Green Zone Red Zone

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?

While we cannot definitively ascertain if such an event could transpire, we have endeavored to explore a number of scenarios to understand how it could unfold. 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 zones in The Hague. Utilizing the ‘Homeland National Security in Urban Areas’ regulations, with its various alert levels, we envisioned how the urban structure of The Hague would be transformed due to these threats. We speculated on which areas would be secured and which would not, which would be fenced and which open, and delineated the city into Green and Red Zones. The scenarios are based on current urban conditions and related urban datasets. 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.