Tea Tupajić “Dark Numbers”

Meet the UN soldiers from Srebrenica

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.
– George Bernard Shaw

Dutchbat III was a Dutch battalion under the command of the United Nations during the Bosnian was of the 1990s. Its task was to protect the Muslim enclave Srebrenica, which had been designated a safe zone by the UN. On July 11 1995, Bosnian Serb forces under General Mladić took the town. The population sought refuge en masse in the secure area protected by Dutchbat III. Under the pretext of evacuating the population, women and children were sent away on buses. Mladić assured Dutchbat III that the remaining men and boys would be safe, and would soon follow.

On July 21, Dutchbat III left the enclave. During the next few days, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces.

The International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague declared the events an act of genocide in 2004; Kofi Annan called this the worst crime committed on European soil since the end of World War II.

In the belief that art can offer a space for answers the judicial proceedings never gave, Tupajić opens up one of the darkest episodes in recent European history. In DARK NUMBERS she presents intense, uncensored stories from Dutchbat veterans.  Who were these young men and women? What motivated them to go off to a war that wasn’t theirs? What images still keep them awake at night?

Tea Tupajić (b.Sarajevo, 1984) is a Croatian theatre director. Tupajić investigates the role that art and performance can play when confronted with various, often controversial, social issues. With performances like The Disco, The Curator’s Piece and La maladie de la mort she has had great international success and has presented her work at places like BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), PS 122 (New York), ZKM (Zagreb) and Frascati (Amsterdam).  

Director: Tea Tupajic | Actors/Veterans: Alice Schutte, Jeroen van der Werke, Wim Dijkema, Olaf Nijeboer | Technician: Atilla Nemeth | Subtitles: Eva de Wit | Co-production: Frascati (Amsterdam), Veem House for performance (Amsterdam), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), Theatre Garonne (Toulouse) Teaterhuset AvantGarden (Trondheim) and Inkonst (Malmö) | In collaboration with: het Veteraneninstituut.