Anne-Flore Marxer is a top notch snowboarder of stunning virtuosity and who works to actively expand the role of women in action sports and greater society.
In her recent film A Land Shaped by Women, she follows the path of inspiring Icelandic women - a Polar explorer, a human rights lawyer, a fashion designer, two school girls and a poet - playing in the mountains, in the waves or under the northern lights - to introduce a feminine narrative to the outdoor practice and bringing gender equality to the front of the debate on and off the slopes.
I am a professional snowboarder, 2011 Freeride World Champion, 2016 and 2017 Vice World Champion. I have had the good fortune of traveling around the world to discover the most beautiful mountains. I love to go on adventures and practice the activities that make me feel alive. I like to carry out projects with a cause bigger than me. I am fascinated by people who save the world.
Tell us about your recent film.
A Land Shaped by Women is a film that I shot with Aline Bock in Iceland in order to empower women and bring a feminine narrative to the outdoor practice. It brings gender equality to the front of the debate. We wanted to bask in the positive vibes of the Icelandic women’s movement and embrace a new mindset towards a different kind of adventure! As our travels unfold - playing in the mountains, in the waves or under the spectacular northern lights - we introduce viewers to the iconic Icelandic women we meet along the way. Gender equality has a long history and a special status in Iceland. As professional snowboarders who’ve fought hard for gender parity in a male-dominated sport throughout our careers, Aline and I wanted to dig deeper into Icelandic women’s mindset while combining it with their love for the mountains and the waves.
Do you have any wellness rituals or routines?
I like sports when they’re related to pleasure. I like skiing in the mountains and on the water, the connection with nature and outdoors. I also like yoga and traveling. I like to eat healthy, organic and local products. I am also a vegetarian and I respect the nature that surrounds me, whether I’m in the mountains or at the beach. I use eco-friendly beauty products. One of the brands that supports me is Natura Brazil, and it is precisely for all their beautiful values -sustainability and innovation - that I chose their products. (editor’s note: Natura Brazil became the largest B Corp certified company in the world and the first publicly traded company to receive this certification in December 2014. It owns the Australian cosmetics manufacturer Aesop). For me the well being is related to all the aspects of my life.
What are your thoughts on feminism and empowerment?
After years of being an activist for women in a sexist environment, at the end of my 2017 winter freeride competition season, I felt the need to find inspiration and strength. I wanted to invest my energy in a positive project for women. So I called my friend Aline Bock and we spent the winter in Iceland. The idea was to meet some Icelandic women and making a film provided an opportunity to transmit the inspiration and empowerment they offered us. I wanted to put them in the spotlight; planting small seeds of empowerment in those who will see the film; giving beautiful examples of women who have accomplished beautiful things; inviting all women to believe in their dreams.
Tell us about some of the difficulties or obstacles you encounter in your industry as a women?
When I started practicing, women were not allowed to compete. Slope style snowboarding was considered too dangerous for women. I have campaigned for women's equality in my sport for as long as I can remember. Today, women can compete and in the freestyle category and we have obtained prize money equal to men’s. In the Freeride World Tour competitions though, where women and men snowboarders and skiers compete on the same venue, the same day, a woman snowboarder will earn 50% of the amount of what the 1st man skier will earn on the same competition. And there is a huge difference in the amount that sponsors bring to female athletes compared to what they invest on the men's side, translating as a gigantic inequality in regard to progress. The media play an extremely important role as well, namely when they advocate men's sports performance, overlook women's performances, or worse - sexualizing women. The latter is a real problem in women's sports, especially in surfing.
A mantra or motto?
’What we can see we can be.’ This is a quote by President Vigdis, the first woman president in the world, elected by universal suffrage in Iceland in 1980. This sentence incarnates what I tried to do through A Land Shaped by Women.
Iceland for its positive feminist culture as well as the mountains and waves! I was fascinated by the Icelandic state of mind where everyone participates in the changes and reforms that affect them. This approach is seen by all as a positive thing. I loved Iceland so much for the people and for the beauty of nature on the spot. I was also very impressed by the constant weather changes that remind us of the surrounding nature - the sound of the wind, the migratory birds, the snow, the storms and the sun that persists, bringing happiness and hope.
For everyone to participate in improving the society in which we live, by making positive changes that contribute to improving living conditions for all. If everyone could dedicate a little time to participate in social, environmental or just human projects I think we would live in a better world.
A book, podcast, movie, video that you recommend?
Check online to see where we will have the pleasure of projecting A Land Shaped by Women. I can not wait to hear what you think!
A woman we should feature on Inside/Out?
Valeria Kechichian, a phenomenal woman who overthrew the skateboarding industry by encouraging the practice of her female sport. Longboard Girls Crew created an international and local women's network in every city that came together to do longboard skateboarding. She produced amazing movies and does TED conferences on the subject of the sexualization of women in our sport. She is also very supportive of humanitarian projects, both on a personal level and by leveraging her sports-related networks to promote various causes