Toma Clark Haines – host of The Republic of Toma podcast presented by ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine – sits down with German Producer, Director and Writer Radek Wegrzyn and American Author, Artist and Podcaster Suzka Collins to discuss their upcoming film Wonders in Dementialand. Coming from 3 different locations — Toma in Venice, Radek in Berlin and Suzka in Los Angeles — they discuss how life in the times of the Coronavirus feels like an altered reality. Wonders in Dementialand is the name of Suzka’s book, which discusses the other side of dementia. Suzka writes in her book, “Dementialand is a topsy turvy place of secrets and discovery where I often found myself in the mirror of dementia. Its sense of reversal showed me the other side of everything and the other side of myself.” Toma draws comparison to this time of the pandemic as an opportunity to reveal us to ourselves as we’re faced with a new way of living.
When living with and caring for her mother, Suzka decided to embrace the dementia and step into her mothers world. Toma discusses learning to embrace solitude in these times but also her personal struggles with loneliness in quarantine. While Radek, as a writer who typically spends large quantities of time alone writing, says that in many ways the rest of the world was forced through self-sheltering to see the world how he, a creative entrepreneur, typically lives. He explained how this pandemic has brought him closer to his extended family and actually pulled him outward into more familial socialization on a regular basis than he normally experienced.
Sharing 3 unique points of view during the pandemic from 3 different countries, these friends laugh, share experiences, but also share themselves.
ABOUT SUZKA | Suzka is a painter and a writer. Her work evokes a vibrant magical world that exists just a step outside reality. In her quirky, heart-warming debut book “Wonders in Dementialand,” Suzka takes her readers on an exhilarating journey into the world of dementia. Suzka’s novel is a thoughtful exploration, a testament to the author’s unique insight into her personal visit to Dementialand.
Chicago-born, Suzka studied at the Chicago Academy of Art and received a degree from Northern Illinois University. In Chicago, Suzka was involved in theater (both directing and producing), a performer of Mime for the city of Chicago, and a student of ‘improv’ from Chicago’s Second City Company. As a published cartoonist, Suzka moved to California in 1986 to write/create her second book but fell in love with paint instead. She never returned to Chicago and never returned to the small boxes of her cartoon characters.
As a painter, Suzka has exhibited her work in numerous one-woman shows. Her huge installations have been exhibited at Chicago‘s Navy Pier and throughout the Monterey Peninsula and has a dedicated following of collectors throughout the country. Suzka has been the stage set designer and painter for the Monterey Jazz Festival since 1996 and has delighted the Monterey jazz audiences with her powerful architectural aesthetic for over two decades.
ABOUT RADEK | Before receiving a masters degree for directing from the Film University Babelsberg, Radek Wegrzyn, co-founder of MAGICAL REALIST, studied political science in Bonn (Germany), working part time jobs as chimney sweep, night porter, insurance rejection letter typist, Chai Wallah and dishwasher. Professional storytelling really was the next logical step. His credits as writer, director and executive producer include the award winning tragicomedy FATHER, SON & HOLY COW as well as the theatrical documentaries VIOLINISSIMO and THE SCHOOL ON MAGIC MOUNTAIN. Radek is also alumnus of the Maine Media College and the Documentary Campus Master School program.
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