Name: Sabina Carrano
Occupation: As Seen by Her – A platform to motivate and support women, aiming to move away from a culture of competition and towards one of compassion.
Currently living in: Stockholm
What makes you happy?
Routines are necessary to keep me grounded, but spontaneously is how I prefer to live my life. But I’m also a creature of habit and quite easy to please; returning to my favourite place for coffee in the morning or walking to the fleamarket every Sunday, having lunch at my local bistro on the way back home. Other than traveling, good food and drinks, family both biological and extended makes me happy. As much as I need to be alone a lot, togetherness gives me a great sence of affinity. Other things that make me happy is; well assorted supermarkets, spring and autumn, traditions, my animal Snoop Dog, reading, walking, running, nature, water and museums.
Where do you find inspiration?
I recently moved country and I have realized that where I live is one of my main inspirations. People, places, architecture, nature and just the general feeling of a city is crucial to me, or I loose energy. I lived under a blue sky almost every day for the last three years, the sun inspires me to go out and it gives me the energy to go through with almost anything I want or wish to do. I’m very weak for female literature and art (both artists and objects), and I follow, know, read about and listen to, a lot of inspiring women. ASBH has made it easier for me to get in contact with women that inspire me and I’m very happy about that.
When did you realise that you were going to start As Seen By Her?
When I was 17 years old I had a car accident, a girl I didn’t know that had an accident a few years earlier heard about it, and she contacted me. She asked me if I wanted to talk to her about it, and eventually also if I wanted to share my story in schools and youth clubs to prevent drinking and driving. I said yes to both and really learned then, what sharing your experiences can do for yourself and others. I have a passion for biographies and documentaries and I believe that meaningful meetings (wether in person or not) can be very helpful in terms of understanding and feeling understood. Every person you meet have a story to tell, and even though ASBH is quite new, I’ve believed for a long time that if we share our stories, we can help each other a lot.
How do you begin a new project?
I actually try to not get too excited and carried away. As I work mostly on my own I don’t have anyone, initially at least, that can bring me back when I get off track. And in order to get productive I need to separate the creativity, excitement and ideas before moving on realistically.
Where’s your favourite place to work from?
It depends what kind of work it is. If I need to write something I usually work from home, I need it to be quiet or I can’t think. I have this romantic idea of working in a cafe’, but reality is I wouldn’t be able to, as I’ve got a wandering mind and there’s too much going on around me. When working with others I don’t mind doing it over a glass of wine.
Describe a normal workday.
I’m very good at procrastinating so no days are the same. It also depends what mood I’m in, the weather and what’s going on around me. But I’d say a normal day starts with good intentions and a great deal of planning.
Describe an experience you had, that confirmed you, why you are doing what you do.
I’m working on a project with a friend and photographer and we visited a woman in her home and studio in Barcelona; I left hours later filled with energy, and could literally not stop talking about it for days.
She inspired me so much on a creative, visual and intellectual level and that confirmed how much I enjoy doing this. I also find it extremly inspiring and rewarding to read and share personal stories. You’d be surprised how many women want to talk about their experiences (both good and bad) if you actually ask them about it. It’s supporting them as well as the people reading it (that are maybe going through the same thing.)
Name one person who helped you get to where you are today.
Well, I did. I helped myself and I’m very proud of that. But also and even more so, the women that trusted me to share their stories. Every woman I’ve met along the way or that supported and helped me has a big role in this experience, and they’ve helped me shape and outline what ASBH is. My friend Kristen has supported me with a lot of knowledge and has definitely been an inspiration when it comes to fearlessness and believing in yourself. She’s always supported my ideas, considered my weaknesses as well as my strenghts, which only someone that really knows you can do. I love her for her honesty. My friend Andrea has helped me a lot with the graphic side of ASBH and my website. She’s been very supportive with her patience and she’s one of the most non judgmental people I know which makes her someone I trust very much. She was my first interview, and has been an important part of ASBH ever since. I also have to mention my ex-boyfriend Danny, he supported me from the very beginning, pushing me to believe in this and has endlessly been listening to all my ideas, reflections, thoughts and questions. I’ve met so many friends and inspiring women through this and they’ve helped me with events and projects, they’ve flewn to Barcelona from around Europe to support me, they’ve helped to put my ideas into words when my english wasn’t enough and inspired, enlightened and thought me so much about female friendships and womenhood.
What does feminism mean to you?
I didn’t realize how hard this question would be to answer in writing, and not in person. Also, where to start Feminism to me means social, political and economic equality of the sexes. I personally feel very strongly about the social aspect; how women are perceived, in general but especially sexually and emotionally. Politically and historically; female human rights and the oppression of women around the world. The freedom to decide over our own life and bodies, abortion laws and justice for rape, trafficking and domestic violence victims to mention a few.
Name one women who inspired you on your creative journey.
I have always been inspired by Frida Kahlo for obvious reasons, and Nina Simone and Joan Didion because of how they expresses themselves (both with words and their bodies). To name one woman is impossible, but I have to say that as much as I’m inspired by women from the past (a lot) I do love the brave women I have around me, that I can talk to, therefore relate to and be inspired by.
Which challenges have you met in your work?
I didn’t have a plan or a specific goal when I started ASBH, other than to talk to women and share their stories. I also don’t have any previous experience of work like this and as much as I’m really enjoying it, I do find it challenging sometimes. One of the bigger challenges is to not let myself get affected when a story I feel strongly about doesn’t get enough attention (i.e likes on Instagram, as that’s where I can see most of the feedback). I really respect these women and the fact that they share their life stories with me and everyone else that reads them, I feel like I owe them all the support and understanding. It’s problematic when only certain women and/or topics are represented, or get likes or followers on social media. Usually based on looks, trends, ’fame’ and/or followers. I have been suggested who and what to show on ASBH, in order to get more likes and followers, and to get certain people interested in participating. This doesn’t interest me at all, I’m interested in most people but not one or the other.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
There is a quote from one of my favourite poets Nayyirah Waheed, and it’s something I think would have calmed me as a young girl and woman; ‘Give in. To your uniqueness. The very thing you’ve been fighting not to be your whole life. Is the very thing that is your genius’.
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