From Russia with Love: Vlad & Beka
Well, it's Vlad and Beka here, we both are 24 and work together at one of Moscow hostels to make our ends meet. Kidding)) We don't really have to make our ends meet, cuz Beka is a DJ and I'm a model so we gain some cash from that!
3 things you like about beka, three things you dont...
Vlad: Hmm, provocative, since Beka will read it and I might get into trouble, telling about issues I don't like, but I'm brave enough. Well, what I like is that Beka has a very strong personality and he's able to take real risks. Also he is very generous in terms of love. He reminds me that he loves me every second of my life, and probably so could think that it is way too gay, but I like flowers, but not those slutty roses or lilies but tulips and some wild flowers, and I remember the moment when he presented a bunch of tulips to me for the first time. It's one of my unforgettable moment. What I don't like about Beka... He can be very annoying sometimes. He likes to control my every step and we used to have huge fights, about me just taking a look on another guy, without even any intentions. But we try to deal with it, and it's all about balance.
Beka: Vlad is my love so what can I dislike about him? I mean every sight of him is his best sight. He's extremely supportive and patient, and honestly sometimes I think this is the only reason why we are still together. We used to get over some hard times with no money. Literally. When we used to eat just one pack of instant noodles a day, and this is Vlad who always tried to cheer me up. Of course sometimes he surprises me with his views on life and I get fucked up a bit but life is life. I love him despite he likes drinking and is a total Drama King.
Since how long have you been a couple?
It's been a year and four months already.
Where did you meet?
We've met on a dating site! Hilarious right? And what if funny that none of us planned to actually meet someone there. It was the first day for both of us to renew our accounts there and like to surf around to kill our boredom. And the story which we told hundred times that I went at Beka's page and saw his picture and thought "Oh God so fancy hipster will never look at me like ever" and then I closed his profile. The thing is that site shows people who visit your page so Beka was online and saw that I visited his profile and like he told me later he thought "That narcissist model will never agree to be with me" and it was his room mate who insisted that Beka texted "Hi" to me. This is how we began to chat and 3 days later it turned out we lived near same subway station.
Where are you living at the moment (area) ? Describe the area, do you feel at home? Great and not so great things about the area you live in?
Vlad: We live in south-east of Moscow and the area is not really nice. Guess every district far from centre is not nice here. What about feeling home, of course we don't feel home here. We try not to go out after dark because it's too dangerous, and even Beka who looks rather masculine can get into trouble at night. Like people see gay things in everything and if Beka has a head tattoo then he's gay and should be killed you know.
How did you find the apartment?
Beka: Through the gay site which provides like private renting ads. It is about safety again. You can't use regular websites beause no one will agree to rent a room for two guys, and we don't have enough money to rent the whole flat, so we have to make up something to get the place to live. Of course on that site there are plenty of ads saying like "I will let you live with me for sex 5 times a week and washing dishes" but there also are good guys who state that there ad is "not for sex" so you can find a room for two and for reasonable price. All in all you always feel kind of trapped you know, in the circumstances.
How is it to be gay in a city like Moscow? Did you experience any trouble because of it at any time?
Vlad: Once we've been followed by the group of skinheads in the subway, and like every second you can be offended by the guys in the street and everywhere. Recently we stopped using subway. We have to spend a lot of money on taxi, because it's too dangerous in subway. it's like alcohol prohibition in the USA. We have to be invisible not to get into trouble, cause we are not defended even by law anymore.
How is it to work as a creative in Moscow/Russia?
Beka: Tough and hard. Again you have to do all your work secretly. I mean for Beka it's fine, he's a DJ, and for me, since most of my works are socially and politically oriented, I have to make sure authorities don't have a clue about it. Like I did "Suck the Kremlin" photo shoot back in 2010 for Kaltblut magazine, and I can get to jail due to that, if anyone would feel me uncomfortable for the government this might be a reason. http://www.kaltblut-magazine.com/vladislav-turanski/
If you had the choice would you stay in Moscow or move somewhere else? Where to? And why?
Vlad: Definitely we would move. We already work on that. We'd like to live in Berlin because I been there and it seems this city suites us, and I have so many nice friends over there, but it's hard and takes so much of bureaucracy. Either to start studying there to get student visa or to apply for the asylum and live in a refugees camp for up to two years with no proof that your case will be successful. So there are a lot of obstacles, but definitely we have to move, because it becomes worse.
Beka, What does your tattoo on your forehead stand for? What language is it? When and why did you decide to get it? Did any people ever approach you because of that?
Beka: It is "freedom" in Georgian. To be more precise it means like "I own my mind". So it stands for who I am, and that no one can ever change me.
Vlad, You also work as a model right? What kind of look is being asked in Moscow right now? What kind of type works really well?
Vlad: Not mine for sure. It seems like Moscow fashion and world fashion are two separate things. Just huge hunks are still popular here. Of course I understand that Versace and Gucci like those as well, but there is diversity on the international scene. Here it feels like it stuck back in 90s and nothing changes.
Is being gay as hard and dangerous as international press puts it, or is it different? Tell me your perspective? Vlad: It's a good question and rather controversial. Of course press likes to pump and force everything up, but generally yes. It is that bad. You know we all get used to the environment and eventually I feel ok not leaving home after dark because I might be beaten to death, but of course it is not ok. Generally.
What have you got planned for the next month?
Hm, nothing big. We would like to visit Georgia this summer but we'll see how it going. It's difficult to plan when everything is so unstable.
If you had all the money for a new project, what would it be?
Vlad: It definitely would be kind of No Hate photo shoot with famous people. Not with Lady Gaga, but with celebrities whom I like and respect. Like Lana and Crystal Castles and Charlotte Rampling and Terry probably. But as a model. I like it unexpected you know. I got several ideas for the shoots like this and yeah, if I had money I would spend it all on that. Beka: I would launch my own clothing line for sure. Sometimes ideas that I developed in my childhood appear in Givenchy or Rick Owens. I swear it is true. So my dream to make my own clothing not to let anyone steal my ideas.
Any place on earth you would love to travel to (not considering budget)?
Vlad: Well... I don't have a strong desire to travel somewhere. I miss New York sometimes. I would like to go there and see places where I used to work and see how it changed.
Beka: I would also like to go to New York. Sometimes we laugh with Vlad that we are like from 2 different planets. He's so European, like small lanes and mysterious evenings in unknown hotels, but I am a victim of all American - Disney, Britney and Studio 54. I think we both love New York but we do it so differently.
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
Vlad: I don't know. Really. I like wise people. So my only wish is to meet more wise people in my life.
Beka: I can't name anyone exactly, but I'm sure I'd like to meet myself.
June 18, 2014
Labels: Working Sailor, May I introduce