Everybody has their own taste – AND THAT IS OKAY
Kamala Katarina Gjorgijevska you really live a fulfilled life. Since you came from Macedonia, you had a partner in Ljubljana for many years, you are culinary artist, chef and author of creative recipes, you participated in various shows, documentaries and even reality shows, such as The Farm – A Fresh Start and in MasterChef Slovenia 2016, can you tell me a little more about yourself? When and why did you come to Ljubljana, what do you do at the moment?
I came to Slovenia in 2005, to the Hare Krishna Center in Ljubljana. I am an adventurer, and there have been a dozen years of exploration of myself and my tastes in Ljubljana. I am a person who likes to explore and research new tastes in life. I believe that if you do not spice life on your own, your life will be spiced by the others. I like to try things which nurture and nourish my soul and are primarily connected to personal growth and my achievements. What I am capable of and what I can do? I do not compete with the others, but with myself. Achieved dreams have the sweetest taste for me. At the moment, I focus on tasting another dream, namely, to meet Ellen Degeneres: I presented her three ideas for which I need a video production she does. This is for the moment what I want from her. About everything else in the future we will talk later.
Kamala, when we started to talk about doing this interview, you told me that you do not wish to be labeled as a lesbian, and that you want to explain why 'Kamala, a lesbian, says she is not a lesbian'?
Indeed, it's true. I'm not a lesbian. Like I am not a vegan, but in both cases, I prefer to have plumes than sausages. What I am looking in life is taste. It is not a man or a woman, but it is about energy. Is it or is it not? I do not limit and define my sexuality to and by the word. Energy is free, unlimited. The labels confine me in my (re)search about what I like. That does not mean I am BI. I would like to say that we are in this body on our journey as souls.
As far as I know, you published a wonderful cooking card book Taste your dreams together with your former partner, Katarina Čuk. On 48 cards you can find more than 88 creative simple vegetarian-vegan recipes. In addition, cards of the dishes also complements 48 positive thoughts. Can you give us a little more insight into these cards and what does it mean saying 'that each one has its own taste': it must be a special challenge for you knowing there are so many tastes as people and how can you satisfy many?
Cards are the fruits of my imagination. I believed in them and Katarina (ex-partner) supported me. These cards were my long-standing wish. I talked to my friends about my wish. Every time we met, they asked me how my cookbook was going, and I always told them: I was gona do it. A few years passed by and I suddenly realized that if I did not roll up my sleeves, wrote recipes and cooked what I said, I would be hungry. Only the desire to cook something could not satisfy me. And so, the cards were created, and they teach you to take lessons in the kitchen as an opportunity for growth in life. They are encouragement for all people who have a dream and would like to taste them, but they do not know how. I share my recipe of how to taste my dreams and, in the case of recipes, I allow every individual to eat the dishes in their own taste.
And given that I mention that everyone has their own taste all the time, I realized that I could not satisfy every individual with my food. However, I can surely offer new adventures in culinary arts and prepare the usual things in a creative way. We all eat but we have not yet thought that we can cook it in this or that way. So it's not about what, but how.
In my documentary Attraction of Gender, you performed with Katarina Čuk as partners: can you say more about what attracted you to take part in my documentary and if you would like to share a word or two about why you broke up with her after 10 years of relationship?
I feel attracted to be in the open and not hiding anything, I am what I am, no matter where and who I am. I am person who likes freedom and freedom of speech is of great importance to me. I and Katarina were active in many projects. We were revolutionaries and we had our own ways: we responded to things we perceived as interesting and useful to our planet. The Attraction of the gender was a great project to complement our mission FullBlissLiving for all!
I and Katarina share our history. She's my family. She is the person who will always remain part of me because of the the things we went through and not many people wouldn't survive that: during this time we both have personally grown so much that we no longer wanted to lie that everything was cool and that it was a dream relationship that we both wanted. We like each other and we continue to work. I am bound by our two cats, Luna and Simha. We have two kids. We must continue to cooperate.
Together you have an entrepreneurial project FullBlissLiving. You two already published the recipe cards book, opened the YouTube channel, and designed mobile application 'Taste Your Dream', which intent to "add stories with culinary content and personal growth from around the world". How does the application run and is it successful?
The app is ready and is waiting for a great presentation at The Ellen Show.
