In this interview series, we introduce literary freelancers. Whether author, translator, editor or event organizer: Each and every one has made their way into freelancing. What was it like for you, Soar?
Introduce yourself briefly: Who are you and what do you do in the literary industry?
I will start off with what I do, as it is visceral to who I am and what I represent. I am an author of 5 books and an LP, intertwining interdisciplinary artistic expressions and formats, I speak… better said I live five and ½ languages (the ½ representing Spanish, the newest addition to my oldest passion), I am a social innovator and the founder of Soul and the City, an international endeavour encompassing different artistic, educational and entertaining projects, meant to explore, stimulate, interconnect and empower socially engaged multicultural dialogues. Since 2010, when I first set out my hopes and beliefs in the land of poetry, my role as a poet and a performer has shifted to one of an event organizer, podcaster, creative writing tutor, activist of charitable causes, talent scout, host and moderator of artistic and cultural undertakings, all under the umbrella of Soul and the City, which is the fulcrum of this inevitable, untethered growth and enrichment on a creative, professional and personal level.
What was the biggest challenge at the start of your career?
I believe the biggest challenge for every artist is not only to find one’s inner voice, but especially to allow it to permeate through cultures and communities, while trusting and supporting its intrepid journey. It is a falling in love process not necessarily with the source but rather with its outcome and goals.
In my personal artistic journey, my biggest challenge was the metamorphosis from the veiled, timid writer that I had been since childhood towards the published poet that I had become with my very first book of 20 poems back in 2010. That was the scariest and, by far, the most amazing experience for me, seeing that I had drafted and edited that book in about 10 days, putting in it all the love that I had for music and poetry, intertwining constantly these two art forms into shapes I was unaware I was able to craft. It was an overwhelming process and an indelible affirmation of my voice, something that had been hidden in me for too long, waiting for a propitious moment and an outlet to grow.
Added to that, it was also my very first performance on stage, which meant gaining an extra layer of needed confidence in the belief that my responsibility was not just sharing words, but sharing words that matter to make a difference. From that moment on, I strived to reach out to and move at least one listener with my art, one performance at a time, one piece at a time. For touching one heart means touching an entire humanity.
What has been the most important realization in your career up to this point?
I think that what I’ve learned in my past twelve years of playing an active role in the international artistic and cultural communities is to be versatile and to adapt to situations, publics, collaborators and projects; to become multidisciplinary and not to remain confined to one discipline or type of art. That was my very first insight when I launched the “Poetry-in-Motion” project ten years ago, which was meant to bring poetry closer to publics in a live, “friendlier” and interdisciplinary manner. Since then, I have multiplied my efforts and initiatives in many areas and from different perspectives, yet all interlinked and connected to my essential beliefs and values. This aspect is still important to me as the growth, the experiences and the constant exploration of cultures and the knowledge gains are essential and inherent to my character, as it is holding on to my roots/values and keeping the right balance between the two. This organic harmony has always helped me in all of my artistic, professional or personal endeavours.
What advice would you give to people starting out in your field of work?
I think this is a hard question as the challenges, the premises and the cultural layout are different for every individual.
But no matter what we set off to do, no matter the means and the beliefs at stake, it is incumbent on us as individuals and as a collective to advocate for equity, respect and mutual care and to berate any negative structure set to diminish unalienable human rights and freedoms. I believe that art is the best vessel to re-establish, transmit and proliferate positivity, hope and human values.
So get rid of any encumbrance stopping you from finding your inner voice and manifest it anywhere you can. Luckily, Berlin’s artistic scene has always been prolific and the artistic communities here, whether the German local ones or the international ones, are abundant in opportunities. Work hard and don’t be deterred by negativity and non-constructive critiques. Stay adamant in your beliefs if you feel and know that they will bring something positive to the tapestry of our society. And don’t be shy about approaching an event organizer or a producer. Believe that you have something awesome to share, no matter the background or culture it comes from, and they will always listen. Make sure you reach out to people’s hearts and share in that awesomeness. Stay soulful!
Author, social innovator, podcaster, moderator, polyglot, conference interpreter and translator, Soar is an ambassador of intercultural dialogue and multicultural exchange. She is an open competition winner at the Filmpoem Festival (UK) and her video poems were selected for final screening at the International Poetry Festival (Greece) and at TIME is Love – International video art program (FR). The author is a selected member of the Society of Authors (UK), Poets&Writers (USA) and she collaborated with international magazines from Germany, Italy, Austria, Australia, the UK, the USA, Romania, among others. Soar completed her university studies in Romania, France, Germany and her master studies in IR in the UK. She is the founder of Soul and the City, an international undertaking encompassing various educational, entertaining and artistic projects meant to explore, stimulate and empower socially engaged multicultural dialogues.
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