Girls Are Talking - You Turn: Sausan Kanaan

Photo: Felix Adler

Our most recent Girls Are Talking event was hosted together with the wonderful people from Copenhagen's shared workspace Republikken . Organic Spirits filled mouths with rhubarb cocktails, Læsk provided the organic non-alcoholic liquids and Vida Media stepped in to video the whole shebang.

The Girls Are Talking theme of You Turn was born from having several friends who had made drastic changes in their lives in order to follow their intuition and dreams so we wanted to dig beneath the surface of their current endeavours to hear what gave them the courage to take the necessary steps to follow that path. Tune in to the Salaam Med Jer journalist and vlogger Sausan Kanaan's moving story.

Jump through to see Girls Are Talking with Anna Waller Andrés' and Miriam Mistry.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeKStffdTGA


Girls Are Talking - You Turn: Mariam Mistry


Photo: Felix Adler

Our most recent Girls Are Talking event was hosted together with the wonderful people from Copenhagen's shared workspace RepublikkenOrganic Spirits filled mouths with rhubarb cocktails, Læsk provided the organic non-alcoholic liquids and Vida Media stepped in to video the whole shebang.

The Girls Are Talking theme of You Turn was born from having several friends who had made drastic changes in their lives in order to follow their intuition and dreams so we wanted to dig beneath the surface of their current endeavours to hear what gave them the courage to take the necessary steps to follow that path. Tune in to Serenity Cupcakes founder and head baker Mariam Mistry's story below. Jump through to Anna Waller Andrés' talk and Sausan Kanaan's talk will drop out shortly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE2ptfJpVzk

Find out more about Mariams brand Serenity Cupcakes


Meet Sonia The 19 y.o. Russian Snowboarder Who Repp'ed Herself at the Olympics

Back in April this year, we dropped down to Sölden to Audi Nines and had the raddest of times. Now, there are a few reasons why hitting up Audi Nines is always a good idea. Not only do they invite the best freeskiers and snowboarders in the world, build the most creative and unique freestyle course on the planet, but best of all, we also get to hang out with cool cats like Sonia Fedorova. Meet Sonia, a 19-year-old freestyle snowboarder from Russia, who started snowboarding 5 years ago by hiking a hill in Moscow and this year went to the Olympics to represent… herself.

Interview: Paula Viidu

Hey Sonia! What's the lodown?

My name is Sonia, I’m from Russia and I’m 19 years old.

Where in Russia are you from?

I’m from Moscow but I don’t spend much time there because there’s not much snowboarding there, it’s very flat so when I snowboard in Russia I usually go to Sochi.

How far is that from Moscow?

It’s pretty far! If you wanna drive then it’s 24 hours of non-stop driving or a flight is 3 hours from Moscow, but it’s really nice there.

Damn Russia is big!

Yeah it is big. There’s another part of Russia with some nice mountains, it’s called Kamchatka, which is almost 10 hours by plane. It’s almost like going to South Korea haha so pretty far.

But you spend a lot of time travelling around the world for comps right?

Yeah I do, especially this season and the season before because I was qualifying for the Olympics so I’ve just been competing non-stop

Is there any difference between the snowboard scene in Russia and the rest of Europe or is it pretty much the same?

I think the level of riding is different. We don’t have many resorts or mountains and not too many snowparks with big jumps so the level is a bit lower.

Besides from Sochi and Kamchatka?

Yeah but even there, we don’t have really nice snowparks 24/7. It just happens once a year for some snowboard camp and just for like a week. For example the New Star Camp, it’s really nice but it’s just 10 days a year you know. So we’ve got some snowboarders but we just need more snowparks and better jumps.

So how did you first get into it living in Moscow?

It’s pretty funny, I started in an indoor snowpark. It’s basically a big fridge with some rails and that’s where I started. And then, there’s a little hill in Moscow with a jump so I was just hiking that hill and trying some tricks, like easy stuff…

How old were you then?

