militza. 35. leo. mom.
elis. 30. capricorn. dad.
korine. 1. capricorn. kid.

How did you meet?

Militza I knew Elis from various poetry readings and was completely hooked. I started hanging out with some people who hung out in his circles, so our circles merged. We were kind of friends first, but I had done some scouting. Elis had just come out of a long-term relationship and all of a sudden the timing was right.

When did you move here?

Elis Three years ago, after our honeymoon in Japan.
Militza We were there celebrating New Year’s Eve together.

What does ‘home’ mean to you?

Elis Security, convenience.
Militza As an artist the home often becomes one’s workplace. I can do everything here at home.

How are you affected by space?

Militza I have no problem living small, I have only lived small my entire adult life. Now that we’ve been at home all the time, I’ve started to notice it more. But I like to be close. Even if Elis is sitting and working on something, we’re still together.

What colours are you drawn to?

Militza I’m often drawn to pink, but not for decor. At home it should be bright.

Do you have any rituals?

Militza Yeah.
Elis Are you referring to my obsessive exercise routine? I do the same thing every day, it’s a ritual.

Rituals are repetitive, but they can also be meditative.

Elis Militza always works with the TV on, but on mute.
Militza But the silence makes me stressed.
Elis While I need the silence.

What’s your taste in music? It can be so divisive.

Elis We’ve got quite an eclectic taste and like the same references.
Militza When we met and chatted for the first time, Elis sent me a song he thought was good, a ballad by Pink. I thought it was so nice that he was so anxious about it. Then he sent a song by Miley Cyrus.
Elis We find common ground in so-called low-brow pop culture. But we run in to issues, like when she listens to HIM, for example.

my younger siblings
think that i smell like o’boy.

What is your relationship to scent?

Militza I think it’s so nice how people can sit and discuss scent, but I have no interest. My younger siblings think that I smell like O’boy [chocolate drink powder].

What are the defining characteristics of stockholm?

Militza It’s small and you can walk everywhere. It’s easy.

What are your favourite spots?

Elis Rönnells Antikvariat is fantastic for the literature scene. They have a stage for performances, which was closed due to Corona, of course. I’ve had many releases and events there. Otherwise, I like to hang out at different dive bars. Index and Issues are two galleries that are well-curated and interesting.
Militza I like places that have soul, like Tyresta National Park.

Are there any house rules?

Elis No red wine near our white mat, I’ve spilled red wine on it three times. One time I got it dry cleaned and another time I scrubbed it all morning. Only white wine from now on!
Militza It’s good for me to have order, I’m pretty pedantic. I talk a lot with my younger siblings about it. I’m also the one who is the most chill about it, but it’s a problem for us in all our relationships as we come from a home where it was quite strict and clean.

As a writer, what do you tend to read? What draws you to other writers?

Elis When Korine was just born, I actually read Knausgaard because I had not read his My Struggle series. Specifically, I read the second novel which is about when he has children. He described quite beautifully from a masculine perspective the change when you have your first child. I also read other writers on Twitter like Tao Lin, Darcie Wilder and Mira Gonzalez.

What has it been like including korine in your lives?

Elis She loves being at the bar where there’s people sitting and talking and listening to loud music.
Militza I was a little hesitant about that at first, while Elis thought we should take her with us.We thought we would just continue as usual and that she would take part in our social life. Of course, that was a bit naive, but we tried. We live small and have not decorated a baby room, or adapted to that type of life.
Elis You know that life is going to change, just not how.

But the question DOES IT HAVE TO? of course it will change as you say, but it may not BE shaped like everyone else’s? 
Elis It’s quite lucky that we’re both artists slash unemployed from the start—we’re both at home a lot. People panic that they don’t get enough financial support or benefits, but we’re euphoric that we get something at all—it’s like an artist’s grant. We would have solved it anyway, we are used to limited funds and we live cheaply here.

how has your upbringing affected the way you decided to raise Korine?

Militza It’s quite different from how I grew up. My mother was alone with the children while my father worked. It wasn’t a creative home necessarily, but my parents parents encouraged me to draw and sew.
Elis I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to parenting, but my parents were very lenient. They were young, fairly relaxed, both worked as educators, and were very permissive. There were always people at home, big parties with lots of people. We might not have had it easy financially, but we always had a lot of love and everything worked out.
Militza My upbringing was the opposite, characterized by the fact that we came from Ecuador and started a new life in Sweden, in a pretty nice suburb on the island of Ekerö. My mom in particular tried to get us into that community. There were quite strict limits to just fit in, which I felt bad about as a teenager.

my mother was adamant
that we speak swedish at home.

conformity is something inherent in the Swedish identity. as an outsider THERE IS A FEELING THAT you may never take part in that identity, WHICH MAKES YOU an observer, WITH no choice but to adapt, even if you DON`T want to.

Militza In my case, my mother was very adamant that we should speak Swedish at home, so I lost my Latin American heritage. I got a Swedish education, but at the same time I don’t look Swedish. I’ve been in the middle, with one foot in both camps

There is also the idea of keeping up with the LARSSONS,THE neighbours. how was it on Ekerö?

Militza Since I didn’t feel right at home, I quickly looked for subcultures and played with different styles and became interested in fashion and art. I was so young and just wanted to go to the city.
Elis The Ekerö you have described to me, even though it was materially rich, was spiritually poor, culturally poor.

I have a friend who has a theory that you can not date someone within the same discipline, that there is something self-defeating in it. How is it for you?

Militza In the beginning it was difficult. Being inspired by each other, you tend to talk about what you’re working on and then it becomes difficult to see who’s who in that conversation.
Elis In the beginning Melitza would be annoyed when she noticed things that she’d said in my poems. She had to learn that I use whatever’s in my environment, that’s how I work because I have no imagination.

What do you like about each other’s work?

Militza I’m jealous of Elis’ approach, it’s very direct. He has a simplicity that I try to embrace myself, to just be banal. Like in my latest painting about the body and motherhood, allowing myself to be straightforward and wear my feelings on the outside.
Elis The older I get, the more simple and banal I dare to be. At least when it comes to poetry, the ones that speaks directly from the heart are the best.
      But I think it’s interesting in Militza’s art that she dares to become more personal, not more banal, but vulnerable, even though it’s still very violent and advanced, since she works with processes that are quite time consuming. She thinks a lot about details, but I’m pretty uneven and it’s part of my process to be that. Militza would never exhibit something that was unfinished, although I would like to see that.
Militza It has to feel finished, it’s important.

when my parents
got married it was punk.

You chose to get married. what does it mean to you and why did you make that choice?

Elis Mostly because we’re romantics. It felt like a big, beautiful romantic gesture. But we did it pretty quickly, after we’d been together for a year and a half.
Militza We were completely mad about each other. We didn’t think so long-term. We made it super easy, went to City Hall and were in and out. It was just us, I made my own veil. It was over so quickly. Something about it going so fast made me feel robbed.
Elis We must have a new wedding! Large and in a church.

It is, after all, a rite of passage. With every movement there is a counter-movement and our generation may choose the opposite of what our parents did.

Militza When my family heard that we were getting married, they wanted to book a castle and have a big cake and now I regret it and want that castle.
Elis When my parents got married it was punk. They were from a scene that was trying to tear down all bourgeois institutions.
Militza If I were to get married again, I’d wear my mother's wedding dress, which she cut up to resemble the dress Stephanie Seymour wears in November Rain. ✺