My name is Manon van der Sluijs and I work as a researcher for a Dutch Film production company called de Familie (the Family in Dutch) located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. De Familie produces art documentaries and feature films.
We are currently working on a historical documentary in which we will produce a historical portrait of a period in which one of the first transgender surgeons, Georges Burou, who performed the first transsexual operations during the ‘ 50s and 60’s in Casablanca.
These were times when getting sex reassignment surgery was very difficult, hardly possible, and most male-to-female transsexuals sought solace with doctor Burou in Casablanca. The women that came to him often heard of him vis a vis and knew they could come to him without any questions being asked. You had to know through the right contacts were his clinic was and how you could get into contact with him.
For our background research we are looking for male-to-female transsexuals from all over the world, who have been operated by Dr. Burou in Casablanca or people who might know them. In the last couple of months we have been able to find and talk to women in the UK, France, Germany and Spain and it has been fascinating to hear their stories. In our documentary we would like to give more insight in how the lives of the women who visited Burou changed after the operation, how they felt at that time, how their lives developed afterwards. Some women have been living stealth for many years, and feel that it is time now to share their story.
As the transgender community in Europe is quite close and our countries are small we have been able to find women that went to Casablanca. We are in close contact with the transgender teams of several University’s that have been helping us in our search in Europe ; however we would love to find someone in the US as well to make our story as international as possible; it is one of the things that is so interesting- all these women share the same place/period of time that they had their SRS but afterwards spread all over the world. I cannot emphasize enough that I am aware of the sensitiveness of the topic and the privacy involved; I would like to stress that my search is meant for background research only.
When we make the final plan for the documentary I would like it to be based on as much oral history as possible. We will not start filming until spring 2011 and the women that we do speak to can decide for themselves whether they’d feel comfortable sharing their story with us.
If you know of any women that have been in Casablanca for their SRS or who might be able to help me in any other way please contact me.
Manon van der Sluijs
Research de Familie film producties
Schollenbrugstraat 4 huis
1091 EX Amsterdam