Suzie Brzezinska – writer – from Poland
Suzie was born in Poland, where her family had to leave in 1986 – she was only 6 months old. Poland at the time was unstable and politically grounded in communism. The family first moved to France where she lived for 6 years and then London where she studied at a private French school. At 18 Suzie lived in Italy for a year, intrigued by the Italian language and world famous food. She now speaks four languages fluently and some Spanish.
Next came a degree in ‘European Law’ at Essex University. Law felt to her the responsible career choice, but after travelling to India she realised that Law wasn’t for her and went on to study a Masters in Anthropology. Integrating more into her soon to be writing career. Her mother owns two publishing companies, one in France and the other in Poland. Suzie sometimes works for her mother in publishing.
Spending time with such independent, intelligent, women of the world is what makes our work here so satisfying. Wow, Amazing! If there was ever to be the next world famous writer, we have the ingredients right here.
To spend a month in an environment so far removed from structure, city, academics, from a responsible, working life must have been a great challenge for Suzie. I respect her strength of character, because most people freeze then run away in the extreme Amazon rainforest, experience.
Interview with Suzie Brezinska –
Why come to an art centre in the Amazon Rainforest?
The high Amazon jungle felt to be more welcoming than the lower regions, there is no Malaria and fewer mosquitos, in the higher altitude. I was looking for a writing retreat, which is normally quite structured, with lectures and day to day activities. Sachaqa appealed to me after reading other ‘Artists Experiences.’ I liked the idea that you could sit in a hammock and watch the rain with no pressure and no structure, I could make it my own. To experience nature on this level was something I had never done before.
Theoretically – I thought the combination of nature and the freedom to tap into my creativity would enable me to open up and find my inner voice.
So did you find your inner voice?
My experience at Sachaqa gave me so much clarity and answered questions that I didn’t even know I had. I had no idea what was needed and what was missing from my creative work.
What did you find?
As a child I was so imaginative and fanciful. Along the way I lost that and became analytical and pragmatic. Life, realities and fears of having to be responsible took over. Fanciful imaginings were an embarrassment in my academic adult world and felt self-indulgent.
Sachaqa has created an environment that nurtures and celebrates creativity, which was liberating.
How did other artists influence you?
The artists staying at Sachaqa are a big contrast to the people I am usually surrounded by. I’m not around artists so much. Creativity is not indulged like it is here. The artists are young and can be themselves – unashamedly so. I felt that inspiring.
Other artists understand the need to be alone in our creative process, which I found really refreshing.
How do you think the contact you have had with nature in the Sachaqa eco-lodge will affect your life and work?
It is going to be really hard to integrate into city life again. Living here has scraped away at the city layers within me – the constant noise, stress, pollution and fast living. Things you have to put up with on a day to day basis. It puts everything into perspective when you are away from city luxuries, all the trappings of city life and all the things you think you need, such as gadgets, trinkets, clothes, indulgent comforts. I could strip away from all that here and it will be really hard to go back.
So you would prefer to live your life away from city luxuries, which most people would say are impossible to live without?
I would, yes, eventually. It’s harder to achieve for me right now, I would need to earn money so I can buy land or a small house somewhere in the country, but for now I’ll have to stick to the city until that’s possible. But the city life isn’t for me, it’s crowded and overwhelming, loud and polluted, and I don’t like the mentality, the endless drive to climb career ladders, make more and more money, I feel happier, cleaner and more settled living a simpler life.
What are your creative plans for the future?
I want to finish my novel, and hopefully – fingers crossed – publish it, and keep travelling, use that as inspiration for more writing, and hold on to all these writing processes I discovered here in Sachaqa.
3 words to describe your experience at Sachaqa?
#cleansing #Inspiring #proud – of achieving the Sachaqa challenge.