She was a friend of someone else

Gosia Wdowik (PL) / CAMPO in coproductie met Frascati Producties
Fri 3 Nov ’23 and Sat 4 Nov ’23
With a powerful dramaturgy and minimalist direction, Gosia Wdowik investigates the connection between burnout and activism.
Fri 3 Nov ’23
Sat 4 Nov ’23

It could be an activist success story. But She was a friend of someone else is a story with too many beginnings, too few endings – and an exhausted narrator.

This production comes to us from Poland, a country where women have limited access to reproductive health, and abortion is now illegal. Despite massive protests, women there were simply denied their rights. The project started with the idea that women could come together without shame or fear to publicly manifest that they had an abortion, and that this collective act would change the law. It could be an activist success story. But She was a friend of someone else is a story with too many beginnings, too few endings – and an exhausted narrator. 

With a powerful dramaturgy and a minimalist direction, Wdowik explores the link between burnout and activism: the fear that rights are not guaranteed forever, and that the moment one stops paying attention, they can disappear. Through a personal narrative, she describes the commitment to women's rights in Poland. Her subtle storytelling draws us into the life of a woman who decides one day, instead of protesting, to stay in bed, eventually rising again.

Artisttalk on November 3 with Gosia Wdowik and Ianthe Mosselman

After the performance on Friday Gosia Wdowik will delve deeper into the material of her performance and her artistic practice in conversation with moderator Ianthe Mosselman. Together they will touch upon women's rights, activism and exhaustion. The talk will further elaborate on the current situation in Poland and will try to bridge the gap with a Dutch context. Furthermore, the mental repercussions of activism will be discussed in more detail.

Ianthe Mosselman is program maker and writer of Al die liefde en woede (2022, Atlas Contact). She makes programs about art, literature and culture and has interviewed various domestic and foreign writers and artists for De Balie in recent years.

This conversation is free to attend after the performance.

  • 60 min.
  • English spoken
  • Dutch subtitles
  • Aftertalk on nov. 3rd. 
  • On 3 nov part of the We Are Public programme


concept, text & direction Gosia Wdowik collaboration in dramaturgy Maria Rössler visuals & creative technology Jimmy Grimma set design Dominika Olszowy & Tomasz Mróz light design Aleksandr Prowaliński performed by Oneka von Schrader, Gosia Wdowik & Jaśmina Polak work with/by Agnieszka, Dominika, Jaśmina, Ania, Urszula, Marta K., Justyna, Natalia, Julia, Martyna, Ola, Małga, Krystyna, Marta, Zosia, Edka, Doris, Yulia, Agata, Kinga, Beata, Iza, Zuza, Ewa & Magda concept & implementation of the theatrical reconstruction of the collective abortion coming out TERAZ POLIŻ (Marta Jalowska, Dorota Glac, Kamila Worobiej), Martyna Wawrzyniak & Gosia Wdowik special thanks to Jan Tomza-Osiecki, Marta Jalowska, Dorota Glac, Kamila Worobiej, Martyna Wawrzyniak, Marta Nawrot, Keerthi Basavarajaiah & Justin Schembri production NOWY TEATR (Warsaw) & CAMPO (Ghent) coproduction Nowy Teatr, Frascati Producties, Kunstenfestival Desarts, Campo, Dublin theatre festival, SPRING Performing Arts Festival, Hellerau


The press on She was a friend of someone else 

"She was a friend of someone else raises issues we rarely think about yet."

"Wdowik invites us into a sluggish, dense and torpid world made of spilled glasses, heavy limbs and even heavier bedcovers in which everything is literally fuming with exhaustion."
Persinsala Teatro

"Poignant to see how role-affirming increasing conservatism is; how women must constantly fight for their position and freedom. In She was a friend of someone else, Wdowik exposes it as alarmingly as it is disillusioned."

"With a powerful dramaturgy and a minimalist direction, Polish theatre-maker Gosia Wdowik explores the link between burnout and activism."

"How do you keep fighting for something that can disappear at any moment?"
De Standaard

About Gosia Wdowik

Gosia Wdowik is a theatre-maker and active member of GILDIA (the Union of Polish Theatre-makers). She completed the master’s programme at DAS Theatre Academy of Theatre and Dance. During her studies she worked on the topic of burn-out and investigated the space between being exhausted and self-determination by applying methods drawn from activism to her practice. A major question for Wdowik is how to create change and productions from an exhausted body and a burning necessity.