after people are convicted, and they serve their sentence. We have Barbara Hola here who did a lot of research about that. So you’ll be hearing from her in another episode of our podcast.

Janet H. Anderson

And we’re also going to do something about the big issue of reparations, because there’s a lot of questions about whether the victims, those who actually experienced crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, whether they get any recompense in the end at all, and what it would really mean for them. So we’re also going to be talking with Lorraine Smith and Lin about that, and understanding what the big issues are there.

Stephanie van den Berg

This is a slight preview of what we’re going to do. If you have suggestions, we’re always happy to hear them, we have our own website that we’re setting up, it’s asymmetricalhaircuts.com. Asymmetrical with double M.

Janet H. Anderson

Yeah, I can never spell it, you know, just Google it, and then you’ll be able to find out how to spell it yourself.

Stephanie van den Berg

I was quite happy that the domain was still unused by hairdressers.

Janet H. Anderson

And we always ask the same three questions to our guests. So as a tryout, why don’t we do it to ourselves? Let me ask you, Stephanie, what we always ask, what’s the one thing that nobody ever asks you but they should?

Stephanie van den Berg

I should have been prepared for this question. So…

Janet H. Anderson

That’s what the guests will always say I should have been prepared. So now I know what it’s like to be on the other end of this.

Stephanie van den Berg

I think the main thing is that people always assume that I’m a lawyer, or that I have some kind of law degree to understand all of this. And they don’t really realise that this International Justice is kind of on the go thing that you learn this because you follow these tribunals. And even the people with a law degree, generally don’t know this International Justice or the way international tribunals work as much as I do, because I follow it. And it’s a lot of practical day to day things and how does your jurisprudence is… you learn it from other tribunals, and not at all from a law book. 

Janet H. Anderson

Next one! 

Stephanie van den Berg

I guess I already answered the second question. But I’m going to do this, I’m going to ask you to view Janet, what’s the thing that everybody always gets wrong about your job?

Janet H. Anderson

I think people assume that we kind of sit in the courtrooms and watch these trials. But to be honest, they’re incredibly boring, most of these trials, and nobody would want to be condemned to sit there and monitor absolutely all of them, all day, day in day out. So we actually spend our time sometimes monitoring them, but most of the time kind of flitting around and asking other people what they think about what’s going on. So I think people get that wrong. And I think then what we also need to do is the third question, which is, is there anything that you’ve seen or read that you really want to recommend? I’m going to take that first, having asked the question.

I always pull everybody towards the Indonesian documentary drama called The Act of Killing, which gave me the sense that it is okay to look at this world, not always completely, factually, not completely informationly, but also to understand that it’s about people’s feelings, and emotions. And to really understand the full gamut of atrocity crimes, because we’re dealing with some really horrible stuff, you have to understand that it’s also about how people feel about things. What about you?

Stephanie van den Berg

Well, I always… when I started this work, there was one I started reading up on the war in the former Yugoslavia, because I’m one of those people, when a problem presents itself, I buy five books about it and read as much as I can to be as informed as I can. And I got my hands on this Elizabeth Neuffer book called The Key to My Neighbours’ House. And it’s about the war, the genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia. And basically, it explains how these communities that were so close, with people who literally had the key to their neighbours house to water the plans when they were out to feed the dog, ended up on the other side of a gun basically to each other, and ended up killing these neighbours that they cared so much about and how this happens. And that it’s not this idea of centuries old rivalries that are playing out or that people have always hated each other. And suddenly, it came to a boil what you know, the media likes to portray like that, because it’s a very simple narrative, but it’s almost always much more complicated. And people who used to be very close can somehow be driven apart by economic insecurity, by nationalism, by being egged on to do things. And these are communities that are very much close and tightly woven that get blasted apart by war. And I found that very interesting as an idea of why these things happen. 

Janet H. Anderson

And it can also have that sense, that particular book, of it could happen to any of us. We, you know, we live in very, maybe less tightly woven communities, but we could also be perpetrators.

Stephanie van den Berg

I think so. And I think that’s the… the scary thing. And the good thing about that book is when you read it, you can really see how that develops incrementally how step by step, you start thinking that maybe your neighbour is actually working against you, or maybe your neighbour is getting things because he is a Tutsi or he is the Bosnian or maybe he’s taking something from you because he has some kind of hatred, so you get some kind of feeling towards them. And it really, really describes that process of disintegration of society really, that leads to this.

Janet H. Anderson

So if you’re interested in the same kind of things that were interested in… atrocity crimes and the contemporary resonances, please listen along with us as we explore it in Asymmetrical Haircuts. Thank you very much to our editorial intern Hannah van der Wurff, and to our advisor, Joost van Egmond. And of course, to our host!

Stephanie van den Berg

Humanity Hub that we’re in right now in the nice room that they provide. So sometimes you hear some sound in the background. It’s other colleagues working in this wonderful working space in The Hague, for NGOs and organisations that do with justice and accountability.

Janet H. Anderson

And if you like the podcast, don’t forget to leave us a rating on wherever you found it. Check us out via our website and via our Twitter feed. And we look forward to hearing from you for our first official edition, which is coming up soon!

Stephanie van den Berg

And we promised to post Janet selfie with Sharon Stone so you can see the asymmetrical haircuts in action, on the website.

Janet H. Anderson

No! [LAUGHTER] Okay, bye.

Stephanie van den Berg

[OUTRO]

This podcast was created and hosted by Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg.

Music was by Audionautix.com. 

Our website is asymmetricalhaircuts.com.

You can also find us on Twitter at the same handle. And please give us a rating wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated using online transcribing software, and checked and supplemented by the Asymmetrical Haircuts team. Because of this we cannot guarantee it is completely error free. Please check the corresponding audio for any errors before quoting.