Omdat jij mij ten diepste aangaat

Omdat jij mij ten diepste aangaat

An audio|video installation about the abuse of elderly by Nazmiye Oral and Zinaplatform commissioned by Stadsdeel West gemeente Amsterdam. Premiere took place on 23th of november 2015 at 1 PM at Podium Mozaïek in Amsterdam.

Omdat jij mij ten diepste aangaat

audio/video installation about elderly abuse

Benimsemek: in Turkish there is an expression, ‘to-I’ something, to make something part of your own. This inner movement, to a person, a place or an object, does not claim. It is not about owning but about the reality that something is touching you deeply.

Elderly abuse is a major taboo. Approximately 200.000 elderly above the age of 65 suffer forms of abuse annually in The Netherlands. This number is only increasing as our population is aging and therefor it is important ‘to-I’ those elderly where they are most vulnerable.

Commissioned by the West city district of the Amsterdam municipality, Nazmiye Oral and Zina collected ten disturbing personal stories about elderly abuse. The stories in the audio/video installation are told by the elderly subjects themselves, their family members and caretakers.

Foto: Çiğdem Yüksel

Elderly abuse is still a major taboo. Approximately 200.000 elderly above the age of 65 suffer forms of abuse annually in The Netherlands. This number is only increasing as our population is aging and for this reason it is important to think about the position of the elderly and protect them there where they are vulnerable. The urgency to open up the debate on this subject and get people to talk about it is large. The Zina platform, under artistic guidance of Adelheid Roosen and commissioned by West city district of the Amsterdam municipality, has developed an installation which, from different perspectives and cultural backgrounds, tells the stories of elderly abuse. The result is contributing to breaking the taboo which rests on this phenomenon.

In June 2015 we read about the implementation of the action plan “elders in safe hands”. The first step in this plan is breaking with the taboo. Zina has the expertise to gather stories and tell these in an approachable manner without losing the truthfulness of them: In our work, the power of a meeting with the other, between human beings, is the essence. By engaging an encounter with the other on a basis of equality, we hear stories which would have remained hidden for others. The stories are then developed into theatre monologues or, as in this case, an art installation, which allows the receiver of the story to see what is going on behind those closed doors. In this manner, people’s perception of these issues is shifted which should lead to a more active awareness of the problems and prevention as a result.

The installation 'Omdat jij mij ten diepste aangaat' came into existence because of the joint effort of local organizations from Amsterdam-West, operating within the wellbeing, homecare and safety fields. The network which grew around the project will be kept intact in the future. Together we are exploring to what extent better cooperation is possible across the chain of abuse and how we can learn from each other's expertise. If this turns out to be successful, we intend to broaden this approach. The exchange of information is of vital importance in the signaling and effectively dealing with this problem.

On the 23rd of November the installation will start in Amsterdam, after that it will be on view at different locations around The Netherlands. From elderly centres to neighborhood homes, to conferences about elderly care; we strive to find as many ‘playgrounds’ to break this taboo. Every time our aim is to connect victims, caregivers and policy makers. On top of that the installation will also be used to counter the fear to intervene in situations of elderly abuse, by offering it to professionals together with a workshop.

Adelheid Roosen and Zina Platform have collecting stories in their DNA. In the past they made the BeautyVerhalenSalon (2007) where visitors were given massages whilst drifting away from the outside and listening to intimate life stories about migration. Within the GeweldVerhalenKaravaan (2011) life stories with a theme of domestic violence were given a voice. A number of installations were made and toured around the country with the cooperation of Het Kopland (former refuge home Groningen) and other stay safe homes in The Netherlands.

In 2015 Adelheid Roosen received the Van Vraagprijs for her work, awarded by the Humanistisch Verbond (Humanist coalition). The jury admired her because she ‘tirelessly fights for a world in which common humanity is given a new chance’. 

concept Nazmiye Oral
film Jenneke Boeijink
camera Susanne Bakker
design installatie Dymph Boss
research Seval Okyay, Agnes Matthews, Nicky Groot
technical construction Daan Hazendonk
artistic leiding Adelheid|Zinaplatform

met gratie voor
Annelies van Voornveld, Binnur Okyay, Cees Hansen, David Wayne, Fatima, Havva Oral, Hinke van Barneveld, Jochem van Rijsingen, Joop Ploeger, Leo Westra, Letitia Valpoort, Marco de Groot, Nezaket Orhan, Roel Walraven, Otto Sluizer, Samora Bergtop, Suzan Aktas, Toon Capel en Marianna en haar hond Lara die ons hun verhalen hebben gegeven en/of hebben ingesproken en/of aan de film hebben meegewerkt.

in samenwerking met
Linda Swaan, Stadsdeel West, Politie Amsterdam, Veilig Thuis, Woonzorgcentrum de Boeg, Woonzorgcentrum de Klinker, Thuiszorg-outlet A’dam, Willemsoord BV Den Helder, Foto Formation en de veiligheidssector Stadsdeel West gemeente Amsterdam.

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