Female Economy

Niet meer zonder jou about

“I will not do what you say.  I’ll follow my own path, but I will not let myself be cast out. I will be different, but No Longer Without You.”

Niet Meer Zonder Jou (No Longer Without You) is a photo exhibition in public space as well as a performance - a conversation. It portrays searing, trembling, and at times both frightened and precious encounters between a member of the traditional Muslim community and a more progressive loved one.

The performance is a public conversation between a mother, Havva Oral (67), and her daughter, Nazmiye Oral (46), about that which was never said in the family. How can I walk away when my legs are not my own? And how do I pave my path back? Because my place within the family is my right.

Photographer Cigdem Yüksel (26) recognized herzelf in Nazmiye's process, in her dilemma and was inspired to make a series of portraits. Twenty people from the community were prepared to share a No Longer Without You encounter with a loved one or family member in front of Cigdem’s camera. This led to a unique exhibition in the public arena. 

From 3-15 june 2015 the photos were shown at bus stops troughout Amsterdam.


Inseparably linked to the performance is the portrait series NoLongerWithoutYou. A daily portrait video flash, made during the photo shoots, appeared on www.nietmeerzonderjou.nl between 26th May and 17th June. 




No longer without you 

for all our mothers, daughters and sisters 
for all our fathers, sons and brothers 
no longer without you 

do I wish to fight for my freedom  
accept loneliness as the price I pay 

for my voice  
for taking ownership of my honour 
no longer without you  

do I wish to make this pain fruitless 
so that new generations are spared 
this legacy 
so that our children, and their children’s children  
can be who they are 

but no longer without you...

" ‘Your father and I have decided that if you don’t do as we say, we’ll commit suicide.’ Her words were a stab in the back and hit sharp clarity into me for the first time in my 18 years. I turned around and saw my place in the midst of my community, uninhabited by me. Because I was different and therefore unworthy. A place to leave for good. I looked my mother straight in the eye. ‘But it is my place, my birthright. I will not let myself be turned into a stranger. I won’t do what you say. I will follow my own path, but you cannot cast me out, because although I will be different, no longer without you.’ ”

Nazmiye Oral based the concept for No Longer Without You on her own experience. The performance confronts us with a fraction of someone’s life, focussed on the moment that they take their first faltering steps toward reconciliation. The actors recount with their loved ones, how they forged their own paths, whilst refusing to estrange themselves from their communities. In tandem with and inextricably connected to the live encounter is a series of photographic portraits, which are displayed in the public realm.


Audience favourite Holland Festival 
"The audience favourite for 2015 is theatre performance No Longer Without You. The performance made a deep impression on its viewers." HollandFestival News
DE VOLKSKRANT * * * *  I 5 JUNE 15
The daughter, determined to fight for her autonomy whilst refusing to give up her place in her mother’s  –traditional- community. The mother, just as determined not to be thrown off balance by her daughter’s verbal force. It is ‘committing an act of intimacy’, uncomfortable, loving, difficult, valuable. At times you ask yourself if it even is a performance. And it is, as well. It’s a spectacle, a brave and beautiful spectacle

"All the thorny issues come up: honour killings, abortion, homosexuality and forced marriage. Those portrayed in the photo series tell their stories, supported by saz music and song. And through it all, there is Oral, persistently questioning, never letting her mother nor herself off the hook. Remaining impartial in this unusually probing performance is impossible. What Oral does inevitably crawls under your skin."

