For musician and influencer Shawny Sander, escaping the pressures of modern life is a vital part of her creative process. More than that, it has become her very raison d’être. It’s about refusing to be defined by societal norms and the boundaries we impose upon ourselves. And in doing so, accepting the world as an infinite space that gives you unlimited possibilities to dream and to explore. For Sander, the key to happiness is self-determination. And the means of achieving that is more often than not through motion.
“Driving is freedom to me,” Sander says. “I own a vintage car and love to drive it to clear my head. It is one of the few things where I can really relax. That's why I enjoy driving so much.”
From Berlin to the countryside
Sander used to live in Berlin, on the surface the perfect cultural melting pot for her multi-faceted career, but recently moved to the countryside to build a house with her partner. Here, with the space to think and the freedom to simply go for a drive, she has discovered a different way of living, enjoying the beauty and stillness of the countryside and the solitude that has proved surprisingly comforting.
Sander and her boyfriend are both fanatical about cars, with the latter running a workshop that specialises in classics. Having grown up around old cars with her mechanic step-father, Sander is not afraid to get her hands dirty either, and spends plenty of time working on her own vintage Volkswagen.
Fulfilling the dream of a Porsche
“I am currently driving an old Volkswagen Type 3 that has quite a few similarities to an old Porsche, as it also has a boxer engine in the back,” she says. “It's super-robust and I drive it everywhere. But someday I want to fulfil my Porsche dream and I’m currently saving for one. The goal is to build the car completely by myself so that I can learn a bit and be proud of myself in the end. I'm fascinated by what goes into such a car and in analysing all the little details.”
Although interesting as design objects in themselves, for Sander, cars are more importantly a means of escape, allowing her to feel unshackled from the demands of her work or the prescriptive models of modern life. To simply get out and drive is, for Sander, a form of release. “To go beyond is to pass an invisible threshold,” as the narrator explains in Sight Magazine’s new film featuring Sander and her fellow traveller Lisa-Marie Bosbach.
“To escape the confines of your current state. To push past where it is that you once were, unbound by time and space.” Sander drives for the simple sake of it, allowing the road to take her, getting lost in thought and reality, and in doing so, forever finding something new.
Directed by Robin Pailler
Photography: Marcell Boer