Powerful Woman | #WhatIfMM | Kajsa Philippa Niehusen

We loved the tractor picture Kajsa Philippa Niehusen submitted to our Powerful Woman | #WhatIfMM call for entries, so we invited her to do a guest post and tell us about the story behind that image, as well as what she does in her life. What makes Kajsa a powerful woman? Read on to find out.

“This photo was a very spontaneous creation. Daniel [Knaack, who took the picture] and I were spending some time with his parents in Saxony-Anhalt, taking a walk along a big lake that was only recently formed through controlled flooding of a former surface mine. In the past few years, fancy restaurants and even apartments have been popping up along the lake’s shore, turning a former industrial site into a tourist spot. In front of one of the restaurants, we found this wonderful piece of machinery, and I hopped onto the tractor and started making those weird tractor sounds while Daniel took a snapshot with my phone – and there it was! At first I felt that the tractor sound imitations made my face look simply hilarious, but after getting the suggestion to contribute it to the Powerful Woman gallery, I figured you could also read some determination in it! It felt pretty good sitting on that tractor, and I immediately imagined myself actually riding it over a bumpy field in the midday sun somewhere in the Midwest [USA]. Gladly, Daniel captured that moment very well!

The past two years, I’ve been studying Cultural Journalism and working as a freelance journalist, but I felt unfulfilled with these studies and the direction my life was going, work-wise. I did not want to keep living in Berlin, struggling to find enough jobs each month to be able to pay my bills and never being able to work on a big, coherent project. This is why, right now, I am in the painful process of finishing up my Master’s thesis – and am then off, crazily enough, to more studying adventures in the field of Film and German-American relations. I will get some first experiences working as a teacher and will soon start writing on my first book – on German-American movie houses in New York City. I will move to a whole different continent for that because I feel that this is where I need to be to grow as a person and scholar. It is not always going go be easy, and might even turn out to be a tough endeavour at some points, but I am certain that it will all be worth it, and I can’t wait to tackle this adventure I set up for myself.

I have been drawing and painting ever since I could hold up a pen, but never dared to make it my profession. Now, with all the other work and studying to be done, I don’t get to create as much as I used to. However, my secret dream behind everything still is to one day work as an illustrator and live somewhere engulfed by nature, with forests and lakes or oceans or deserts in my backyard – anything that is not concrete. For the immediate future, I will at least get to pick up pottery again, which is the most intense and artistically striking activity I can think of: Creating something with your own hands, out of a piece of earth… When I make little sculptures, or even just a plate or a bowl, I feel like my hands are working away on their own, independent of my thoughts and seemingly uncontrolled by my brain.

You can look at some of my creations – illustrations, photography and pottery – on my Instagram: @itsaratsworld (Yep, my pet rats are on there, too!)”

Featured image: Kajsa Philippa, by Daniel Knaack.

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