Belgrade, 1998. Waiting for NATO.
Photos by Stephanie Damoff and from the Serbian Press
a play in three acts
in English, Italian, Serbian
Aca, a videomaker and war criminal. A shabby Balkan hick, small, sneaky, mid-30s.
Dietrich, a European diplomat. A well-tailored smoothie, but a little out of his depth. Late 20s.
Young Balkan waitress
The Prosecutor: an ambitious female law careerist in a risky job.
The Defense Lawyer: A swaggering male shyster in loud clothes who loves to play to the crowd.
The Judge: a surprisingly stylish but fiercely determined woman jurist.
Six Scorpions: patriotic, tattooed tough-guys with a lot of muscle and swagger.
Six Grieving relatives: Bereaved Moslem women and one boy from a small rural town, Srebrenica who lost sons and husbands and a father in a genocide atrocity.
A Feminist Peace Activist who observes the trial.
The Gay Sidekick: another peace activist, the woman’s activists moral support.
Six Scorpion Wives: the garishly dressed molls of the paramilitary group.
Policemen: court security guards, in police uniform.
The American Technocrat: a boisterous American diplomat.
Settings: A Balkan café, and a war crimes court in the Balkans,
and the café attached to the war-crimes court.
A Balkan café.
Aca, a small, middle aged man, with a frightened look in his sly eyes, is chain-smoking in a cheap café. The background music is Serbian “turbofolk,” with electronic drums and a warbling, over-emoting female singer.
The coffee-drinker has a mustache, and wears a vinyl jacket, a leather cap, and a thick scarf on his neck. The simple café table, with two rickety chairs, might be anywhere in Europe, but he is sipping from a tiny cup of black Turkish coffee, and the ashtray is piled high with butts.
On the tabletop is a small package simply wrapped in a knotted bandanna.
Dietrich, a tall blonde businessman, carefully barbered and expensively dressed, enters the café stage right. Dietrich might be Swedish or German. He carries a business valise.
Dietrich looks around himself, visibly lost. Aca catches the foreigner’s eye and gives him a furtive sign.
Aca: Hi there.
Dietrich: Oh… Ciao.