Siv is a writer for screen and television and an entrepreneur. She is from Tromsø, the same city as I grew up in, in the North of Norway. We have both been afflicted with that typical North Norwegian directness. That no bullshit approach to people, situations and life in general. Pernian is a visual anthropologists and the Managing Director at OSLO16 Film Center. Her demeanour is softer, yet no less powerful. Siv is Pernian´s mentor. And how beautiful to observe the bond and dynamic between them. Mentorship is unfortunately not as common in Norway as in other countries. So it is an inspiration to me to see how rewarding this relationship seems to be for both parties.
Let´s learn more about these two strong, powerful women!
Name: Siv Svendsen & Pernian Shafiei
Age: 55 and 33
Self proclaimed title:
Siv: Writer and entrepreneur
Pernian: Visual anthropologist and Manager at OSLO16 Film Center
How many hours a week do you work?
Siv: As a writer I work "inside my head" 24/7.
Pernian: Approximately 50 hours a week.
How do you relax? What´s your instant relaxation trick?
Siv: A walk in the woods or yin yoga works really well for me.
Pernian: My instant relaxation trick is to listen to music and start walking. No matter how stressed I am, I still get in a good mood with some great music in my ears, fresh air and a walk.
How much sleep do you get (per night on average)?
Siv: About 7 hrs. I have some problems sleeping, so I listen to a lot of great books instead of laying around worrying about stuff I can´t do anything about in the middle of the night.
Pernian: I love sleeping and I sleep as much as I can. If I have a lot of deadlines I don’t always get as much sleep as I want to during the night, but thankfully, I’m a good sleeper. I can fall asleep just about anywhere and any time.
What´s your favourite time in the day and why.
Siv: Love the early mornings when life starts to stir again after rest.
Pernian: I would like to say early mornings before everyone is awake or late at night when everyone else asleep, however those times can make me feel a bit lonely. So my favorite time is around noon when everyone is full of energy and I can hear the noise of the city.
What decisions have you made as an adult that has positively changed your life?
Siv: To have the courage to start writing again and to do that full time.
Pernian: As an adult I have decided to have as much fun as possible and stop planning everything.
How do you manage your life/work balance?
Siv: Right now I have the freedom to work when I like and plan my days as I please. It´s such a huge luxury and blessing which I give thanks for every day.
Pernian: I am still working on that.
What is your best recent purchase or investment?
Siv: A new I-phone. I am an Apple junkie.
Pernian: A renewal of my membership at Bikram yoga 🙏
What do you strongly believe?
Siv: That life is full of magic and that we are taken care of.
Pernian: I strongly believe in kindness, and actions over words.
Who inspires you and why?
Siv: People who go into uncomfortable situation in order to try to understand them, change them and make a difference. I´m very impressed by Deeyah Khan and the amazing courage she has telling important stories in her filmmaking, and what she does in order to build bridges and create understanding between polarised groups. She´s truly a great woman – just watch her TED talk and see for yourself.
Pernian: My mother! She is the most hardworking person I know, and she has a great sense of humor. She’s also really brave.
What´s your favorite failure (perhaps something that seemed like a failure at the time by actually lead to positive changes)?
Siv: That I gave up my career as an aspiring actress in New York in order to have my son Henrik and move back home to Norway to ensure a good life for him and our little family. It was such a tough time for me, leaving everything I had worked so incredibly hard for in the US, but now I´m so grateful for making that move, and I know it was the biggest blessing and gift I could have received.
Pernian: Being bad at saying no. However, being a “yes person” has given me many exciting opportunities that I never would have been without.
Something you can´t live without.
Siv: My beautiful and amazing boys and human beings, Henrik and Mathias.
Pernian: Iranian movies, coffee and my bike.
What is your favorite room in the house and why.
Siv: I´m so lucky that I just got to move in to a beautiful new apartment where I really love our living room which has a nice view of lots of big trees. the ocean and the sky.
Pernian: The kitchen. I love cooking food and experimenting with making Safran face masks using recipes I learned from my Persian grandmother.