The Heroine’s Journey of Jiska Hansen

What is the best thing that I love about my work? As a visual artist and medical anthropologist, I aim to investigate and reveal what is valuable in the lives of human and non-human beings. My fascination includes eco-ability, visual arts, design, what is considered “good” care, social space and human-nature relations. What I love about my work is that I can contribute to the wellbeing of living creatures through art and research. I also love that creating keeps me open minded and curious. There is always more to learn, to discover, and valuable relationships to build.

What is my idea of happiness? Happiness for me is feeling content with myself, with what I have, and with who I am with. It does not require great results or outgoing activities. I’m most happy in my home with my dog.

What is my greatest fear? My greatest fear is failure: not being able to live up to my own and other people’s expectations.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? The trait that I most deplore in myself is my striving towards perfection. I find it hard to be proud of my accomplishments. Whatever I do or create, it never feels (good) enough.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I admire people who manage to combine their artistic endeavors with their research skills, and who do so from an intrinsic motivation, aiming to make a difference in -their own, -our collective, and environmental lives.

What is my greatest extravagance? In all honesty, I am not familiar with the word “extravagance”. According to the dictionary “extravagance” could refer to something that you spend a lot of money on, especially more than you should. For me this is particularly true in relation to my dog. Namely, to finance her training and healthcare. Which is morally justified in my opinion.

On what occasion would I lie? I want to say I would not lie, but maybe that’s a lie. I don’t know on which occasions I would or would not lie. I do find it hard to say something that is not true. Yet, what is the truth?

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The thing that I dislike most in my work is simultaneously a quality of my work. Even though I don’t know exactly at the beginning how things will turn out, I do have a vision for my work. Yet what I imagine is never how it turns out. My work is always full of surprises. In the beginning I dislike those surprises, but I learn to embrace them in the process.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I was the happiest after directing a short film in Israel. There were so many experienced makers on the set who helped me. Their passion for something I am passionate about made me most happy. I was deeply touched by my friends’ work attitude, persistence, and love.

If I could, what would I change about myself? If I could change anything about myself, it would be my near inability to let go. It would be easier if I can let go of my worries and simply relax.

What is my greatest achievement in work? My greatest achievement is my courage and openness in my work. The process of doing something new and collaborating with others who are willing to contribute.

Where would I most like to live? In the past I have traveled and lived in different places around the world. I always thought I would want to live in another country someday. Yet now I am content in the Netherlands. I will probably stay here and try to find a home in a rural area with a garden.

What is my most treasured possession? Onyx, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, is the dog that I treasure most.

What is my most marked characteristic? My most marked characteristic is probably my compassion, childlike wonder, and detail-oriented nature.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My most inspirational locations are the polder (Middelpolder) and the forest (Amsterdamse Bos).

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? My favorite place to eat and drink in my city is Bagels&Beans and Le Pain Quotidien.

What books influenced my life and how? There are a couple of books that inspire me: Melmoth by Sarah Perry, Educated by Tara Westover, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. What I love about these books is that they display great courage and moral complexities. What is right and wrong is not as clear cut as it seems. What is right in one circumstance may not be right in another.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? There is a song in Dutch called “Ken je mij”, which can be translated as “do you know me?”. I absolutely love this song, especially in the version of Trijntje Oosterhuis and Yosina Rumajauw.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Ever since I was a little girl, my heroine is Pocahontas.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My heroes and heroines in real like are my supportive friends and family.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Definitely Avatar (2009).

What role play stories in my life and work? The art of creating and sharing stories plays an important role in my life and work as it allows me to make meaningful connections with my audience.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? These words mean to me that I have power over the direction of my life. If I’m a storyteller I can shape and change my story. Sometimes it feels like I am lived. Then I remember myself that I can use my agency to direct certain areas in my life. Maybe not all, but there is always something I can do. In acting I learn to trust my intuition.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I guess that is Onyx. She may or may not understand what I’m doing, but she is always here for me.

Which people or companies would I like to work with?
VPRO Dorst | 3LAB | Ongeschreven Regels | Teledoc | Zappdoc LAB | NPO-fonds IDFA

What project am I looking forward to work on? I’m working on a documentary on the first year of my dog’s life

Where can you see me or my work?

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion Never Retires means to me that it is possible to always be passionate about something. Although passions may change, the fire inside of you that steers those passions will not. I believe passion grows with the person carrying it.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?
Thekra Makalda | zeko_lotus
Chulinya Remmelzwaal | chulinyaremmelzwaal
Denise van der Zwaal | Dnisje
Floor van der Meulen | floorvdm

How can you contact me?

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