I joke a bit, but not all of it. You know, every thing needs time to cook. But in order for the thing to cook, we need a powerful fire. In order to make the dish even more tasty, it sometimes need cooking for a longer time on a "quieter" fire. It works as if nothing is happening at the time, but it is precisely at that time that dish is about ready to be served.
You also participated as one of the competitors in the reality show The Farm – A Fresh Start? What attracted you to participate in such a show and what are your impressions? Could you feel any latent bias towards homo-and bisexuality as well as latent homophobia?
In that time, I was totally engaged in creating our YouTube video channel FullBlissLiving, therefore I spent a lot of time in front of the camera creating video clips that inspired me to do more and better work. I wanted to improve my performance in front of the camera, and after 100 recorded videos, I got the desire to test myself in a large media production. I was interested in the show business. I came to learn. Every experience counts and because of such courageous steps I become even more courageous for the new big steps in life.
There would be no homophobia if it was not promoted in the media, and because it is so strongly present in the media and in the newspapers, it is happening. Otherwise, the world is beautiful. We all want to be accepted and in this context I would like to connect to the above question 'why am I not a lesbian'? Because labels, such as Muslim, Hindi, Bosnian, German, gay and lesbian separate, instead converge.
You were also one of the 16 contestants of The MasterChef Slovenia 2016 (2nd season). What was that experience compared to the Farm – A Fresh Start, or could you even compare them?
My performance in second MasterChef's Slovenia is the biggest achievement of all my performances so far. I had a great show. Of the 16 competitors in MasterChef Slovenia, I came among the top 5. I was doing what pleased me. I studied and progressed. I am glad that I said YES to many things and that I responded to this invitation, it was the best decision in my life. I had a great time. Wherever I go around the world, MasterChef apron with my name opens the door for me.
I have read that you include in your new projects your former teammates from The MasterChef show, how and why did you decide that?
I like to connect with people. Miha Kačič and Kristina Mohorič were the first two. You can watch them in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6luwNpQc2A and here:
Was your blog KamalaSutra the result of those experiences and youtube project? Namely, blog KamalaSutra aims at having artistic erotic cooking show, in which cooks involved would decorate their creations not on the plates but on the bodies of the most beautiful Slovenian celebrities. I find this really interesting and daring idea. Probably, it is going to be made for all sexual orientations?
That is right! KamalaSutra 1001 night is my culinary show, which I'm currently completely focused on. What, how and why? When I find the right video production, I will tell you everything about it. For now, I can definitely say that it will be for everyone who wants to explore and play in a creative way. A man with a man. A woman with a woman and a man with a woman or a woman with a man. Anyway. Each will be able to choose according to her/his own taste. Delicious dishes and ideas of how your lovers or long-term partners could spice up dinners and breakfasts in bed. Does it appeal to you?
I find it very interesting that you wish to meet Ellen. Sometimes I look at her show, and laugh from her heart, but sometimes I remember her breakthrough, revolutionary beginnings in comedy Ellen: at that time it was truly revolutionary, that through various subtexts she revealed lesbianism on television. How do you look at her show and what you would like to offer her or why you want to meet her?
Ellen is a legend. On the other hand, she is 'my sister from another mister'. I wish to meet her because I would like to present her the KamalaSutra idea and she can introduce me to some of her Hollywood friends. For my another idea, I need actors, and Ellen could help me here as well. The third wish is related to the cats and because Ellen is a cat lover. I know that when Ellen will hear all these ideas, she will be enthusiastic and supportive. Does anybody know her? Contact me, please.
What does it mean to you that you are a vlogger? Is this the way you want to make people aware of everything you are and more: what vlog offers better or other from the book or a show?
Vloggin to me personally means a chance for self-acceptance. By shooting video I watch myself, my performance, my presence. I see who I am. I can look at myself from another perspective. I saw what I was. I can say that vlogging is a great mirror which shows you who you are, where you are and where you could go if you do not give up.
Where do you take your optimism, courage, openness and inspiration from?
From my failures, successes, joys and sorrows ... from having to accept first of all that life is like that. That is the way it always is and will be. Otherwise, it's not easy for me. I always have to find the strength, and I find it. If we do not give up, we become stronger and you also realize that if you lose one battlefield it does not mean that you completely lost the whole battle. In this sense, I tell everyone about my dreams to everyone, and this drives me to reach them. If no one knows what you want, and if you do not achieve that, there is no panic because nobody knows about your wishes. Well, I wish others to know. Kamala goes to The Ellen Show. When? Tomorrow.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have a new love?
