Amalie Have AKA Scandinaviandreamgurl

Amalie Have is an activist and a leader, fighting to make our world safer for girls and women by putting an end to rape culture. In her project, The Green Dress, she kept wearing the dress she wore the night she was raped. The project was to create awareness around victim blaming and went viral. Through her Instagram, with almost 70,000 followers, she educates people on patriarchy, misogyny and the dangers of slut-shaming and victim-blaming. Amalie is also a public speaker and has hosted workshops about these topics.

She has been recognized widely and been featured by publications such as Vice, Girls Are Awesome, Upworthy and more. She is currently halfway through her studies at the Kaospilot and will be moving to London for her next project, where she will be collaborating with other activists.

I was lucky to get to know Amalie when I started at the Kaospilot and together we have created a zine, combining our strengths in celebrating her work as a feminist activist.

When did you realise that you could make a change in this world?

“Great question, we often get super skeptical, when we talk about individuals having the power to make a change in this world – like we don’t believe in our own reach, authenticity, abilities and skills – leadership actually! That’s bullshit. Each of us have never-ending potential to create change and to impact our communities. I realised very early on in life, the importance of taking action and speaking up when something is conflicting with your values.“

“I realised very early on in life, the importance of taking action and speaking up when something is conflicting with your values.“

“I actually believe that we can’t help but make changes in this world: We do that simply by interacting and doing. But it only becomes powerful when we do a set of actions with specific intentions behind, continuously and simultaneously – and that’s what I call activism.“

What do you find to be most challenging in your work as an activist?

“Not being able to secure the bag and making my activism sustainable. I am a one woman show. I am taking care of all aspects of my activism: Social media, press work, communication, strategy, business relations, booking, content creating, project management (all from initiating, finding collaborators, funding, executing, promo work), like everything.”

“I am learning a lot and it is super time consuming and it can be hard to navigate in. I am learning as I go. So far I have learned, that having the confidence of a mediocre white cis dude manspreading in public transportation is crucial for people wanting to publish your shit.“

“I’ve learned that networking is key and how far good and warm connections can get you. I have learned, that solidarity amongst young females in the creative fields is something we should nurture and it pays off for everybody involved. And I have learned the absurd amount of people who want your voice, words, work, craft, story, presence and name but never have budget to pay your salary and actually expect that you do everything for free. That’s very draining and a constant battle. I need to get paid for the work I do.”

“I have learned, that solidarity amongst young females in the creative fields is something we should nurture and it pays off for everybody involved.”

“Unlike many instagram accounts with my amount of following, I have never earned a dime on my instagram because I have refused to do product placement and sponsored shit. This is cool, because everything is honest and real and I am never obligated to post anything – in that sense my Instagram has always been organic. But I need to capitalize both my platform and the work I do in some way, because I can’t pay rent with my following and girls I have inspired. Of course I should get paid, I am doing amazing work. It’s a no brainer. That’s why I am in search of an agent. I need to make my activism sustainable and that’s the next step.”

“It amazes me every single time, I meet the opinion or the assumption of, that social activism should be done for free –  that it somehow makes it more pure, real, honest, noble if you don’t get paid. But you know what it makes it? It makes it less of quality, because we need to flip burgers on the side to pay the bills.

What are your personal practices?

“Working out, getting enough sleep, supporting other women, calling out problematic behaviour, eating ridiculous amount of fries, liking my friends posts and being kind to myself. I am working within my own trauma & with the rape stories I receive daily it is sometimes all about surviving.”

How do you manage workload, being both a student at the Kaospilot and an activist?

“I don’t always. I am prioritizing all the time, sometimes feeling I do neither to the fullest.

At an exam last year, my censor said: “I don’t know if you are a great Kaospilot, but you are a marvelous activist. Why are you still in this school? You already got it”. That stuck with me – and I seriously considered leaving the school to do activism full time.”

“Failing is so romanticized at our school. We get trained in testing stuff out and failing – this is almost our definition of learning. I felt, that because I was not failing, I was somehow failing at being a Kaospilot! That because I wasn’t failing on the school’s terms, meant that I didn’t challenge myself enough and that I was cockblocking myself from growing.”

“Now I know that’s bullshit and not the case at all. I have challenged myself in ways I couldn’t imagine I would be capable of had you told me one and a half years ago. I simply wouldn’t have pushed myself, done the projects I have done and developed the confidence I have, without the school’s frames at my service. For me it’s not the lectures in themselves or the organizational work, it’s the frames that the school provides.”

What is the difference between being an activist online and being an activist in real life?

“There’s no difference. You are an activist no matter whether you spend most time doing activism through your phone or down on the streets. Both ways allow different target groups to be exposed.”

“I have survivors writing me, that the reason why they are still alive, is because they have found me and my work. No prize, publication or acknowledgement can even begin to compare to that.”

“For many activists, social media plays a crucial part in the community building, because you are not limited by geography. For many social activists, social media is used as an extension of the activism you do “in real life” and allows us to collect data of our followers experiences, giving us a nuanced outlook on a certain social issue, and allows us internally to collaborate transnational. For me, Instagram is the perfect tool, because my target group is Generation Z and that’s where they are spending time – that’s always why you won’t see me on DR2 trying to convince a 54 year old man that feminism is the shit, because his world view is already fixed, I can’t change his view on casual sexism – that train has passed. I am spending  my energy on engaging with the youth, because they hold the power of actually changing the future, because they are the future. Some problems will die out naturally, why spend energy on them?“

“But to return to activism online: Just because you are having great success online as an activist, doesn’t make you a cyber activist solely. The projects I do are very real; wearing the dress I was wearing the night I was sexually assaulted, the documentary series “Face Of Survivor” showcasing rape culture, the zine the two of us did, when I hosts workshops about boundaries and bodily autonomy for the youth, when I participate in panels, when I do public speaking. My Instagram is my main platform and works as my portfolio: every move I take, goes on there. My website is more for the finished products.”

What has been your biggest accomplishment since you started your work as an activist?

“I have survivors writing me, that the reason why they are still alive, is because they have found me and my work. No prize, publication or acknowledgement can even begin to compare to that.”

What does being a leader mean to you?

“Not being interested in creating followers, but new leaders.“

To support our work, you can purchase the zine here.

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