I was 14. But then I just started travelling because I had made it to the Russian Junior National team so started travelling for some World Cups or European Cups and that’s how I became a snowboarder haha, just during the competitions.

Wow, gnarly! What about the female scene in Russia, do you see lots of girls riding?

It’s more guys, just a few girls. And they’re mostly riding Russian competitions. I’m the only girl riding World Cup.

And the Olympics this winter! You were competing as an independent Olympic Athlete, right? What was that like?

I can’t really tell the difference because it was my first time, so I don’t really know how it would be with the Russian team and stuff, but it was nice. It was a good experience for me. Maybe next time I’ll represent my country.

Would you prefer that?

Yeah hopefully.

I guess that’s one of the cool things about the Olympics to get to represent your country?

I didn’t even get the pins, you know the pins that everybody gets at the Olympics with their country’s sign? I was pretty sad I didn’t have them, everybody was asking me for a pin and I couldn’t give it.

Was there a lot of athletes from Russia doing the same thing?

There were some snowboarders, but I was the only girl in freestyle.

So you were just there doing your own thing?

Yeah, I spent a long time there as well, because slopestyle was in the beginning and big air was in the end, so I was there for a whole month.

What was South Korea like?

Pretty cold and windy haha.

Even coming from Moscow?

Yeah, it’s not actually that cold in Moscow, like once a year it gets really cold but usually it’s like -5 or -10 degrees, so for me Korea was really cold and windy. But I loved the people there, they were really friendly, always tried to help me with everything. Yeah it was a really good experience, my first time in Korea, I really liked it.

I’ve read that Jamie Anderson and Anna Gasser were your inspiration in snowboarding starting out. What’s it like now competing with them only a few years later?

There are of snowboarders that I like now, I don’t really have one favourite, I just like some things from different riders like certain tricks or style. Yeah 3 years ago I was looking at them as superstars, it’s crazy!

Is there camaraderie between the girls during comps?

We’re all together, we always see each other during the competitions so we’re friends now, like one big family.

What’s the significance of social media to you when it comes to snowboarding?

For me, social media is a good way to get money for snowboarding. As a female snowboarder from Russia, it’s pretty easy to get followers, because there aren’t that many female riders. I get a lot of attention in my country because I’m the only girl riding and people like it. And for me, it’s a really good way to travel, compete and train because the federation doesn’t give us much money. So I gotta make it work for myself.

Sounds like past couple of years have been pretty hectic for you. What’s coming up next season?

After these seasons competing, I’m pretty tired of it and I just wanna spend a year or two just training and snowboarding for myself. Maybe filming and stuff and after that, I will compete at the next Olympic Games.

Is that the goal?

It’s not a goal, more just like a plan. I just want to snowboard, maybe I’ll do some World Cup and some events like Air & Style. Mostly I just want to do more snowboarding and training and less competing. When you compete non stop, it’s hard to learn new tricks because you just got to ride the competitions and that’s tiring. I just wanna get some new tricks now.

And what about after that?

I don’t think about it, my life is crazy and everything changes so fast so I don’t even make long-term plans. Let’s just see what happens!

What would you say to girls starting out and dreaming of doing the same thing as you?

Do what you love. When I was younger, I used to be a gymnast and I didn’t ‘really like it and I wasn’t very good at it. Then I started snowboarding, loved it and I wanted to be good at it. So I think that’s my best advice, just do what you love because it’s important and good things will come.

Thanks so much for the chat Sonja and good luck! 


Girls Are Talking - You Turn: Anna Waller Andrés


Photo: Felix Adler

Since we like to make it difficult on ourselves, we choose to host Girls Are Talking at different locations each time. This time, the kind people at Copenhagen's shared workspace Republikken opened their doors to us. Organic Spirits filled your mouths with rhubarb cocktails, Læsk provided the organic non-alcoholic liquids and Vida Media stepped in to video the whole shebang.

