You can donate by bank account if you prefer that to using PayPal, see below.
You can join in for as little as 1 euro! For 25 euros, you'll invest in one day of research and documentary making.
Hi! I´m Marianne. I´m a journalist and a philosopher, and I am going to live like a cavewoman in Amsterdam for a year.
I think it is important to question what your own society teaches you. I’ll do this by exploring the habits of early homo sapiens, to find out what we can learn from them. I’ll share my experience in a blog, a book and a documentary so you can see which habits turn out to be beneficial for your health, your happiness or the environment.
What I will do
Every two weeks I will add a new habit. These are the areas I will focus on:
Diet: does it make you healthier to stay away from processed foods, refined sugar and the amounts of grain that we eat now? Will it make me feel good to eat according to the seasons and to regularly put offal on the menu, as hunter-gatherers did?
Exercise: what happens if you walk barefoot as much as they did? Do you get fit more easily if you train outdoors instead of using fitness machines?
Social life: will it make you happier if you get to know all the people that live around you, like Wilma did? Do you feel closer to people if you have gadget-free weeks, in which you´ll visit friends instead of using phone or email to contact them?
Mental issues: did they live more in 'the now' in those times? Do you feel more relaxed if you don't wake up by an alarm clock? Will becoming Wilma and not having electricity, cure my fear of the dark?
Love life: how did they find and approach a partner back then, and will it be a more successful strategy than my internet dating?
Work and skills: what´s it like to hunt? How hard is it to make your own fire?
Art and entertainment: what will I do in the days I don´t use internet? What´s it like to make a proper cavewall painting?
Personal care: if I don´t eat sugar, will it suffice to clean my teeth the way they did, without a regular tooth-brush? Can I use natural make-up?
Philosophy and spirituality: how would Wilma deal with questions that cannot be answered empirically, like how you should treat other people, what a meaningful life is, and how we relate to animals and nature?
If you’d like an overview of the habits, or if you have suggestions, check www.whataboutwilma.com.
Apart from undertaking actions myself, I also have two team members who will suprise me with interventions. Wilma didn't always know what was going to happen, so they will arrange for some unexpected events that will teach me the flexibility one might have needed in Palaeolithic times.
Proper research into the habits of early homo sapiens will be undertaken. I will regularly consult a palaeontologist and other experts.
The success of the project to date
What about Wilma ran a trial session for 100 days. The 100 days appeared on Dutch national television, radio and newspapers. The project received international attention from Belgian national newspapers.
Mark Sisson, America´s no. 1 author on the Palaeolithic diet and lifestyle, wrote about What about Wilma: ‘An Amsterdam woman has pledged to document her attempt to live like a cavewoman for 100 days…Here are her rules. They’re pretty strict.’
Blog-follower Danielle from UK wrote on June 27: 'I’ve been so inspired by you and am trying to apply some of your challenges to living in London! I would love you to do it for a year'
Who I am
After getting my master's degree in philosophy I became a journalist for Filosofie Magazine, the biggest Dutch philosophy magazine. My articles on philosophy, art and human interest have also appeared in other magazines and newspapers like Intermediair, Volkskrant and Kunstbeeld.
The documentary team
I will do daily recordings of my life as a cavewoman. 2013 Academy Award nominee Deepeei Film Productions will film the most important moments and turn it into an amazing film.
1. Why do you use modern day media, when they didn't have those in the Paleolithic era?
I know. I would love to visit you all to tell you about my adventure, but I think I will reach more people this way. That's important, not just because I want to show you what happens every day, but also because I want to hear YOUR opinions, questions and ideas.
In order to investigate the gadget-free aspect of the paleolithic era, I will have weeks without phone and computer as well.
2. Is it possible to really live like a cavewoman?
I know you can't go back in time and I don't want to. But I'd like to explore a selection of habits that I think are interesting for how we live nowadays.
3. You assume that the habits of our ancestors are healthy. But didn’t they all die at 30?
Thirty was the average life expectancy. This is a somewhat misleading statistic, as this average is skewed by a high infant mortality rate. The fossil records, early accounts, and modern studies consistently show that many people in hunting-gathering societies lived into advanced old age, even reaching the century mark. That being said, I´m testing the hypothesis that their lifestyle is healthy: whether it is, is an open question for me as well. That´s why it´s an experiment!
Where the money will go
If we reach the target of €10.000 ($13,000), this is what the funds will be used for:
-A Team of experts that will teach me how to find edible plants in Amsterdam, how to make fire, how to make a proper cavewall painting.
-Medical tests before and after to show you what happens to my body.
-Material for research like books, material for art making.
-Life expenses for food that cannot be obtained outdoors in Amsterdam (my rent etc. will not be funded by you).
What you can do to make this possible
We have a so-called 'fixed funding' campaign. This means that if we don´t collect the total sum by September 13th, the project will be cancelled.
If you'd like What about Wilma to go ahead, there are two things you can do.
1. Donate. You can donate for as little as 1 euro!For 25 euros, you invest in one day of research and documentary making. The more you give, the more I can do, and the better the perks.
2. Spread the word. Copy and paste this website’s URL and send it via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter to people who you think would be interested in the project.
Donating by transferring to bank account.
For those who don't have a credit card or a PayPal account: you can directly transfer your donation to my bank account as well: M. van Dijk, Amsterdam: 126.96.36.1994
For Non-Dutch transferrals you'll need my IBAN and BIC:
IBAN: NL62 ASNB 0707 3283 14
BIC: ASN Bank ASNBNL21
Please add your email address in the subject, so we'll be able to send you the corresponding perk. I will transfer the money to Indiegogo, so the amount on this page will show exactly how much we have collected.
Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let´s start a fire!
CAVEWALL OF FAME