31. gemini. gamer.

Why did you come to Sweden?
I felt restless in Colorado and wanted to travel. At the time my older sister was living in Stockholm so I decided I would save up and temporarily move with her.

like personal skype conversations
to prove we were in love.

And you had three sisters living here at some point?

Yea it’s funny how we share more or less the same sambo love story. Gabby came here first, got married, stayed for three years. Then Samie my middle sister came to visit and met her Swedish boyfriend, now fiancé. She actually met him two weeks in. A week later shortly after I arrived I met my then-boyfriend. Eventually Samie and I got our samboship visas and officially moved in 2012, one month apart from each other.
Did you have a hard time with the common law VISA? And what did you have to do back then?
Not compared to how it is now, I hear the waiting time is much longer and harder in general. It was a little strange, we had to send intimate content, like personal Skype conversations to prove we were in love, screen shots of our private conversations. We also had separate interviews. We were basically being quizzed on how well we knew each other and if our romance was serious enough. Luckily it was enough for the migration-board.

So it actually wasn’t Sweden that drew you here, it was your sisters. how did your parents meet?
It’s a cute story. My dad approached my mom and her friend at a grocery store, and suavely invited them to his restaurant with a shopping cart of soy milk. My mom said no right away but her friend accepted the invite for her..they ended up hitting it off…My dad then moved from the restaurant business back into the art world, were my mom found her way as a gallerist.

Can you describe your dad’s art for us?
His most seen works are contemporary pop art. He incorporated Warner Bros. cartoon characters. If I get the story right, Warner Bro’s. saw his art after a law suit with Disney over a few Micky Mouse paintings and ended up becoming one of Warner Bros. fine arts collaborators. I like all his works but my favourites are his earlier pieces which are perhaps a bit more subdued in comparison.

Do you think your parents being artists has impacted your choice of career? All your sisters are artists as well.

Funnily enough in middle school I always thought I was going to be a lawyer. My mom implanted that idea in my head, saying I would be a great lawyer, because in her words “I was very good at arguing”.

i always thought i was
going to be a lawyer.

But you found your way into photography, what drew you in?
My dad gave me my first camera, a 7 megapixel point and shoot which was a big deal at the time when I was 13 and introduced me to photoshop. I thought It was a fun method to create something but never thought serious about working professionally with it until my last year of high-school. To put it simply I just enjoyed the method of creating with a camera and wanted to delve into it, and it just spiralled from there. Now I want to explore filming.

photographing someone can be quite intimate. Do you think the gaze makes a difference?
I wouldn’t say I’m an intimidating person so feel I can use that to my advantage in certain situations. My gender probably lends to that.

You cook a lot, is that something you got from home?
Yeah, it is. My dad was really into cooking and raised us on the macrobiotic diet, which is this Japanese yin and yang way of eating: all seasonal, no red meat — its believed that the body can’t digest it properly —no milk, no sugar. We would eat lots of miso soup, brown rice and steamed vegetables. As a kid my mom would sneak us treats though. At some point, my dad loosened up with the macrobiotic diet and incorporated red meat again. Every new year we celebrated together we would always go out for steaks — that is amongst my fondest memories with him.

What are your three main ingredients?

Mirin, it’s kind of sweet and tangy.

my dad loosened up with the macrobiotic diet and
incorporated red meat again.

Where do you go for walks?

When I want to stay close to home I like to walk around my neighbourhood in Solna. Theres a bird park that I like too frequent, especially during the spring, despite smelling like bird fecies its fun to see the newly hatched ducklings and massive swans.

What is home to you?

I suppose it is where ever I decide to settle. I believe home can be anywhere, I’ve moved a-lot.

How has that impacted you? Has it made you more free? Yes and no. I do like to travel and move around especially when its connected to my photography, but I also long for stability. Sharing my time between parents and different states was a lot as a kid. So it feels nice to live in one spot, although I realise the secret to moving a-lot and keeping some semblance of stability is to mark your space right away, really settle in even if it is for a month.

Do you have a favourite smell?

I vaguely remember this powdery flower smell from this perfume my mom used on my sisters and I as a baby called Violeta. Love that smell. She gave me a bottle of it five years ago, its very much linked to my childhood.

As an American living in Sweden, what are some observations that you’ve made?
From living in New York to living here, the environment is very orderly and clean. In terms of social norms people feel more reserved here, I’ve observed a few times people passive aggressively staring down others for speaking too loudly on the train which I find really stiff and amusing. I love Sweden but part of me misses the outgoingness and random friendliness people have in the US even if its sometimes stems from shallowness.

someone told me about atheism
and i immediately connected to it.

Tell us about your gaming.

Honestly I’m not the biggest gamer but if its good I can so easily get sucked in! Right now I play a game called Kingdom. Basically you build a kingdom, and boat. The end goal is to sail to the next island as quickly as possibly while killing off monsters that attack in the night. It is pixelated, 2D thats super simplistic and scenic. The longer you stay, the harder it gets.

We haven’t talked about religion, but your family is Jewish, do you practise it and is it part of your culture? How prevalent is it in your life?

Judaism was more prevalent in my life during my youth in Colorado. My family and I would attend the synagogue often as well as taking Hebrew after school classes. Although I think I must of been 11 when someone told about atheism and I immediately connected to it. Ive become much more interested in my jewish side as I’ve gotten older though and would like to complete my studies for my bat mitzvah.

But Judaism in America is also part of cultural identity, not just religion.

Yes, and that is what I like about Judaism. There are a-lot of modern jews who question God, it doesn’t need to be blind faith. I personally prefer the community aspect of Judaism and partaking in the traditions. An ex of mine had actually gone to a jewish store in Vasastan to get a Menorah for me, they really questioned him about what he was doing there and were especially interested in me. I like the feeling of being automatically accepted into a community, no questions asked. ✺

Produced in the Kingdom of Sweden
Typeset in Condensa by Jonathon Yule and Century Schoolbook by Linn Boyd and Morris Fuller Benton
Hermit is Hélène Kugelberg, Elise Haugslett, Colin Bergh

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