Microreview: Exploring biographies and geographies of breath/lessness

Microreview Diallo 1
Museum of Lungs / photo ©Guillaume Musset
Microreview Diallo 2
Museum of Lungs / photo ©Guillaume Musset
Microreview Diallo 3
Museum of Lungs / photo ©Guillaume Musset
2020 December
Kadiatou Diallo reviews Stacy Hardy, Laila Soliman, Nancy Mounir, Neo Muyanga’s documentary performance Museum of Lungs, 2018/2019
Author / Publisher
Kadiatou Diallo for NewsLibrary
Author Info

Kadiatou Diallo is an independent curator, facilitator and cultural practitioner who lives and works between Basel and Cape Town. Besides her curatorial and collaborative projects, Kadiatou works as research associate for the Aesthetics from the Margins project at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel and lectures at the édhéa (école de design et haute école d'art) in Sierre. kadiatoudiallo.com



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Reviewed Publication

Stacy Hardy, Laila Soliman, Nancy Mounir, Neo Muyanga’s documentary performance, Museum of Lungs 2018/2019

A few years ago, South African artist Stacy Hardy was diagnosed with tuberculosis, almost too late and after numerous misdiagnosed causes for her ailments. White people don’t get tuberculosis in South Africa. It is a black disease. During her many weeks in quarantine, Stacy wrote, researched and wrote more – texts that were eventually made into a documentary performance called Museum of Lungs. With director Laila Soliman, the musicians Neo Muyanga and Nancy Mounir, and the puppet (Stacy’s mini-me) crafted by Marius Kob, they weaved a multi-modal fabric of the complex (hi)story of a country diseased: by the racialized, gendered and violent health and political systems of its colonial past and post-colonial present. Through their collective artistic practice, embarking from personal experience with illness and using the body as archive, they researched and conjured the living memory of South African mineworkers in poem and music, combed through archives, news and laws, spoke to doctors and scientists. Museum of Lungs is a troubling and disruptive history in and of bodies, individual and collective. It’s about fragility and strength in vulnerability. It is innovative, timeous resistance and possible antidote, all at the same time. This research and performance based collaboration continues under the banner Pulmonographies with Stacy Hardy, Neo Muyanga and anthropologist Kaushik Sunder Rajan (University of Chicago).