5 inspiring women
On International Women’s Day, of course i won’t miss the opportunity to write about this topic. I have considered different directions, from the history of women, their development to feminist ideas. In the end, I decided on an intro of five inspiring women.
On March 8, the worldwide day for women’s rights and world peace is celebrated around the world.
Today I draw attention to 5 strong women who many people probably don’t even know. 5 different women who have managed to write history, who through their creativity encourage people to think and make a lasting difference. 5 women who will never be forgotten. 5 women who enrich me every day.
1. Joan Didion
»The Year of Magical Thinking« and »Blue Nights« are just two book examples that get under my skin. Joan Didion was born in Sacramento in 1934. As a journalist, she has spent many years accompanying election campaigns, exploring the hippie and women’s movements and writing for Vogue.
In the book »The Year of Magical Thinking«, she processes the death of her husband John Dunne, who suffered a heart attack in 2003 while she was standing in the kitchen preparing salad. She speaks of feelings of grief and pain, which drive her almost mad, she tells of breathlessness accompanied by letting go and acceptance. The writer John Dunne was her soul mate, they corrected their texts for each other. Even today, she finds herself trying to pass her text on to John to realize that he is no longer there.
With »Blue Nights«, Joan is dealing with another blow of fate. Only a short time after her husband’s death, her daughter Quintana dies after several hospital stays. She deals with another grief, the sadness of losing her own child. Mercilessly and honestly she faces her suffering, the desperate rage towards death and shares her thoughts with the people. Writer Joan Didion manages to process her feelings in this way and to draw attention to them at the same time. Feelings of interest to everyone are expressed, feelings that few people dare to express openly.
»Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.« -Joan Didon-
My film tip: The center will not hold
2. Vivian Maier
Photographer Vivian Maier only became famous after she died. A large number of film footage came to light after an involuntarily auctioned legacy. Vivian Maier herself acted more in the background, designing her life as a loner and as a nanny. She was born in 1926 in New York and died in Chicago in 2009. These two cities reflect in her photographs, street photographs and many self-portraits decorate galleries today. Vivian Maier didn’t value fame, she hid her film reels. A quiet hobby that conceals a great talent. If you haven’t seen the images of Vivian Maier so far, you should definitely do so. Courageously she took her snapshots, pulled the trigger without asking. This resulted in sad, but also very realistic photographs. Vivian recognized the important details that mattered.
»Well, I suppose nothing is meant to last forever. We have to make room for other people. It’s a wheel. You get on, you have to go to the end. And then somebody has the same opportunity to go to the end and so on.« – Vivian Maier –
My film tip: Finding Vivian Maier
3. Sophie Hunger
I am a big fan of the Swiss singer Sophie Hunger, who was born in 1983 in Bern and now lives in Berlin. Her songs are addressed to society, with powerful lyrics she conveys a maximum of emotions. I’ve been to a concert twice before and would go there again and again. Sophie Hunger leaves traces, a real artist who switches between instruments and different languages.
»Love is not the answer«, a song that I especially like listening to and remember every day, that love happens on its own and starts with self-love. The singer commented: »I don’t think love can be the answer, because you can’t really grasp it, can’t describe it, it’s something highly complex that can take on all kinds of forms. Love cannot be the answer to everything. Impossible. Love is probably the term most often used to lie. Because everybody pretends to know what it is. Like we’ve known what love is since birth. But that’s not true, love is as complex as hate, or… as the modern market economy. It takes time, even at the end of your life you don’t know much about it.«
My tip: Songs of secrets and city lights
4. Coco Chanel
Fashion influences, fashion moves, none of them moved me as much as Coco Chanel (born 1883 in Saumur, died 1972 in Paris). Her history is unique. Born and raised in rather tragic, poor circumstances, Coco fought her way through. First she was a singer at the Grand Café in Moulins, then she met the wealthy Parisian industrial son »Balsan«, became his courtesan and discovered her passion for fabrics. She dared, brave enough to take on the nobility. Coco attached great importance to functional clothing that feels good. She didn’t hold on to the overloaded fashion, the strangling corsages or the pointless adornments on clothes.
Tragically, she lost her great love »Boy« in a car accident, a part of her was lost with him, but she remembered her skills as a fashion designer and held fast to her plan. She founded an empire. With annual sales of more than six billion US dollars (2012), the company is now one of the largest and most important in the fashion industry.
»Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.« – Coco Chanel –
My film tip: Coco before Chanel
5. Virginia Woolf
There has always been a women’s rights movement. Virginia Woolf was the first one to play a decisive role in this development. The writer Virginia Woolf was born in 1882 in London and chose suicide in a river in 1941, a story that is too complex to be integrated here in a brief introduction. Virginia Woolf came from a wealthy family. However, her career as a writer began relatively late in life, and by the end of the 1920s she became a famous author. In the last years of her life she fell into a deep despair, a depression that she struggled against for a long time. This woman was one of the most important writers, critics and feminist thinkers of modernity. Virginia Woolf was and remains a strong but vulnerable woman who continues to inspire generations.
»As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.« Virginia Woolf –
My film tip: The Hours