Amillin Hussain

“Hi! I’m Amillin. I’m currently doing my PhD at the Department of Geography and the Environment in Oxford, working on smart and sustainable technologies in high-rise housing. I used to work as a sustainability consultant, and really enjoyed it. I write poetry in my free time and take lots of walks. I’ve been with The Codette Project since its inception, and currently write the newsletter.”

#CandidWithCodette

What fascinates you most about Geography? 
Geography is fascinating to me because it’s really broad. In the department where I’m at, there are people studying flooding, sand, women’s health, and abandoned rail tracks. There are many kinds of conversations you can have that fall within the realm of Geography, and I feel like there’s a place for every interest and approach. Geography constantly accommodates creativity, and that makes it a really special discipline. Geography also has all the maps! 

What do you miss most about Singapore when you are in Oxford? 
Sweating, local TV and kopi C.

Which fictional character do you relate most to and how? 
Stitch from Lilo & Stitch, because I relate to both the existential and everyday confusion of an alien on earth

A British catchphrase that you often tend to use: 
None, I probably speak more Singlish now than before. 

What is your favourite holiday?
Anywhere with a coast.

If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be?
I’d probably pick a male athlete, someone who plays basketball. Dennis Rodman decades ago, or Giannis Antetokounmpo now. 

What’s the last song you played on your phone? 
A second ago, The Byrds’ Lay Lady Lay.

What 3 qualities in a person are most overrated? 
Beauty, genius and punctuality.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned from the woman who raised you? 
To wear good shoes.

Which book or film has shaped your idea of women and femininity? 
Mermaids (1990). I watched the movie when I was a teenager, and I really related to the struggles of each character, despite them representing 3 different stages of life: childhood, youth and motherhood.

The movie challenged my assumptions that femininity was static and that there was one way to look and be like a woman. Each of the characters in the movie challenged normative standards of judging women as “good” and made real to me the saying: “No saints, no whores, just women”. This formative realisation has stuck with me to this day.

Unpopular opinion: who is a feminist icon you think deserves more recognition?
Megan Fox, for her important work in films like Jennifer’s Body and her consistent disinterest in fulfilling public’s expectations. 

A book every young girl should read: 
I’d recommend Slaughterhouse Five to every girl 13 and older, and Little Women to those younger.