Museum of Lungs is a musical documentary performance that excavates archival material and mixes intimate confession with haunted histories to convey vulnerability as a core of strength, and illness as a site of resistance
and transformation. This September, the project premieres in Johannesburg as part of our 20th anniversary programme, followed by dates at the ICA festival in Cape Town, before an extensive European tour, including dates at Kaserne Basel.
The piece follows one woman’s personal experience of tuberculosis (TB) to tell a story of vulnerability and illness, of internalised 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 month 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, healing and community through music and performance, arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our society.
The Grahamstown based writer Stacy Hardy, her puppet doppelganger (created Basel-based Marius Kob) and musicians and composers Neo Muyanga (Cape Town) and Nancy Mounir (Cairo) collaborate with director Laila Soliman (Cairo), scenographer Moira Gilliéron (Bern) and lighting designer Mirjam Berger (Basel) to create a multi-vocal performance of love, loneliness, fragility, and death, addressing the fundamentally impossible bravery of being alive and being human, today.
Text & performance: Stacy Hardy (Polokwane)
Composition & live music: Nancy Mounir (Alexandria), Neo Muyanga (Cape Town)
Direction: Laila Soliman (Cairo)
Scenography & costumes: Moira Gilliéron (Basel)
Puppet: Marius Kob (Basel)
Shadows: Bassem Yousry (Cairo)
Light design: Mirjam Berger (Bern)
Technical direction: Thomas Kohler (Basel), Mirjam Berger (Bern)
Production & touring: Franziska Schmidt, produktionsDOCK (Basel)
A co-production with FFT Düsseldorf, Kaaitheater Brussels, Kaserne Basel and HAU Berlin.
Tour: Schlachthaus Theater Bern
Funded by Fachausschuss Tanz & Theater BS/BL, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Goethe-Institut South Africa