136: Hannah Bailey/A Room Of Our Own

Hannah Bailey, October 2020. Photo: Owen Tozer

What does ‘influence’ mean today? Somebody on Instagram with thousands of followers? A professional athlete using their platform to promote their own beliefs and interests, however erroneous? Or does it refer to somebody who, by their consistent actions, has quietly helped to create new opportunities for their community?

At the moment, the latter is probably the least fashionable. But for my money, it is the truest definition of all.

Take this week’s guest Hannah Bailey, who over the last decade has created a brilliant career for herself. Like many people in the industry, she has learned to wear many hats over the years; photographer, writer and communications specialist among them. But what really sets Hannah apart is the substance and creativity that are the hallmark of her work, and the purposeful way she has used her growing – yes – influence to create new spaces for her peers and contemporaries.

Hannah and I have been friends for years, and I’ve always been a huge admirer of the way her work has helped bring about a sea change in the way that women’s skateboarding and women in action sports generally are perceived. What I didn’t realise until this conversation was how intentional the whole thing has been, and the scope of her ambitions when it comes to representing the cultures she loves in the truest way possible.

Photo: Tozer

And I think that’s the value of these ‘lifer’ episodes of the podcast, and of this conversation with Hannah in particular. Hannah’s story shows that by following your own vision of the inclusivity of action sports, you can eschew the usual career paths, make your own way, and help change the status quo while you’re at it.

The lesson?’ Influencer’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word. You just have to look beyond the surface, and find the people doing the work to make a better environment for everybody.

Connect with Hannah



Show Notes

  • The world has completely changed
  • “Where do I fit in?” Opening doors into the industry
  • Overcoming Imposter Syndrome to find a place in the industry
  • Finding accessible routes into the sports
  • The Snaggle Rats, and the importance of telling the small stories
  • The whiteness of the traditional action sports narrative
  • A spark from snowboarding
  • Overcoming the classic gender stereotypes
  • The 90’s: Under representing women in sports
  • Subverting the cultural norm through photography
  • Shoot and Skate Malmö
  • 14 and finding the stereotypes
  • Showing the younger generation, particularly girls, that photography in sports is a viable career
  • Take it seriously in order to be taken seriously
  • Surrounded by the good – at home in the skate and snowboarding industries
  • The strength of the community through lockdown
  • Lockdown lists and working with Helena Long
  • “Finding what creativity meant to me”
  • The Artists Way – Julia Cameron
  • It doesn’t exist until you put it out there
  • Having a job ‘topic’ not a job ‘role’
  • The importance of note books
  • Why decisions equal forward momentum
  • The Skateistan story – Cambodia
  • How skateboarding brings together small communities
  • Finding purpose in work
  • A home behind the camera
  • Susan Sontag – On Photography
  • The relationship between visuals and viewers
  • Giving voices to real people
  • Tin and Yuri
  • Using the Olympic platform to diversify the image of skateboarding
  • Where can I best use my platform and energy?
  • Giving time to the younger generation, increasing their access into the industry and benefiting others
  • There is no ‘I’ only ‘We’
  • Settling into a season in Aviemore
  • What are humans going to need in the future?
  • Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari

People Mentioned

Places Mentioned

  • London
  • Edinburgh
  • Scotland
  • Malmö, Sweden
  • Cambodia
  • Phnom Penh
  • Afghanistan
  • South Africa
  • Berlin
  • Aviemore

Brands/Companies Mentioned