FRIEND OF SANDQVIST: ALICIA HANSEN

Alicia Hansen is one of those people the world could use more of. As a director, meme artist, filmmaker and writer, she manages to shed light on topics like feminism and mental illness using humor, popular culture and art.

In 2015, Alicia released the porn film Female Fantasy, currently exhibited at the Museum of Sex in New York. She’s a freelance writer for Bon Magazine and the feminist online magazine Feministiskt Perspektiv among others, and recently exhibited two films at Göteborgs Konsthall (center for contemporary art in Gothenburg) together with Sara Thisner Lindstedt. We met up with Alicia in her brand new office in Stockholm, and spoke about how and why she does what she does. Enjoy!
It’s always been important for me to feel my projects have meaning. I’m mainly driven by lust and curiosity, and don’t like repetition.

What’s important for you in your work?

The regular process is me and my working partner (Sara Thisner Lindstedt) getting an idea, and before the end of the project we've changed that idea about a million times, usually resulting in something very different from what we started out with. At Acne’s Christmas party for example, they wanted us to exhibit mine and Zara Kjellner’s porno, Female Fantasy. But I didn’t think it’d be interesting to show the film in that context (a room full of men in the advertising industry) so instead, we built a room criticizing the insecure working culture exciting at many creative and cultural establishments.

How did you end up doing what you do?

I’ve always been drawn to working with art and culture. It’s intellectually stimulating and a lot of fun. Why I specifically can work with these things, has a lot to do with the fact that I’m part of a privileged group of people who got the chance to make a living off of our own self-realization.

What’s the most fun do you think, and the most difficult parts of being a freelance artist/writer/director?

The best part of my work is that I get to study and investigate subjects that interest me. It’s rarely boring or flat, and I have a lot of say in my own projects. The most difficult part is putting up a very bipolar working situation. Sometimes I have a lot of work and then I have none at all. It can be stressful and cause a lot of worry, but I try to cope by taking care of myself and resting.

Do you see any advantages with being a woman in your industry?

I don’t see very many advantages with being a woman in my business. Statistically, I don’t think there are any, we make less money and have to work more. I’m however happy that there are so many other women, queers and non-binary people around me. I have never, for real, been employed by or gotten a job from a cis male. So the advantage, I guess, is that there’s a big group of people who help, support and employ each other. Without them, I would probably have chosen to work with something completely different.