Images by Birna Ketilsdóttir Schram

 

Please introduce yourself (who are you and what do you do in your life)

My name is Bella Scheftelowitz, I work as an artist, ritual designer and creative entrepreneur. I am 30 yo and Danish. I live in Copenhagen, but just moved to Tromsø in North Norway for three months, with my love Audun. I have an atelier here in Tromsø in a culture house called Kysten, working on a series of hand-stitched textile works, and finishing writing a handbook on rituals and everyday magic. 

 

Which team and when did you graduate? 

Team 22, I graduated in 2018.

 

What have you been doing since you graduated as a Kaospilot?

I graduated with my final project Bølgen (the Wave), circular radio about being human. It is a  podcast about love, longing, sex, relations, life and death. It is made by me and sound artist Sofie Voight. The sound was played at CPH:DOX (a big danish documentary festival) two weeks after we released the first episode; it was used as educational material in high schools and LGBTQ summer camps; I was in national radio getting interviewed about listening-rituals and merging art and podcast. And recently we were nominated for Shortdox, a radio price for experimental radio.  We continued working on the project for two years. It’s available in iTunes. I will post a link in the end.

 

 

During the past years, I have focused on ritualism and created rituals and rite of passages for people. I have always been drawn to the depths and meaning, and I went to  Waldorf (Steiner) school, where rituals were a part of the everyday. It has shaped me.
Five years ago, my parents got divorced after 30 years, I made a ritual on a mountain for the four of us. It became a clear ending and new beginning.
During corona lockdowns, I created a written and visual format: poetic rituals as pdf’s. They spread out to more and more people, and got in the Danish newpaper Politiken last summer.
By now, I have made rituals for becoming a parent, weddings, name givings,  endings and sorrow, round birthdays, the moon cycle, and the cycle of the year. I create from the fields of the sensuous, the poetic, the written word, my proces knowledge and interest in human life.

During the same time, I got a job as the leader for a creative kids club (fritidsklub) at Bloom Institute. The club supports kids in gaining confidence, creativity and community. I was leading it and part of making the place grow and succeed in 2019-2021. https://bloom.institute/bloomers-club/
After 1,5 years at Bloom I took a leap of faith and quit. I went to textile school, a dream of mine.
When school ended recently, I kept creating and selling pieces. I recently took an online course on how to build a website. Now, I am in the process of building my work life and a business centered around art, creation, ritualism and entrepreneurship. I am making a magical online universe with books and art and also coming out as a ritual designer and consultant. Now I am in Tromsø, in this proces. It is going well, I will keep going. 

 

What is important for you in your job?

Curiosity toward life and being human. Working from my vision and values. Caring for people, communities and for myself. Never stop creating. Knowing that everything is cycles: beginnings and endings, making and resting, summer and winter, etc. Having discipline and structure, I find freedom in structure and I love ‘Trello’ and use it a lot (this is not advertisement).

Be over-prepared and under-structured

 

What major learnings would you point out from your experience that have shaped you as a leader? 

I am shaped by my family, who are all entrepreneurs and leaders. I early experienced that it was possible to lead and create your own work life. And pretty early, I decided that I wanted to do it in my own way. A softer, more feminine & feministic way. Also as a way of fighting capitalism and the patriarchy. Going to the Kaospilots confirmed all of this.

Before going to the Kaospilots, I was leader in the restaurant and service industry. It showed me the importance of making people feel seen. As a leader I value being present with everyone.

The famous Kaospilot sentence  “Be over-prepared and under-structured” often echoes in my mind. I make plans and then let go of them and see what happens in the moment.

I often experience the power of playfulness and improvisation, especially when being leader of the kids club. Kids always tell me that I am not a real grown up. I am proud to be a playful grown up.

 

What is your biggest source for inspiration right now?

The mountains here in Tromsø. Astrid Lindgren, she is my role model forever. And Master Fatman. And Sonia Delaunay, who was a fierce artist and business woman with so much drive. She is exhibited at Louisiana Museum right now.  

What would would be an example of a learning or an experience from your time at Kaospilot that has been important to you?

A sense of community and belonging I had never felt. It sparkled new confidence and an ability to overcome fear. Chene Swart’s storytelling workshops, ‘words create realities’. Sitting in circles, checking in and out. Understanding others, and listening without interrupting. Asking too many questions and learning to ask the right questions at the right time. Our outpost in South Africa and moments that changed my worldview and self-view. Epic parties and performances. Finding the courage to make my final project, and the katalysator is has been for me. And of course the friendships and many loves of my life I found at the kaospilots.

 

What is a piece of advice that you would like to give future Kaospilot graduates? 

I have no advice right now, but I am open to talk about life and work or make something together.

 

Just write me, my mail is bella-noemi@hotmail.com
If you want to follow my work here is a link:  https://linktr.ee/bellascheftelowitz

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