Amanda Eliasch - Women in Creativity

As part of Liberatum's Women in Creativity Series, here is an interview with photographer and poet, Amanda Eliasch. 

Who do you want to meet most in the world and why?


There is not one single person I want to meet above anybody else, I do not give importance to one individual, people have always a ying and yang, and I might not match with their yang. I generally love to meet everybody rich, poor, infamous, famous, totally unknown. I get stimulated in the most unlikely places, there is always something to learn. To say I want to meet one person especially would mean take too much energy. I also have one piece of luck, I put a name into my head and the very next day I usually meet them.


What are you terribly afraid of?

I am not afraid, I am actually brave. However I am not necessarily good with the idea of large dogs coming at me, or those tiny ones that bite ankles. I am not crazy about heights but know how to ski. I do not like to get fat and I do not like people to see me without my make up and sunglasses. It is my burka.


Who inspired you the most as a little girl growing up in England?


My Grandfather without a doubt was the most inspirational man. He taught me so much, from editing film to music, art to writing, especially Shakespeare. He was the Film Director, Producer, Writer, Sidney Gilliat. He liked excellence, so it could be intimidating. He taught and encouraged me saying all the time “No use being just pretty you had better be interesting”

What is your relationship with sex?

I love sex, I like secret sex, passionate sex, meaningful sex. I am not into casual sex, I do not want to go into the bushes. I tend to like sex with people who I do not see during the day. I do not want to discuss window cleaning and who is driving the car with the man I make love to. It is hugely important for my mental welfare, but I separate and always have done, I like sex not to be contaminated with the mundane.

Do you sleep a lot, if not, is it that important?

Sleep is important for those around me, if I do not sleep, my mood changes, I need four hours of good sleep a day. I do like my bed, I work from it, eat in it, dream in, and entertain in it.
What is your most memorable and creative moment?
My most memorable and creative moment is usually my latest idea, I forget quickly, A friend of mine says that the thing he likes most about me is “I have moments of genius” that might be too much I am not a rocket scientist, but I do enjoy thinking up new scenarios. I loved making my film 'The gun, the cake and the butterfly' and I enjoyed making a book once for Italian Vogue on British artists at work, that probably opened my eyes the most, in so many ways. To watch other artists create is a wonderful experience.

What are your views on feminism today?

It is such a mixed bag. My opinion is women’s freedom in Saudi Arabia is shocking, Sharia Law medieval, yet they are Head of Human Rights at the UN?. There is so much work to be done to free women mostly from themselves from tradition. Let’s start with two areas that need dealing with immediately. The burka and nahib have to go, and no more cutting of the clitoris. It is barbaric. On the other side of the coin, women have been leaders, nurses and achieved huge and wonderful things in the world. It is just the ego that is evil. I am lucky I was born in England. I have had freedom all my life and encouragement from family to be who I wanted to be, but even then I was put behind my brother who was given an education at one of the best schools in England and I was given an average education at a girl’s boarding school. It was not considered necessary to give me anything more that a basic education. I have had to educate myself even though my Mother was a feminist burning her bra. I wanted work and get a job. I had another path. I have freedom, no man tells me what to do, but my sons. I like to listen to them bossing me around.
Is it still harder as a woman to succeed and make same waves as a male counterpart in the creative industries, especially equal opportunities and pay?
There is not equal opportunity or pay in any case I think you make your own luck and life. However, why should a woman who is cleaning a hotel room and a man doing the same job, be paid the same amount of money. There is no equality as shown by the Oscars recently. I would love to win an Oscar, but the industry makes it an up hill battle for women to succeed, plus we could be having a child when men are building their careers, so women generally can be a little behind as they are multi tasking all the time. Doing the school run combined with a meeting with the Prime Minister is achievable but the child might be put on the back burner. Which is the most important? Of course, the child. So what is remembered? Is this of any consequence? No. We are all forgotten fifteen minutes after we have been laid to rest. Getting back to the question, where there are no equal opportunities, make your own luck. Incidentally, the film world in the UK, is run by women.

Why are we still so obsessed with exposing women’s body for advertising and promoting any kind of products and even music including music videos in the media?

This sort of obsession is obvious. The female body is beautiful, the only body shown is beautiful, it is appealing, it is sexy, it is enticing,. It seduces you into thinking the product is a must have. A rich man must have a woman with a perfect body, face and intelligence comes last. Men often like thick women who are grateful. Careful though everything beautiful has another side, it could be a black widow spider. I personally don’t mind advertising. The girl is being paid, it is a fun way to spend the day over a car, having your make up done, being treated like a goddess. Rather that, than being stoned in the Middle East for some made up misdemeanour.

Where do you see women’s rights in 30 years time in the world?

It has take 2000 years to only get this far, if the human race makes it in another thirty years we had better all stop having so many children, get educated, stop consuming and start planting better seeds because these are our future. Thirty years from now I will be knocking up the daisies, I cannot see a great future for men or women. I see us being locked into one economy, impoverished and consumed if we are not careful. War makes work, and feeds 6.5 billion people on the planet. Only about 0.5 percent of the planet earn enough to keep us. Terrible statistics. So not rosy. We should start planting the future now. It could be different. So different if each one of us did not just think about ourselves but humanity and nature in tune with each other. Our population is far too big for the planet and what we think is so important is just sand in the universe.