Moze Maaike Mertens

Artist and freelancer

Graduation Work 2019

Thou Told Me

The project "Thou Told Me" is an animation and installation with which I graduated with from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague (Interactive Media Design) June 2019.

The animation ‘Thou Told Me’ is a visual representation of my experiences, feelings, and dreams on something that has never happened before; a woman leading the Netherlands. 

In art everything is possible, where artists can challenge the rules, politicians reinforce them.

An artist can influence the public and the politics, by showing the possibilities of change through daring to dream and show the ambitions for change, where others only see problems.

The work is a combination of my thesis and the animation "Thou Told Me", which came together in an installation for the exhibition of the graduation festival 2019.

The work is deeply connected with the thesis I wrote on why there hasn’t been a female Prime Minister in The Netherlands yet.

Even though this year, 2019, we celebrate 100 years of women in Parliament in the Netherlands and universal suffrage, there hasn’t been a female Prime Minister yet.

I researched this question through interviews with people in the field of politics, spin doctors, politicians, campaingers, but also on the other side of the spectrum. The combination with politics and art makes the thesis very tangible.

From the illustrations and design in my thesis, I was desperate to take a next step with these visuals. The animation ‘Thou Told Me’ is a perfect combination for me to add my songwriting with illustrations and lift it with a critical, political message.

‘Thou told me’

04:14 mins


Thou told me too loud.
Thou told me to wait.
Thou told me to ask them.
Thou told me not yet.

Thou told me I would never.
Thou told me I would fail.
Thou told me there has never.
Thou told me many times.

Thou told me too fat.
Thou told me not to sit like that.
Thou told me to show more of my breast.
Thou told me to just say yes.

Thou told me I was dressed too naked and too cold.
Thou told me I looked like a boy and needed to smile more.

Thou told me I was weak.
Thou told me I should not speak.
Thou told me to follow.
Thou told me to go.

Thou told me not to care.
Thou told me hide.
Thou told me stop crying.
Thou told me you’re so emotional. Thou told me I was dreaming.

Thou told me it was all just a dream.
Thou told me I was not making any sense.
Thou told me the truth was no defense.

Thou told me to fit.
Thou told me misfit.
Thou told me to look away.
Thou told me to stay, stay quiet.

Thou told me not to feel.
Thou told me not to be.
Thou told me not to play.
Thou told me not to sing.

© Moze Maaike Mertens