Kiki Gonglewski, a sophomore at Columbia University, is a storyteller avidly exploring different media. When she is not catching up on classes or working with disconcertingly focused vision on making movies, writing, or an art project, Kiki spends her time daydreaming and drawing up plans for intergalactic travel in some obscure corner of Butler library. She is a large fan of movies, Bradbury novels, Korean Barbeque, all things stars, and long afternoon naps.
VESTIGES sees creative expression find a way in a society which strictly recycles any non-essential items such as books and paintings into raw materials that serve everyday functions.
To find out a little more about her work, we asked Kiki the following questions…
I’d be lying if I claimed that finding inspiration isn’t difficult sometimes. Occasionally, I find myself staring at the blank page or the ragged end of an incomplete sentence, hoping words will magically appear on the screen and put me out of my misery.
But once I let the rest of the outside world melt away and just focus on the story itself, the flavour of its words…that’s when the most random thoughts, flashes of an unexpected idea, or the spin-off universes from another polychromatic “what-if” (Vestiges for instance asked, ‘what if we lived in a zero-waste society, but there was a price to be paid?’) peek around the corner and suddenly make the birth or completion of a story possible.
These bursts can be irritatingly fickle, but can be as magnetic and inevitable as gravity itself. And everywhere I look, there’s a story buried, ready to be refined in one of these moments of retrospect. And, regardless of whether or not I can keep up, seeing the world through the eyes of a storyteller and listener makes it undoubtedly a richer, more vibrant place.
Tell us a bit about your writing process…
I tend to write in the way that I often view time- scattered pieces of a tableau that blend past and present into obscurity. It starts with the idea, which grows and sharpens until there are a handful of tangible surfaces throughout the story to grab onto. Writing a scene at the beginning, then jumping to the end to craft its dramatic close. The entire timeframe in which the story will unfold is all fair game. Writing in this way is perpetually time-travelling to-and-fro across paper until the transitions from one point in the story’s universe to the next are seamless, and the gaps between events finally close.