Female Economy

to the You I call the Other about

To the You I call the Other is an ongoing, long-term project that started in the Syrian capital Damascus with a ten-day series of encounters. Artists and students there moved with the Other and discovered that what you encounter in the Other, you know yourself.

Breaking boundaries, bringing 'the Other' closer. Or even better, sometimes 'the Other' becomes 'the You. Adelheid wants to spread this boundlessness even further by letting to the You roll around the world like an echo, starting in Amsterdam and now via Utrecht to Amman, Maastricht, Cairo and Arnhem.

Partners in crime in Utrecht: Anne-Marth Hogewoning, Shahin Abdalla, Merijn de Jong, Bart Majoor, Lauren Rissik and 3rd year students from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht under the direction of Paul de Vries.


6 I 7 I 8 NOVEMBER 2013


Mum and lots more mums are sitting at the table. It’s what they’ve been doing all day.
They are consummate artists when it comes to sitting at the table. The ground on which their feet rest, is the children’s territory. Together with Anne-Marth from Syria, they disappear into colour, and stick their painty fingers to the floor. Shahin from Damascus cleans windows and makes a gesture of welcome.

Bart from East Amsterdam prefers to film continuous movements. We grow into the space and become calm in this place.

From late morning till early evening anyone passing by was invited to join. They could paint, sing, take a shower, paint nails, have lunch, drink a cup of coffee or just watch other people be part of the installation.
All the participants on the floor – student, nurse or patient – wore the same white outfit. Apart from some who had medical equipment, there was no difference between the people painting. The group became one. You and the Other were the same.


For three days, Adelheid, director Merel de Groot, fine artists, and twenty Syrian students from the art academy and theatre school, all lived together in a clinic for children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Everyone came together at the centre of the clinic, while they made a huge painting on the floor there. The parents of the patients were invited to watch this painting game from the sidelines. On the final day, the performance transformed into a visit to a home for mentally disturbed elderly people. They were enticed into joining a dance.

Back in Damascus, the group worked for seven days on the final performance, in which spectators were set the challenge of engaging with the Other. Reaching out to one another in a shared performance broke boundaries, bringing the Other closer. Better even than that, sometimes ‘the Other’ became ‘the You’.


"Anyone who wants to can paint on the floor, whether they're staff, visitors or patients [...]. There’s a lovely warm atmosphere, but it’s art, too [...] By painting on the floor, each person could meet “the Other”. The AMC hospital turned out to be an “open and inviting environment for everyone involved," wrote Roosen in her report." Photo I Danny Schwarz

Adelheid Roosen sleeps among the old folk in Syria 
" 'I just can’t beleeeve it,’ says Adelheid Roosen through the phone from Syria. ‘In Damascus they just let us sleep in the old folks home, with the old people!’ [...] Roosen believes that “the Other” doesn’t exist. 'I don’t notice much difference wherever I go in the world. There are people you feel an immediate connection with, and there are people who are scared of what you’re doing.' "

    • 001 totheyou pictures utrecht
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    • 01b totheyou pictures amc1
    • 02 totheyou pictures amc2
    • 03 totheyou pictures amc benen
    • 04 totheyou pictures amc douche
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    • 06b totheyou pictures ruimte
    • 07 totheyou pictures jongen
    • 08 totheyou pictures levend schilderij ouders2
    • 09 totheyou pictures groep damascus
    • 10 totheyou pictures spullen
    • 11 totheyou pictures dans
    • 12 totheyou pictures publiek bejaarden tehuis
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to the You I call the Other on tour


6 t/m 8 nov 13 I Utrecht I Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis I Central Hall


18 to 20 jun 12 I Amsterdam Medical Centre I F/G Square Central Hall


16 & 17 mar 11 I Damascus University - Faculty of Fine Arts
09 mar 11 I Elderly Home 'Mar Mansour Monastery' I Seidnaya
08 mar 11 I Psychiatric Clinic 'The Village of Special Needs' I Kalamoon

to the You I call the Other credits


Concept & Implementation I Adelheid Roosen
Partners in crime I  Shahin Abdalla, Anne-Marth Hogewoning, Bart Majoor, Merijn de Jong, Lauren Rissik, 3rd year docerend theatermaken Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht led by Paul de Vries
Producer I Female Economy
Supported with dosh by I Performing Arts Fund NL

Many thanks to I Esther de Rijk, Wendy Debets, Désirée Majoor, Gabrielle Kuiper, staff and patients of Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis (Hospital for Children)


Concept & Implementation I Adelheid Roosen
Partners in crime I  Shahin Abdalla, Anne-Marth Hogewoning, Bart Majoor, Udo Thijssen, 1st Grade Toneelschool Amsterdam, Joran de Boer
Producer I Female Economy
Supported with dosh by I Performing Arts Fund NL

Many thanks to I Edith Gerritsma, Sabrina Kamstra, Albert Heijn, staff and patients of AMC


Concept & Implementation I Adelheid Roosen en Merel de Groot
Accompanied by I Shahin Abdalla (visual artist), Anne-Marth Hogewoning (sculptor), Bart Majoor (video artist), students of The High Institute of Dramatic Arts and The Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University
Facillitated by I Dr. Samer Jahshan (psychiatrist) and Centre for People with Special Needs / Psychiatric Disorders in Deir Attiyyeh
Financially supported by I Netherlands Embassy Damascus, Theater Instituut Nederland, SICA
Executive producer (Netherlands) I Dirkje Houtman
Executive producer (Syria) I Shahin Abdalla
Producer I Female Economy and NIASD