Anne-Sophie and her new life in Berlin
Anne Sophie has lived in Berlin for 1 year and a half. She is currently working in a startup. They pitch in with the application programmers by aiding them to monetize applications, through advertising, without users having to pay. Anne Sophie is in charge of the advertising campaigns by advising and guiding the application makers. For professional reasons, she left Paris since she had been looking for some time to work abroad. She did not regret her choice; she feels good in Berlin. That has not always been the case in France.
Identity and self-acceptance
She considers herself more French than Congolese by nature since she has lived most of her life in this country. Nevertheless, since she has been going back regularly in Congo, she feels closer to the Congolese culture. Indeed, it influences her vision about family values, respect for the elderly, giving priority to the family. Anne-Sophie would also like to go back to Congo to live and work in the digital. According to her, there will be a much more positive impact of integrating the digital in the day-to-day life in Congo than in Europe. This is having a perverse effect in all Western countries, as we have seen recently with the RGPD law which aims to protect users’ data.
However, she does not plan to go back to France. On the other hand, she does not see herself going back to live in France. She feels much freer, at ease in Berlin. She experiences many more new things, she does not have to worry about the look of others. That’s one reason why she doesn’t see herself going back to France. When she goes back to France, she is under the impression of standing out from the crowd, to feel out of place. The double culture often makes more difficult the self-acceptance, one feels torn between these two cultures. IT took time for her before accepting her natural hair, her shapes. The media had a lot of influence. What she didn’t think was assets, can be. By feeling more comfortable with herself, she has come to want to express herself more. She decided to take up improvisation.
An improvisation group only for women and feminism
She stumbled by chance in the improvisation group. Someone had published a message and was looking for some people to join the group. The opportunity came at a good time as she was trying socializing. By improvising, she can free her mind. They can say whatever they want. A group which is only for women. They consider themselves as feminist. There is, nevertheless, work to be done to improve women’s condition and rights. Nowadays, a woman with the same skills as a man will earn less since she could start a family. It is a baseless reasoning for Anne-Sophie because a woman did not choose to give life. A woman should not suffer the consequences, on the pretext that she may be absent for a certain time.
“It even fits into the concept of femininity and masculinity,” she says. Masculinity is based on characteristics associated with a person who defines himself as a man. Pretty often, one conflates masculinity and manhood. Man must be dominant, take action, be brave, have many lovers, these few characters that we find among so many others. Fragility, gentleness, sensitivity, are these few characteristics associated to feminity. With these concepts, power relationships occur. It is a power relationship at the advantage of men cause it is willing to control women’s bodies, to dictate their behavior. However, some women have a rather more traditional to see feminism. Lou Doillon strongly had Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj. They consider themselves feminist but expose their nudity, which for her is a paradox. Society oversexualizes the black’s woman body but at the same time requires that these women feel ashamed by their shapes. There is not just one definition of feminism.
Painting, creating, technology: Anne-Sophie’s Hobbies
Since 2016, she has been painting. This hobby began during a study stay in the United-States. What she likes to draw is women, putting them forward. She is interested in art, especially in African art. She thinks that African art is generally not enough highlighted. An exposition made particularly a big lasting on her „Beauté Congo”, honoring Congolese art. It took place at the Fondation Cartier from the 10th of July 2015 until the 10th of January 2016. The creation also resonates with her. She creates accessories in wax fabrics, such as bandanas, small handbags. Living alone for some time, she realizes that expenses are mounting up, that one tends to give in quickly to the purchase whereas recycling could offer a more viable and economical solution. For instance, she used tins to make pen box storages, old t-shirts to make bags for fruits and vegetables.
Working in Tech, she is passionate about it, especially, behavioral empowerment, who helps to create algorithms. Unfortunately, GAFA have the monopoly and copy each other, which somehow hinders startups trying to stand out as well as creativity and innovation, according to her. Anne-Sophie also believes that GAFA are misusing, by monetizing user data and making themselves essential. It is hard these days not to have Facebook if you want to have a social life. These companies embody the excesses that technology can create by making us idle and dependent. It is up to us to reverse this trend.
A., founder of People Racializadas, sharing various people of color experiences and news. You can follow me on Instagram.