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Carmen Ejogo

Actress and Activist


What has inspired you most this past year?

Tenacity of the human spirit. The ability of people to keep on keeping on, to organise and galvanise in the face of adversity, those qualities have been very much on display this past year. It’s inspiring and it’s powerful.

What are you most excited about for the future?

Everybody levelling up at the same time. It can happen!

What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing women today?

Obviously the challenges are going to be different depending on where you live in the world, but I suppose a collective challenge that women face is how to nurture female energy and consciousness in ourselves and in each other even when it’s often not supported, not validated by the culture. We get so many mixed messages in society about what a woman should and shouldn’t be, it can be immensely challenging to remain true to our instinctive selves.

Why is it important to support and champion women?

Men often have an inbuilt support system in which other men will go out on a limb for them to help them succeed. Women need the same. In some situations it’s literally the only way to break through the remaining glass ceilings that are above us.

Whose words and views inspire you?

Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Kate Bush, Virginia Woolf, Nina Simone

Is it important to celebrate cultures outside of our own?  why?

Yes, of course!! I’m all for cultural celebration, as opposed to appropriation, which requires authentic curiosity, respect and appreciation. There are few things are gratifying as listening to and learning from people outside of your own culture and broadening your worldview.

What do you love or remember most about Morocco?

Jemaa el-Fna. My first visit was nearly thirty years ago and I remember feeling like I’d entered a portal to a time and place I’ve only imagined or read about in history books. This is a square and market place steeped in rich history and sophisticated culture. You can see the past and the present in people’s faces. It also feels contemporary and like a vital part of modern life. Despite the surge in tourism in more recent years, it remains true to itself, retaining its vibrancy and unique character.

What has changed your shopping habits over the last year?

I’m trying to be more aware of my purchasing power. So I’m buying in a way that supports my local economy, smaller businesses, minority businesses, people who are trying to make a go of it post pandemic. I’m always looking for ways to hold the online giants more accountable for the way they do business and treat their workforce, such as supporting unionisation.

If we adopt one new rule about shopping better, what would it be?

Ask yourself “Do I really, really need this?” Answer honestly and go from there!

Do you have any mantras or quotes you live by?

Not really. I’m always open to new ideas but no particular mantras have stuck.

Who was your role model growing up?

All of the strong, hard working women in my family.

Who is your style icon now?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. True individuals who’ve actually styled themselves are harder and harder to come by these days! Let’s go with Tilda Swinton.

Which Mish Mish product have you got your eye on?

The Handira Cape.

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