The Girls Are Talking theme of You Turn was born from having several friends who had made drastic changes in their lives in order to follow their intuition and dreams so we wanted to dig beneath the surface of their current endeavours to hear what gave them the courage to take the necessary steps to follow that path. Tune in to Pechuga Tees and Pura Utz founder Anna Waller Andrés' story below, and have an eye open for Mariam Mistry and Sausan Kanaan's talks dropping out shortly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okq2sf3BxtM&t=

 

Find out more about Anna's brands at Pechuga Tees and Pura Utz

 


Meet Life Nomadic - The Crew Driving 7500kms on the Baltic Sea Circle Race For Charity

Photo: Cecil Arp

In advance of their lift off, so to speak, we met up with Max to hear more about the motivations behind this seemingly outrageous and bold trip.

Yo Max! What’s this mission all about?

In short, this mission is about charity, art and girl power - combined with a whole lot of travelling, fun and big challenges.

We've started the Life Nomadic project with the aim to empower and encourage woman (and men) to live a self-determined and equal life and to collect funds and raise awareness for Terre des Femmes. They are a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to fighting for better and equal rights for women and girls all around the world.

Three girls and I are going on an epic rally around the Baltic Sea throughout all of Scandinavia, to the North Cape and back throughout Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany.

This route is around 7500 km and covers 10 countries and will be driven in 16 days in a really old jeep without any GPS navigation and we'll drive the whole trip on country roads - no highways allowed.

We'll be wild camping as much as we can, trying some home-made vodka in Russia, and fighting bears in Finland. Our professional photographer will document the trip, all the good, bad and ugly. A selection of these photos will be used in an exhibition, and profits from any photos sold will go to Terre des Femmes.

Photo: Mirjam Kluka

Is it some kind of race or are you doing it alone?

It's a rally called the Baltic Sea Circle. It's not really about coming first. It's more about challenging yourself, going out of your comfort zone, and dedicating your challenge to something good. On the road, we'll definitely be on our own, but I'm sure we'll meet the other teams along the way.

How are you raising money? Where can people follow and support your mission?

One way we're raising funds is collecting donations from people who would like to contribute as much as they want or can. Everything helps! The second way is we're working with companies, magazines and brands together. The reason they are working with us is because they find our project interesting and important, and with our crew containing an illustrator and a photographer - we can offer them content they can use for their own brand. And finally, we will organise an exhibition with a selection of the photos from the road trip, any profits gained from the sales of these photos will go to Terre des Femmes. You can donate at startnext.com

Why do you think it’s important to challenge yourself?

Most people, including me, are afraid of so many things in the world, and these fears often create patterns, and boundaries – boundaries and patterns that we'll never be able to break if we don't cross some comfort zones and explore what is on the other side. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself to be able to recognise your own power. That you are stronger than you thought you were. We're counting on spending at least 10 hours a day in the car, it will be a rollercoaster! One of our girls hasn't driven in 5 years, and we've no clue on how to change a tire, let alone fix a broken down car. It will be a steep learning curve probably.

Photo: Cecil Arp

How well do you know your roadtrip crew and what do they mean to you?

Our crew exists out of Photo Producer Tina Arp, Paula Peterson, Artist Manager, Mirjam Kluka who’s a photographer and myself, I’m an illustrator. Tina brought the crew together. She's the only one that I know really well, and at the risk of sounding corny, she's pretty much my soul sister. Mirjam and Paula have only come into my life since we've formed the crew. Although we're fairly new to each other, this crew means a lot to all of us and we've gotten to know each other quite a bit in all the times we've seen each other since the crew originated. So what they mean to me is this: I love my crew, these girls are absolutely awesome. I am so so proud of each of them, and I feel really empowered by being part of this crew, it's freaking amazing to see how much energy and power everyone puts into this project. They don't just talk, well also quite a bit, but more importantly - they do. And I'm curious, a tiny bit nervous, but mostly excited to see how our crew is going to work its way through being stuck together in one car for 16 days.

