Interview of Aissa Sica by Freya Bennett
Hi Aissa, tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m Aïssa, I’m 26 years and I have been living in Berlin for 1 year and a few months. I grew up in France but I have always dreamed to live abroad. When I was young, I lived in Belgium and Germany and that made me want to live abroad. And also, I guess as I was raised in a conservative environment I was not able to connect with myself. It can sound cliché, but Berlin gave me this opportunity to learn more about myself, friendship, love relationship and to connect deeply with myself. I love writing, meeting people, understanding them so this why I’ve launched my project “Women of Color”.
Tell us a bit about ‘Women of Color’:
My blog “Women of Color”
tells stories about ethnic minority women. For each story, I outline different subjects. I aim to give a more diverse and positive depiction of women of color in media. My blog also aims to empower women of color and increase awareness and representation. Women of color are regularly confined to a few seen examples in the media. The difference between the traditional media and my blog is that I gave them the floor to tell their stories and I don’t speak for them.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is my mom because of her story. She was born in the countryside, in the ’60s in France and it was really not easy as a black person. Bullying and humiliating black people was something normalized. Then she met my father, married him and was a battered woman for 20 years. She had so much strength to raise me, to encourage me in my studies, to do the best as she can to not hand down the wrong path. She is today divorced, doing better and working on her career.
What do you hope women and girls get out of your project?
I hope that these women and girls will think that they can achieve their dreams, that their traumas, their ethnicity, their problems do not limit them. They can break the glass ceiling over them even if it could be harder for some. I hope also they will feel empowered and gain confidence through these stories.
What advice do you have for WOC wanting to achieve their goals?
I think the most important is to feel good about yourself by taking care of your mental health. Dealing with our own traumas and family traumas is something necessary to improve your mental health. Once you do that, you can have a routine for your mental health. Your mind gets stronger, your ideas clearer, you look more at the positive side and you start to make a plan on how to achieve your goals. Our mind is like a coach. It can lead us up as well as down. We have to train our mind so that he can transform us into the best version of ourselves.
Freya Bennett is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who has a passion for youth rights and mental health. To combat her own battle with anxiety and hypochondria, you can find Freya boxing, practicing yoga, taking sertraline and swimming in the ocean. She believes in opening up about her mental health struggles and shining a light on what is not spoken about. Freya welcomed her first daughter, Aurora into the world on the 21st of November, 2017 and spends her days building blocks, reading stories and completely exhausted. With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed teen media. The magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality and kindness. You can follow her on Instagram @thecinnamonsociety