Interview: Aleksandar Gubaš

Inbterview: Aleksandar Gubaš
Name: Aleksandar Gubaš

Where do you live: Belgrade, Serbia

Known for:
I think people mostly recognise me by my creative work with teenagers in the last two decades. Also, many people know me by my work in independent cinema, through LOW-FI VIDEO project at the end of 90s. More recently, I was a part of the Femix project, dedicated to fostering and encouraging young female artists.

Currently working with:
I am popularising quality books and novels for the children and young adults. I do it via my blog Knjigoskop.com, and through my work with a readers’ club for teenagers in Belgrade, Serbia. Also, I am active in a project aimed at inspiring more girls to deal with STEM.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
If we talk about my current work with children’s and young adult books, this revelation happened one day in January 2014, after reading a couple of these books for the needs of a project I was working at. It was first time that I was reading children’s books after more than 30 years, and it was quite an enlightening and inspiring experience.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
I’m not sure about the exact place, but I think it would be somewhere Mediterranean, because of the sea, climate, fish, pines and rocks. Probably Croatian or Greek islands. With WiFi there, of course.

How would you describe your creativity?
Courageous, but sometimes unrealistic.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
I guess I’ve started disciplining my creativity somewhere in my mid-twenties, when I was working in an experimental institution where a special method of creative workshops with children was being developed.

What do you do at the moment?
Currently I am most interested in setting a system of alternative promotion and selling children’s books. And I am writing a young adult SF novel of my own.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Find a bookkeeper familiar with your country’s laws, he/she will save your life, nerves and precious energy. And surround yourself with people whose judgment you trust.

Tell us how it all started.
I’m sure that my home forest is guilty for all. I’ve spent my whole childhood in a forest, because my family lived with my grandfather who was a forester, and our house was deep in a forest. So the forest was my third parent, creative mentor, spiritual guru and best friend. It fueled me with delight for the rest of my life.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Absence of people distracting me.

What is your favorite film?
“The Last Temptation of Christ” – although I’m an atheist, I admire this Scorsese’s masterpiece because it’s such a powerful, emotional and brave film. And the music is extraordinary.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Sincerely? A beautiful, gentle, charming and rich woman who would like to have sex with me and finance my work.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
With chocolate.

What is luxury for you?
An unfamiliar state.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I can’t name a particular person, but from time to time I meet someone who remembers my work with LOW-FI VIDEO project and who tells me that it deeply affected his/her life, and helped him/her stay sane in the sick 90s in Serbia.

What do you fear most?
Unexpected outbursts of violence, sudden strikes of unstoppable evil.

What is a happy life to you?
Health, love of neighbours, fulfillment with what you do, cool music and someone making you laugh.

What does a regular day look like for you?
I sleep 4-5 hours in the morning and 1-2 hours in the afternoon or evening, and in the meantime I do all the other things, without any defined biorhythm.

Tell us about your dream project.
A bestselling literary trilogy which would entertain me while writing, and ensure my existence until the end of my days.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Alfred Hitchcock, a truly great artist. I would like to be that good psychologist like he was, and that careful about details.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
Rather chaotic and digressive style, yet somehow functional, largely thanks to daily to-do lists.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
Internet.

What inspires you?
Nature and women.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
“The Lord of the Rings”, Tolkien’s unique mixture of tears and joy. Unfortunately it’s a completely asexual book, but everything else is in it: friendship, temptation, horror, hope and despair, love, poetry, and even an implicit gay triangle involving Sam, Frodo and Gollum.

Check out Aleksandar’s blog
Watch this trailer made by members of his teenage readers’ club
Also, watch his documentary about the underground music scene from Karaburma, a part of Belgrade suburbs
While you’re at it, watch this promo for the Femix Fest 2012 festival of female creativity that I was organising from 2010 to 2013 right here

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