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Contributor profile: Varia Karipoff

Varia Karipoff Varia Karipoff
courtesy the writer

I studied International Relations before taking a sabbatical in Palestine and then Arctic Russia. As I was drifting through 32 euro-a-night hotels in the red-light district of Paris and other places of disrepute, I realised that the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations in Canberra was no place for the likes of me. I turned my hand to writing instead.

I was given a push by Sian Prior to pursue arts journalism while studying Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. Initially covering fashion events, I became associate editor of a travel and arts magazine, a regular contributor to RealTime and a freelance writer/editor. My poems have since gone on to make it to print and won a few prizes. I live in Melbourne with my partner, ceramic artist and sculptor, Andrei Davidoff and my daughter Augustine.


I think Australia separates art from life either by putting it on a pedestal or shrugging it off for its perceived elitism. Art’s rightful place is at the centre of our cultural life as a part of the fabric of every waking day. Its role is to rouse us from the commonplace and quotidian. I write about art to steal my way into the middle of it as the eager audience, and to share maybe one moment, or crystallise some thought that resonates with a reader and piques their curiosity.

Dance and performance are completely visceral and subjective in their stories. In a way, it is on par with poetry. Movement becomes poetry; a language devoid of words and it has the power to trigger memories or new connections.

English was the second language I spoke. My parents were Russian/Soviet refugees. Like Kerouac or Nabokov, finding a voice amid the languages has been a major influence in why and how I write.

Selected articles

highly strung dance
varia karipoff: gareth hart, ellipsis
RealTime issue #112 Dec-Jan 2012 p27

at the crossroads of the senses
varia karipoff: tim darbyshire, more or less concrete
RealTime issue #109 June-July 2012 p8

dancing fish tales
varia karipoff: james welsby, tidefolk fictions
RealTime issue #110 Aug-Sept 2012 p33

live art release
varia karipoff: an appointment with j dark
RealTime issue #109 June-July 2012 p28

pain makes art
varia karipoff: georgie read, brigid jackson, la mama
RealTime issue #103 June-July 2011 p37

RealTime issue #113 Feb-March 2013 pg. web

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