A talk with Sachli Gholamalizad

Sachli Gholamalizad is a Belgian actress and theatre-maker with Iranian roots. Influenced by her immigrant background, Sachli’s work knows a strong reference to our modern-day society and how it still lacks to be modern for many. On the stage she has been given, she strives to voice these topics critically and with a flair that touches us all—something we can only applaud and enormously admire her for. We asked Sachli some simple life questions that immediately inspired us to do and be better.

What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever received (and would like to give your younger self)?

Trust your gut, even if it differs from the mainstream or if you feel alone and misunderstood. Dare to stay open-minded and communicate what you believe. Eventually, this will attract the right people. 

Allow yourself to receive love; You deserve it!

What does a better future look like to you? 

If I'd dare to dream radically, I would like a world where you don't have to work, but may work, only from the desire to enrich each other and oneself internally. Ideally, I'd like less capitalism, more humanism; more respect for each other, for different lifestyles and people with different talents.

But also more respect for nature, a more simple existence where greediness and pure individualism make space for living together and enriching each other instead of running over each other. 

In general, a healthy planet where we don't exploit our richdom but respect it. A world where my daughter can raise her children without any guilt or poverty. Where people don't live in illegality, slavery or extorsion, and where politicians and world leaders dare to reform our society radically. Where they will try to save our world by working together, listening to everybody's needs, and breaking with systems that keep poverty and inequality alive. 

Where do you go to escape? 

I want to give an answer that lies closer to home, but living in a city makes my urge to escape even greater. Especially in Antwerp, where I feel there could be done so much more to create a safe & green living environment for many. 
This is why I regularly visit the Ardennes, mainly in the surroundings of Viroinval. I unwind when I'm in the wild. It also stills my hunger for 'elsewhere' and is an easy and close-by destination (compared to a plane trip).

Obviously there are other places that are special to me, like my parents' house near the Caspian Sea or in the mountains with friends just outside Mexico City. 

What are you looking forward to in the next few years? 

Living more in and with a connection to nature. Less hectic, and with more attention to those around me. I’d also like more stability towards my personal path as a maker, the right professional surroundings to support my work. 

But also to see my daughter grown in a balanced surrounding, to develop herself and to be given opportunities. 

What is a dream project or collaboration for you? 

To create movies, documentaries and theatre that have an impact, also outside Belgium and Flanders. I want to think borderless, both thematically and in the artistic form in which I shape my work. The circumstances post covid will undoubtedly be different in my industry, so I'm looking for new ways to express my work. 

I've always been aware that I carry stories with me that should reach different worlds, different audiences, who should question and scour, and that this doesn't always perfectly portray in a predominantly Flemish context. This might be my challenge for the coming years: To further develop my connections or make new connections that could help carry my work. 

In my personal work I like to create contact and conflict, to question myself and society. This is something I want to develop and make possible. 

What kind of bag person are you?

The one that carries everything with her all the time, the one that eliminates to the essentials,... 
I prefer a big bag, as I'm somebody that carries an iPad, diapers, groceries, a small makeup bag for auditions and a toothbrush for unexpected nights out with her at all times. I don't know what will happen in a day because everything can happen, but I like to be a little prepared for it ;)