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three students intently listening to lecturer
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Ethics in performance - 2012/13 series

The BuSSy Monologues

Still image from the buSSy monologues - showing a woman in a pink headscarf

The BuSSy Monologues screening

12 February 2013

5.00 pm

Audrey Emerton Lecture Theatre

Ethics in Performance hosted the premiere screening of The BuSSy Monologues, by Khaled Abol Naga, Mohamed Hefzy, Mona El-Shimi and Sondos Shabayek. The film features stories which reflect the Egyptian reality of gender issues experienced by all members of society, irrespective of class and background. Through their performances, they aim to reach the public directly and expose the truths that society generally ignores.

The film screening followed the ‘Women in art, science and research’ one-day conference.

Read more about the Women in art, science and research conference >


background information

Many years ago, two students began directing a performance of monologues based on stories of women and their memories and experiences of womanhood. The monologues exposed real women’s stories and provided a space for free expression on controversial issues.

The performance provoked a variety of positive and negative reactions including excitement, shock, and anger.

In an article written about the performance a cast member noted, “there is plenty that is relevant and interesting for Egyptians, but I would love to see it adapted into something more culturally relevant.” We wanted a performance that felt close to home, something that was undeniably relevant to the greater community.

We also wanted to continue letting people write for themselves instead of being written about. And so, an idea turned into a flyer. “If you have a story about yourself or a woman you know, please pick up a submission form and share it.” And here we are, 5 years and 500 stories later, sharing a selection every year in the BuSSy Project…

In July 2010, The BuSSy Project struggled to find a stage for the annual performance of 2010. Finally we succeeded in getting a café   to set up a stage and a section of a parking lot (effectively for the audience who paid for their drinks)…it was a two night deal; by the second night of the performance, Censors had already heard about us and came to the performance to make sure we abided by their red tape…

We mimed the many lines and scenes that were censored…. which was a statement on its own. It was a very sad thing to happen along with a wave of strange repressing aggressive press and media local coverage that missed the whole point of the project.

The BuSSy Project invited among many people that night: Khaled Abol Naga….who was not only supportive of the project but joined our team right then. He offered right away to re-produce it for film in an attempt to document it and keep it for future generations.

He said: “This is a Gem! It's a bold, valid, true and in-your-face statement of a generation about gender issues that MUST  be preserved… “

A few weeks later we were FILMING!

Learn more about the early days of the BuSSy project: > >