Women tell Women

Should work define your identity?

— Nikola Vasakova

I lived in London during my 20s and part of 30s and during the pandemic I found myself journeying to New Zealand where I currently live with my husband and a son who was born during Covid. One of the biggest differences between living here and living in the UK is that no one asks you what you do immediately upon meeting you (??!!). I found it so liberating and it made me think just how much weight people working in the creative industries in the big cities put into their role and how that job defines them and how they are seen

Starting a conversation with asking about someone’s job is so deafeningly boring but it’s what we all did, including myself. And I always saw myself connected intrinsically to my work within the film industry, not just day to day but also through Girls in Film, a community for female, non-binary and trans filmmakers that I founded. However, the pandemic, geographical distance and ‘mum life’ made me kind of step outside of myself – or that former producer-day-and-night-self and examine how important it is to me. Becoming a mother is, in itself, a big shift in identity, coming to a new environment and having to again represent yourself to new people. I think it’s healthy to consider the choices that you make in life – choosing your occupation – as part of who you are. I believe it does say something about a person. But it is only a part of a big colourful mosaic. 

The question is – when no one at a party asks you what you do, how do you hold yourself, how do you choose to represent yourself and the stories you tell? That is a beautiful discovery. 

Nikola Vasakova –
Producer & Founder of Girls in Film

Nikola Vasakova is a freelance producer and founder of Girls in Film, a platform and network for a new generation of female, trans and non-binary creatives in the screen industry. She lives on a small island off the coast of New Zealand with her husband and son.