The day I was born, my father went to register me at the office of citizens, where he was told “Anita” was not Soviet enough and was sent home to come up with a less imperialistic name. When he returned, the bureaucrat was intoxicated after a wedding and decided to register me as Anita anyway. From that moment, my life’s been shaped by magical adventures of fate. I grew up in the land of abandoned castles, Romani cures and stores filled with nothing but tuna canned in tomato sauce. My mother rejected the official truth handed down by the government and my father refused the reality accepted by the middle class, leading me to seek and witness alternative truths from an early age. In the summers we traveled to the mountains of Georgia and Armenia, their valleys flooding my imagination with golden rivers and pomegranate creation myths. In Uzbekistan, I marveled at a rock face encrusted with microscopic diamonds, fell off a donkey and was cured at a feast cooked by women wearing as many braids as their age. On a remote island of apple trees in Turkey I encountered a family forgotten by civilization and in the North West Territories I breathed in glowing crystals of ice formed in the -55 air while turkey sized ravens flew over my head. In a Peruvian village, a Shaman read my life in coca leaves and made me stand before a giant stuffed condor to reveal the exact truth of my soul. The older I grew and the more magic I witnessed, the less I was able to believe in a binary, black and white reality. I recognized that believing in absolute, singular truths generates hatred between families and nations. And it is this slow-cooked and sun-baked understanding that compels me to give expression to the real that exists in people. I keep insisting that the co-existence of multiple truths is not only possible, it is necessary and magical. I'm a filmmaker, writer and mother to a sweet little person named Tian, who is the result of two TED Fellows falling in crazy love.
TED Fellows Retreat 2013, TED2010
Areas of Expertise
Writing, Directing, Cinematography and Photography, Mountaineering
An idea worth spreading
Magic becomes visible when one stops resisting the reality that can’t be made sense of.
I'm passionate about
Finding magic and transmitting it in cinematic tarot cards for the heart. Falling into new cultures. Knowing the B-side of people. Creating a new kind of hero. Counteracting discrimination of Romanis
Talk to me about
Science fiction folklore, remapping the world, 18th century machines, single rope technique canyoning, transmedia storytelling and guerilla filmmaking.
People don't know I'm good at
Downhill skiing, fly stroke swimming and the game of canasta.
My TED story