Green Zone Red Zone, the Hague

In August 2002, President Bush signed into US law the American Servicemembers Protection Act, which authorizes the use of all necessary means (implying military force) to liberate citizens of the US or its allies being held by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, giving rise to its nickname as the ‘Hague Invasion Act.’ Though it might seem far removed from Guantánamo Bay, Diego Garcia or Bagram Airbase, the Hague has thus also become an exceptional space in the war on terror (in the legislative realm, at least, though the wider intimidating effects of such legislation are not to be underestimated). Could the separation between red and green zones, as a result of a catastrophe, occur in The Hague, and, if it happened, what would be the consequences?
Whereas we cannot really say if it could happen, we have tried to explore in a number of scenarios how it could come about. In order to do this, we have chosen three cataclysmic events (Ethnic Revolt, Revolt of the Poor, and Flood) and developed scenarios on how these events would influence the creation of green zones and red would in The Hague. Using the ‘Homeland National Security in Urban Areas’ regulations, with its different alert levels, we envisioned how the urban structure of The Hague will be transformed due to threats. We speculated which areas would be secured and which would not; which would be fenced and which open, and painted the city in Green and Red Zones. The scenarios are based on current urban conditions and related urban data sets. The series of maps and diagrams make visible and raise questions on issues of equality, freedom, and prosperity in the city and its communities.

Research, text, illustrations and design: Malkit Shoshan and Camila Pinzón Cortes.

The project is part of Borders. Exhibition and events programcurated by Robert Klujiver at the Gemak Art Center, The Hague.

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