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Performing Arts

“Museum of Lungs” rehearsals in Cairo

Pro Helvetia Cairo is supporting the rehearsals of “Museum of Lungs” theater project for Egyptian director Laila Soliman, with the participation of Egyptian musician, Nancy Mounir, South African artists Neo Muyanga and Stacy Hardy, along with Swiss artists Marius Kob, Mirjam Berger, Tomas Kohler and Maoira Gillieron; the result of the rehearsals is a theater performance that will be premiered in Egypt, in November at Goethe Institute in Cairo.

Museum of Lungs follows one woman’s personal experience of tuberculosis (TB)[1] to tell a story of vulnerability and illness, of internalized pain and the expression of sickness, both in the individual and social body. It gives an insight to the experience of living with undiagnosed tuberculosis in contemporary South Africa and tells the story of this woman finally discovering the illness and surviving in an isolation ward before undertaking the 10 months’ treatment regime.

The performance seeks to engage with South Africa’s violent history of extraction and predation through apartheid and to explore how these systems are perpetuated today, as TB remains one of the primal causes of death. It will look at how medical systems uphold racism and violence in people’s lives but also how people find strength, power and healing in their community through music and performance. The performance is tackling topics and particular forms of violence and silence including physical violence.

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tuberculosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351250

Project participants:

Laila Soliman – Egypt
Nancy Mounir – Egypt
Neo Muyanga – South Africa
Stacy Hardy – South Africa
Thomas Kohler – Switzerland
Marius Kob – Switzerland
Mirjam Berger – Switzerland
Moira Gillieron – Switzerland