Stories are one of the most effective means in documenting an event a group of people or a society has witnessed. This tactic is a model of using dramatization, the art of storytelling and theatre, as a way of documenting personal testimonies and registering them as one of the written and painted historical sources away from the hands of the government and their historians, and to remind the people of the demands that they protested for.
Summary of the group’s foundation: following the January Revolution of 2011, Tahrir Monologues was born. The idea of the project started during the strike in Tahrir square demanding Hosny Mubarak to step down from office. A group of youth agreed upon sharing their personal stories of what they lived through during the protest to the public, to let the public know of the hardship they lived through in the eighteen days of the strike until Mubarak resigned. That is how the project began to show personal tales and experiences of ordinary people who were trying to record what had happened to them while the press and the media ignored their stories.
It was based on a previous experience in the “Bussy” project which focused on showing stories and experiences of women in Egyptian society, with some improvements to give the feeling of a monologue while being presented by the storyteller. A group of youth decided to take the same path to tell their stories during the Tahrir square strike, to transform their stories into a theatrical play as a reminder of what happened in Tahrir square and to give an insight of how life was during the strike to those who were not able to participate in the revolution, as well as documenting history in a different form.
The project asked people who participated in the revolution through their Tahrir Monologues Facebook page, and on twitter and their website to send their personal stories of what happened to them during the eighteen days, from the first spark of the revolution to the resignation of Mubarak, to show those stories in live theater in “The Tahrir Monologues” show. The project received thousands of stories from people who were attacked with tear gas, rubber bullets, the camel incident, the violations committed by the military and the Central Security Forces, the Suez and Alexandria incidents, and in other governorates as well, the local committees, midnight thugs, and sexual harassment. The stories were collected and selected to cover all points of view and situations to draw a holistic vision of what happened during those eighteen days. The monologue is presented by the people who lived the story or actors who reenacted the stories. The project was shown around Egypt to be a complete source of the revolution. The Tahrir Monologues project continued collecting and showing the personal stories for two years.
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