Women in poor countries are usually the first to feel the effects of climate change, which is caused by a system that benefits rich men on the other side of the planet… More women in powerful positions and a more equal distribution of wealth is the only way to create any kind of balance to such a lopsided problem, and educating girls is the first step towards making such a change.
-I’m not sure I got the best translation, but in an interview I read which I think was in Norwegian, you are portrayed as “Rå damer” literally translated as Raw Women. Can you explain me what this means exactly or what kind of women you think you are or what adjective you would use to describe yourselves and the spirit of The Doyennes?
– “Rå damer” is more correctly translated to “awesome women”, but it is a funnier word in Norwegian because it can also mean “raw” like you’re saying. It’s a flattering description either way, and we think (or hope!) that it’s very much in the spirit of The Doyennes – all we want to do is present brilliant women in different fields, to spread knowledge and inspiration to others. We think that’s both awesome and also raw in some way – we just follow our instincts and aren’t driven by any pressure from anyone other than ourselves, or by income from ads or sponsors.
-Maggie, I also read you have been fascinated by the connection between environmentalism and feminism and you discovered the word Ecofeminism, also called ecological feminism, branch of feminism that examines the connections between women and nature. Do you think nature has something to teach us to be applied to society in this respect? Specially now that society seems to be more prepared or open to it?
Maggie: Yes, I guess that for me, environmentalism and feminism are in some way two sides of the same coin (of injustice). The cause of both are an imbalance of power – mindless capitalism, driven by a small group of mostly rich, white men, is exploiting thousands of workers, most of them poor women, all while destroying the planet. For sure, there are very different solutions to stop climate change versus creating a more gender equal world, but at the same time, I don’t see a solution to any of those problems that doesn’t involve making our society less consumption-based, with a more fair division of power and resources. I do think more and more people are ready to make active changes to their lifestyle to achieve this, we see two examples of that with the #metoo movement and with the fast rise of veganism and vegetarianism, both different kinds of expressions of solidarity with other people and with nature. At the same time, the West seems to have become more polarised lately, we’ve seen that very clearly with the election of Trump in the USA and other right-wing populists here in Europe, so I think it’s more important than ever to talk about solutions, including having conversations across party lines, to achieve change. What we can do as individuals is to stand up for equality, take action when we can and show solidarity with those who need it the most – whether that’s women working in the fast fashion industry or our forests and oceans. It may seem pointless that one person goes vegan or stops buying fast fashion, but if thousands or even millions of people do it, we create a massive change collectively!
-Maggie I also read, you work as assistant of an ambassador during the day and DJ for the rest of the time. Ho do these 2 very varied occupations feed themselves?
Maggie: Haha, yeah, it’s kind of a strange combination, I guess! I think it comes from needing both structure and creativity in my life. I’ve tried only having an office job in politics and only working freelance in the creative industries, but I somehow always end up feeling like a part of me is missing… I love politics (I think my passion for feminism is part of that) – and I’ve always wanted to somehow help making the world a better place, hence I studied International Relations and work at an Embassy now. Diplomacy and communication between nations is extremely important I think – the challenges we are facing now are global, and we need to solve them together.
When it comes to DJing, that feels more like a hobby, even though I do it professionally and earn money on it. Music has been extremely important to me since childhood, so it feels more like a part of my personality than just a job! When I’m not DJing in a club or at an event, I’m happy just sitting on the floor in my living room, mixing new songs together and just enjoying it! That said, music has also connected me with a lot of very interesting people around the world, so I guess there’s some international relations in that too, haha!
-Anna, I read you also work as a freelance photographer and are specially interested in aesthetics. What stimulates you creatively in this aspect? In what things that you grab with your camera you see beauty? Do you have a favourite subject?
I think it is impossible for a photographer not to be interested in aesthetics, it doesn’t matter if you are a fashion photographer or a photojournalist, I don’t know any photographer who doesn’t care about light, composition or framing. I see beauty in most things, from wrinkly skin to architecture. My favorite subjects to photograph are people and nature, you can tell so much about a person from just one look, and nature is a never-ending mystery of beautiful colours and weird textures.
-And last but not least, have you thought what you want your legacy to be?
Anna: If we were ever to have a legacy I would want it to be that we made some sort of positive change in the battle for equality.
Maggie: Yes, that’s the goal! If we can inspire just one person, show that there’s room for everyone to be successful in their own way, that’s something I would be proud of.
PS: -Any favourite quote, slogan or motto?
Maggie: Yeah, I have one from the Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg, US Supreme Court Justice): “Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Cause that’s pretty much what The Doyennes is all about.