vor 4 years

This decade could be the start of a new and dazzling adventure. Don’t we all have this feeling, that it’s time for a new age? Who will shape it? These women certainly have the talent to do so…

Sawsan Chebli

Sawsan Chebli, born in 1978 in Berlin, is likely the greatest hope in an SPD (Social Democratic Party) that chronically lacks young people. The daughter of Palestinian refugees was stateless until the age of 15; her father was held in deportation custody several times. “I know what poverty is,” says Chebli. She first learned German at school. In 2014, the then Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier appointed her as Deputy Spokeswoman of the Foreign Office. Since December 2016, Chebli has been working as the representative of the State of Berlin to the Federal Government in the role of State Secretary in the Berlin Senate Chancellery. 

Sawsan Chebli is a practicing Muslim. Even though she wears her hair uncovered, she opposes the “forced unveiling of women.” Society must rather help them to “realize their own potential.” After the attempted attack in Halle, she expressed solidarity with the Jewish community in Germany and called for a fight against anti-Semitism, the rise of the AfD, and worldwide radicalization on the Internet. Previously, she visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp with a school class of refugee youths.

With 61,000 followers, Chebli is one of the most prominent political voices on Twitter and a frequent target of hate posts and the shitstorms of right-wing trolls. By her own account, she is on the “death list” of right-wing extremist associations.

The SPD is still her political home, she said, because “like no other party, it stands for the fact that people can succeed in social advancement regardless of origin and gender.” The best example of this is Chebli herself. In the coming decade, her path could lead her to the highest state offices. 

Alyssa Carson

Alyssa Carson has trained to be the first person to fly to Mars since her childhood. For NASA, the now 19-year-old is a lucky break. But the operation currently planned for 2032 could be a suicide mission…

Alyssa, in an interview, you said that a species that populates only one planet will sooner or later become extinct. Why?

The sun will cool down, making our solar system virtually uninhabitable. The Mars mission could be an important step towards human-crewed space flight to alien solar systems, the beginning of an incredible adventure. The time is ripe to undertake the epochal journey to Mars. My generation has all the prerequisites for this.

Suppose you are sent to Mars. What will you do there?

I’d like to be one of their research specialists. My job would be to take soil samples, study the atmosphere, look for water, and test it for bacteria. That way it’s possible to determine if any life exists there.

Could Mars become a second Earth?

That’s precisely what the ultimate goal is: to do so-called terraforming on Mars. The plan involves thickening the atmosphere, planting trees, and – when the planet has heated up – allowing the water frozen under the surface to escape. In the long term, this could lead to the creation of lakes and rivers.

What if there is no return ticket from Mars?

That would be possible, of course. The companies planning missions to Mars have very different approaches. But NASA prefers to bring people home safely. One-way tickets to Mars will probably only be available once colonization of the planet begins. 

And when will it start?

There’s still some time left. NASA has announced that the first mission to Mars is planned for the 2030s. By then, the rockets will be powerful enough and astronaut training will be completed.

Cori “Coco” Gauff

Cori “Coco” Gauff might just be the savior of tennis. High praise indeed for a player ranked 51st in the women’s game, but then again, she was only fifteen years old when she summarily turfed five-time champion Venus Williams out of Wimbledon in straight sets, becoming an overnight sensation in the process. While ambition and individual sport go hand in hand, there aren’t so many fifteen-year-old girls anywhere in the world that genuinely believe that they are going to be the greatest person in the history of their field, let alone ones who might just achieve it. A wild card no more, Coco is pure box office – if you need proof of that, take a look around for other fifteen-year-olds that have managed to earn themselves a media mononym. In a game desperately trying to maintain some semblance of relevance in the internet era, Coco’s absolute authenticity, genuinely prodigious talent, and undeniable Gen-Z savvy have all the trappings of an icon in the making.

Dolly Alderton (Lilo)

While everybody else seems to be lamenting the state of the world, Dolly Alderton is tearing up the town, best friends in tow. Loved for how fiercely normal she can be, her memoir Everything I Know About Love shot to the top of the Sunday Times Bestseller List in 2018 and stayed in the Top 10 for two years running. The new Nora Ephron and an (occasionally) better Sex in the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, she has taken on the UK by storm with her stories of reckless abandon and female friendships. 

Dolly’s memoir is an extended love letter to her friends. It’s not all fun and games, however, and Dolly is similarly frank about the growing pains of growing up. While all her friends partner off and settle into domestic bliss, she chases her dream job again and again, slipping further into heavy drinking in pursuit of “the” story, ending with a 300-pound taxi ride across England. Underlined with the paranoia and dread in the silence of a party way past over, she brings to life this acute fear that many people have of never living up to their expectations, while never veering into the totally depressing. 

Dolly is also co-host to the UK’s top women’s podcast, “The High Low,” which regularly champions intersectional feminists and writers. She chaired the Women’s Prize for Fiction last year, was nominated for BSME columnist of the year, has a weekly column in The Sunday Times Style, is currently writing her first novel, and is probably planning a Jane Austen-esque shoot in the woods as we speak. Whether you love or hate her, Dolly is here to stay.

Sophie Xeon

Sophie Xeon, better known by her stage name SOPHIE, was a prominent figure behind the scenes in the music industry working as a producer for musicians including Charli XCX, Kim Petras and Madonna. That is, until she debuted a critically acclaimed album and created a new sound for the pop music sphere. PC-music affiliate SOPHIE, who is now Berlin-based, is guiding pop music in a new direction for the next decade. 

The 2018 Grammy-nominated Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides was a breakthrough debut album for the producer, which gave her audience and fans alike a deeper and closer understanding of the shy producer. Singles including “It’s Okay to Cry” and “Faceshopping” allowed depth and emotion in her songs while also challenging the conventions of pop and electronic music altogether. Currently working on new material and rumors of a Lady Gaga collaboration, we look forward to seeing the narrative of music shift again. 

Indya Adrianna Moore 

Indya Moore is a transsexual and gender nonconformist. This may seem contradictory, but Moore embodies the new, open spectrum between the sexes. Indya became known through Ryan Murphy’s Pose on the US channel FX. The series centers on the life of the queer ballroom community in Lower Manhattan in the late 1980s. Founded by black transsexual women and drag queens, the “balls” served as a safe space for the African and Latin community. 

Indya has managed to bring the theme from subculture to mainstream. She is actively engaged in making room in our society for women like her – and she’s doing it successfully. In Pose, Moore plays the role of Angel, a transsexual girl who desperately struggles to be taken seriously as a model in a hetero-normative society. In reality, she works for numerous advertising campaigns, such as that of the French label Louis Vuitton.

This article was taken from our print issue of Fräulein, Spring/Summer 2020

Photos Courtesy of:
Sawsan Chebli by Spiegl 
Alyssa Carson by Horizn Studios
Cori “Cocoo” Gauff from The New Yorker 
Dolly Alderton by Ramo Ramen
Sophie Xeon Courtesy of the Artist 
Indya Adrianna Moore by Getty Images

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