Not the right to a kitchen, but the right to vote
Mathilde Berdenis van Berlekom (1862-1952), was also well known as Mathilde Wibaut after her marriage to Floor Wibaut. She supported women’s personal freedom, socialism and woman’s suffrage throughout her whole life. Mathilde Wibaut spoke of the socialist women’s movement as a ‘Struggle for Liberation’ in her 1952 book ‘Herinneringen’ (‘Recollections’), first published in 1976. The book ends with the question: ‘Is the struggle now complete, in 1952?’
Work, emancipation, suffrage and the equal rights for woman, matters for which Matilde Wibaut ceaselessly took a stand, come together in the ‘battle cry’ for the artwork’s figuration: ‘Not the right to a kitchen, but the right to vote.’
Mathilde Berdenis van Berlekom (1862-1952), later Mathilde Wibaut, the wife of councillor Floor Wibaut, was an important figure in the Netherlands for the international women’s movement, alongside Aletta Jacobs and Wilhelmina Drucker. In 1895, she became branch president of the ‘Vereeniging voor Vrouwenkiesrecht’ (Association for Women’s Suffrage).
From its foundation in 1905 until 1931, she was president of the first socialist women’s organisation, the ‘Sociaal-Democratische Vrouwenpropagandaclub’ (SDVC) Social Democratic Women’s Propaganda Club.
Mathilde Wibaut’s writings include: ‘De beroepsarbeid der vrouw en het socialisme’ (1932)’, (‘The professional work of woman and socialism’) ‘Een herinnering aan der vrouwen strijd ‘(1933) (‘A recollection of the woman’s struggle’), ‘Economische gelijkgerechtigheid van man en vrouw’ (1934) (‘Economic equal rights for man and woman.)
Artwork: You Are Here
Artist: Martijn Sandberg
Measurements: (lxwxh) 80cm x 80cm x 40cm
Project: Legacy of the Twentieth Century
Realisation and completion: 2019
Location: Oranje Vrijstaatkade, Oostpoort, Amsterdam
Commissioned by: Amsterdam Municipality, District Oost