Talking acceptance and equity with Sofia Viegas
Sofia is a 28 year old film and documentary maker, actor and writer. She is a lover of all things adventure, vulnerability, creativity, and community.
She is deeply driven by storytelling that leans into the more complex and often stigmatised experiences of the human condition. With a background in humanitarianism and community development and a Bachelor of International Studies, she’s worked across various not-for-profit organisations.
Right now Sofia has found her place in the creative industry, you’ll find her writing music, ocean swimming or “shit talking with her sisters” in her spare time . She brings a wealth of insightful thoughts on women and Embracing Equity, “I have tried to build my life upwards from a framework that places acceptance, equity, and open mindedness at its core” she tells us.
WE ASKED HER:
How do you embrace equity?
I’m very lucky to have been raised by a mum who always pioneered a deeper understanding of minority experiences, and those without access to the opportunities afforded to the mainstream. At a base level, I try to weave this notion into the interactions I share with others daily, in creating a space of acceptance and openness, that allows for a person to feel safe in honouring their fullest expression of self. I think sometimes it’s as simple as truly letting someone feel seen, as they are. That to me sits at the root of equity, because it comes down to understanding the inherent worth of a human, irrespective of their circumstance.
Having a background working with an array of marginalised and minority groups, especially with refugee advocacy work, has also helped to share both my understanding of, and commitment to the expansion and evolution of a more accepting and diverse society. In my craft, that manifests a lot in my documentary making - focusing on the celebration and honouring of stories and lived experiences that so often remain relegated to the peripheries of society. I don’t always get it right, and I’m still very much learning how to be of best service to this space. But sometimes that comes with saying less, and listening more.
Who is a woman you look up to?
There are countless women I admire deeply - Esther Perell, Shukufa Tahiri, all time icon and slay queen Julia Gillard, Missy Higgins, and most definitely my therapist. But my deepest appreciation is afforded of course to the woman who birthed, raised, and continues to unconditionally support and adore me - Mumma Tracey, perhaps the most resilient and giving woman gifted into my life. Her selflessness and dedication to raising five children on her own, and the sacrifice attached to that pursuit, is rather remarkable. She is incredibly intelligent and embodied in who she is, her values, and how she sees the world. She’s always fought for the underdog, and taught me what it is to be of service to our collective humanity by giving time, space, and voice to the minority experience.
What changes do you want to see in the future, for women?
For women to feel safe in wholeheartedly, and unapologetically honouring their fullest expression of self. Time and time again, in my own life, and in the experiences and interactions I have around me, I am reminded of the systematic shrinking of women - physically, intellectually, sexually, emotionally, and spiritually.We are making waves, and have been for hundreds of years across history. And in those instances, they were birthed from an individual or collective being brave enough to take up space.
I hope that we continue to fiercely pioneer this reclamation. Especially with regard to access to education for all women, which I fundamentally believe holds the greatest potency and power in changing the tide. I hope to see a future where women are able to walk home without keys in their hands to fend for their own safety. Or without being spoken over in a group conversation. Or without physically trying to mould their bodies into a warped societal ideal. Or without having to justify a decision they make.
And more women in fucking politics and positions of power. Let’s make that happen! Empirically and historically, that’s proven to be pretty bloody successful at creating more harmonious societal collectives. About bloody time we saw some growth of matriarchal greatness.
Who is a woman is business you want to tell us about?
The precious work of Richa Ekka. Richa is a breath-work teacher, mentor, personal coach, and raging champion of all things womanhood. I had the pleasure of meeting her years ago through a mentorship program offered at my work in the thick of Covid. Richa personifies all that it is to be a woman in my eyes. The softness she brings to her work in supporting other women to lean into the corners of themselves that have for so long gone unseen is something remarkable. She is a spiritual soul who has walked alongside me through many adversities, and helped me understand the power in our fragility, and the raging strength in our own deep feminine selves.
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Take a look at Sofia's work on The Elephant Room Doco Series
Visit Sofias Instagram account to get to know her more