What are you most excited and apprehensive about?

I am a little apprehensive about driving so far. I hope we'll be able to manage it and I hope we'll all stay safe and healthy throughout the whole thing. I am really excited about seeing how much support we’re getting from people around us and also from people we don't know! It's truly incredible hearing these positive sounds and to get so many people, brands and companies supporting the project. On top I am super amped about this experience, I think it will be pretty wild, but definitely something we won't forget, ever.

Thanks Max.


See What You Missed at the Yeah Girl Opening in L.A.

For the 3rd year running Yeah Girl opened its doors to showcase and introduce a generation of female skateboard photographers, this time at The Seventh Letter in LA. Curated and produced by skateboarder, photographer, graphic designer and Girls Are Awesome gang member Sarah Huston, the opening looked like a smasher - check some of the beautiful heads that attended and some of the work below, and jump over to the Yeah Girl facebook page for more, and read up on some of the photographers we've featured.

All photos by Morgnar


Xuli and Cri$py C Talk About The Yin and Yang of Their Relationship

Carina, left, and Jana, right. Photos by Bartosz Ludwinski for Blonde Magazine.

Jana Federov aka Xuli, artist, calligrapher and dance floor queen, together with her partner in crime, Carina Lue aka DJ Cri$py C discuss the process (or more like the aligning of the stars) which led to their current sitch as promoters of Hamburg's Chains Club, the strength of their friendship which includes stark personality contrasts and outlining exactly what Chains stands for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Piws1Ki9Vhk


Girls Are Talking - You Turn Wrap Snaps

Last night we hosted our 8th Girls Are Talking event (celebrating its 1st anniversary) at Republikken in Copenhagen. The event started out with 80% of the guests arriving before the doors officially opened, which made our slightly nervous speakers even more so....

Thanks to our partners Republikken, Organic Spirits, Læsk and Vida Media and photographer Felix Adler. Keep an eye on the site for the full talks dropping out on our YouTube and more Girls Are Talking events popping up soon.

 


In Conversation: Lizz, DJ Cri$py C & Xuli

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXqEsjRLieg

If you've got your wits about you, you would have tuned into Lizz's mixtape recorded live at Chains Club a couple of weeks back which had our camera guy wiggling his hips and blurring out the shots. Here we see an in depth conversation between the club's Hamburg-based founders and the South American musician during which they uncover the many similarities they have in being strong independent entrepreneurs in a crowded space, often run and dominated by men.

The filming of this chat was put together after a day of connecting while exploring the Reeperbahn's tacky souvenir shops, devouring delicious vegetarian burgers and taking at least 1500 selfies. Make that 2000. The connection was warm and honest, showing that regardless of coming from opposite ends of the world, these women face some of the same challenges and opportunities for success, and their main discovery being that they definitely have more in common than not.

 


Backlip For A T-Shirt? The First Annual Girls Are Awesome Laax Jam Sesh

All photos by the kind Leo Baker-Hytch.

Blessed with bluebird and warm weather, we nabbed a sweet spot at the down tube in the infamous Laax P60 Curnius park for a couple of hours of 'cash' for tricks for the first Girls Are Awesome Laax Jam Session. What was rad to see was not only the tricks (was that a switch back 1-50-front 1 out?), but checking out the girls connecting who had peeped each other riding the park over the last couple of seasons but not really hung out. Thanks to the always friendly and open Snowpark Laax crew, Nicki, Momo and Gaia for keeping it chill. Once the beerchips-for-tricks were cashed, we moved on to Girls Are Awesome merch which upped the ante of tricks that were being thrown down. The backlip session was especially funny with most riders taking at least one decent slam.

Once done, we headed down to Indy bar for an afternoon and night of sweet soul, funk and hip hop tunes from Copenhagen's own DJ asha and a soothing live performance from Diguillotine.

Laax is nice, yo. See you next year.