There is a lot of love and I have a lot of plans too. Ideas are coming and coming. You can watch my latest work at www.kamalasutra.com.
Leticia De Bortoli, you are Canadian writer, producer and film director who made a very good TV mini series Queering this year. Where did you get the idea for the story? Namely, having an older woman (Val) coming out at 60 years old and posting coming out on youtube is really unique idea we haven't seen before in any other LB-films and TV-or Web-series. It is also refreshing to see an older woman so ful of life, energetic and open to embrace new ideas, new life-style and accepting dating.
Just a small correction am I actually Brazillian.
The core conflicts of Queering came from my relationship with my mother. She didn’t necessarily came out as bi, but I started to see her trying to discover herself, try new things way later in life and I though that situation of women of her generation was very interesting. Have lived their “younger years” with a lot restriction and 1/10 of the freedom we have and now later in life have more space for their own whishes and desires.
In Queering series you tackle another stereotype or the same stereotype you also tackle through Val, namely regarding bisexuality. Bisexuality as a stereotypical label in LGTIQ-community has been present through the whole series. Why did you decide to present it in the series? I also like how Val's daughter Harper expresses the same prejudices towards bisexuality as many other LGTIQ-members and how she finally comes to terms that her mother is bisexual.
A lot comes from my personal life. I’m a lesbian woman and often displayed Harper’s behavior in the past. Maybe to try to affirm myself, or to follow what other where doing. But as an adult, with many bisexual friends and started to think about why we replicate this microaggressions towards bisexuals even though we know how hurtful it is.
You currently work on writing and producing second season, can you tell us a bit about what or how is going to unfold, maybe Val getting a girlfriend, will Harper finally got over her former girlfriend of 10 years?
Yes! Harper will have some sort of closure with her ex. And Val will experience life past the “coming out” phase, which quiet often if the harder thing to handle. We also have a lot of knew characthers joining!
Do you think that sexual orientation of the writer, director and actresses is important while doing LB films and series? I mean, I wouldn't say that it is at utmost importance, however I would think that it can contribute to a better understanding of the topic written, directed and played, is that correct? It is interesting how we hear today straight actresses saying they can play LB-roles as good as LB-actresses.
Honestly, I think it is important. We had our stories told by the “straight lens” for so long, and ends up being empty and not as close to reality. We all have different experiences as Queer people, but also very universal ones that we can all relate. I don’t think you must be queer to write/direct queer content, but I would for sure partner or consult with someone who actually lived those experiences.
You also made short films: in 2015 you co-produced and wrote Ada. A young woman struggles to set free from the mental and physical harm of an abusive relationship and another film, A beauty shot about a young woman tries to find peace with her self image using a controversial and disturbing product. What made you wish to do these two short films and where did you get inspiration from? Is there any lesson in these two stories you wish to convey?
Both Ada and Beauty Shot come as very natural ideas. Domestic violence is an issue close to home for me and that deeply disturbs me. That pressure of beauty and how that affects women is probably close to home for all of us. So whatever I think about it a lot, ends up on the page. I don’t think I ever attempt to convey a lesson, I guess I just hope to promote some reflection.
It is also intersting you made a short film Meu Nome é Clint (2014). A day in life of a man whose idol is Clint Eastwood. Unfortunately, not everyone in the real world understands this man with no name. This is interesting, where did you get an idea for film and why exactly Clint Eastwood and not some other famous Hollywood name?
I directed this piece, but the story was created by the lead actor Mario Luiz. Who’s a huge fan of Clint Eastwood. He invited me to direct, and I got really excited and joined him.
What is your biggest inspiration and where do you get your inspiration from the most?
I think my biggest inspiration is other people’s work. From friends to huge famous filmmakers. When I watch something amazing, I get inspired to work. I don’t think I have a source of inspiration, everything I write is about things that I can’t stop thinking about. And those are unpredictable.
What are you plans for the future projects?
I want to keep investing in Queering, but I also have a feature script about being queer in rural Brazil that I hope to produce in 2019. And also an new webseries idea, some queer Sci-Fi.