"Tense and struggling, she asked her mother a question in an interview she had never before dared to ask: ‘What was going through your mind when you decided to marry me off at 18?’
Uncomfortable as it may be posing such a intimate question in front of a large audience, it made for a particularly powerful moment. It shattered any stereotypical notion of the older Turkish women as pathetic and ineffectual, and Oral senior accepted and seized the opportunity to account for a decision that had far reaching consequences in her daughter’s life."
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Niet meer zonder jou on tour

fri 22 to sun 24 sep | Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Studio 2 | Amsterdam
thu 12 to sun 15 okt | Crossing The Line Festival | New York

3 June 2015 I Holland Festival De Vlugt I Amsterdam Slotermeer
10 June 2015 I Holland Festival I De Vlugt I Amsterdam Slotermeer
17 June 2015 I Holland Festival I De Vlugt I Amsterdam Slotermeer

Niet meer zonder jou credits


Concept & text I Nazmiye Oral
Director I Adelheid Roosen
Artistic team I Lauren Rissik, Titus Tiel Groenestege, Céline Buren
Music I Meral Polat, Seval Okyay, Ata Güner, Ali Ihsan Polat
Light design I Jantje Geldof
Costume and Design I Dymph Boss, Saskia van Straaten (assistent)
Cast I Havva Oral, Nazmiye Oral
The Community I Ayşe Eski, Fatih Bici, Celal Altuntaş, Semra Çelebi, Fatima El Mourabit, Wassim Al Razzaz, Melih Gençboyacı, Çiğdem Yüksel, Meral Polat, Ali Ihsan Polat, Seval Okyay


Period 3rd – 15th June, 2015 I Amsterdam
Concept en photographie I Çiğdem Yüksel
Artistic team I Melih Gençboyacı, Meral Polat, Nazmiye Oral, Adelheid Roosen

in front of the lens I photo exhibition in the public arena
Nazmiye Oral, Havva Oral, Hatice Oral-Bağcı, Uğur Bağcı, Soliman Allaui, Ali Allaui, Abdel Falil Allaui, Mohammed Allaui, Ibrahim Allaui, Majid Allaui, Ahmed Allaui, Miloud Allaui, Aissa Allaui, Mohamed Allaui, Sandra Doevendans, Anneke Lamberts, Ayten Iz, Ali Polat, Şerife Polat, Döne Fil, Diana Kotters, Fatima El Mourabit, Wahiba Chahid, Meral Polat, Vural Polat, Ali Ihsan Polat, Aynur Polat, Illias Zian, Nora Zian, Ahmed Marcouch, Oğuz Acer, Mohammed Chaibi, Kadir Kinran, Fatih Bici, Ephraim Beks, Celal Altuntaş, A.K., Seval Okyay, Melih Gençboyacı, Melek Gövsulu, Mehtab van der Wallen-Gençboyacı, Olga Yıldız, Ayşe Eski, Murat Karakurt, Gediz Turan, Seyhan Turan, Sinan Can, Ara Halıcı, Orhan Delibaş, Ramazan Delibaş, Hilal Güneş, Haral Calışır, Hüsniye Çalışır, Meltem Karaca, Cemil Yılmaz, Muhterem Yılmaz-Yaşar, Kaplan Yılmaz, Günay Yılmaz, Müberra Yılmaz, Yasmine Allas, Wassim Al Razzaz, Ayhan Dinçer, Duru Dinçer, Semra Çelebi, Meryem Çelebi, Sofia Meryem Bekâr, Enis Odacı, Sami Yusuf Odacı

Research I Seval Okyay, Nicky Groot
Head of Stage management I Yke van Dok
Stage management Holland Festival I Janneke den Engelsen
Assistant stage management I Nicky Groot, Marleen Wortmann
Technic I Mark Huyskamp, Ata Güner
Graphic Design poster I Roddy Mac Mahon
Video I Nicky Groot
Catering I Tafel van Zina, Malika Hamdaoui
Publicity I Myrddin Baars, Fleur Kruis at alliance partner Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Annelieke Acda
Producer I Denise Harleman
Back office I Daniella Groenberg, Sheila Chitanie

Coproduction I Zina, Adelheid|Female Economy, Holland Festival

With icicles supported I Fonds Podiumkunsten, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Gemeente Amsterdam

Million thanks to I Open Studio, Cornelis de Boer, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Bimhuis, De Bibliotheek Hengelo, Boksacademie Arnhem, Rozet Arnhem, Urban Resort, Annelies Hendrikse, Esmee Hendrikse, Igor Vrebac, Tomas Vondracek en op De Vlugt Myriam Sahraoui