Stella studies documentary film and works as a photographer. In both fields, she is interested in blending reality and dramatization, and she works with both amateur and professional actors. Breaking down and constantly questioning the male gaze is particularly important for her work: “You don't have to be a heterosexual cis man to reproduce the male gaze. You've grown up thinking that films or visual arts in general have to please the male audience. Part of that is that female-read people are always portrayed as beautiful, as not actively looking, but as someone who’s being looked at.” In course work she has done, Stella investigates what a queer gaze could look like and what happens when perspectives meet in a different way than usual.
Stella prefers to cast FLINTA* people for her work: “Especially when you're putting together a team, it's super important to me that the set is a safe space and that nobody who’s queerphobic is involved. Especially in film and in cinematography, there are a lot of guys who like to crack sexist jokes or are weird to protagonists or other team members.” Having this sensitivity is also important to her for the topics she addresses with her colleagues. One of her recent films was about menstruation. “We re-enacted scenes that you know from commercials, from all pop culture, and we destroy the male gaze by adding menstrual blood.”
For Stella, being queer means more than just saying how you identify and who you have sex with. “What’s my view on relationships and how do I deal with jealousy? What role patterns persist and how can we restructure the way we deal with relationships based on this assignment of roles?” Stella is interested in different ways of questioning power structures in relationships and dealing with desire and being desired. “You notice how much you’re socialized by your own parents and by society. In the end, however, there’s no blueprint that says how a relationship has to work.”
Stella moved to Munich 7 years ago. What she appreciates about Munich is the fact that you can quickly find your community here. “I feel like the leftist queer artist bubble is rather smal in Munich. This can also be quite nice, because it doesn’t take long to know everyone.” In the beginning, she struggled because she felt excluded as a queer person who would date people of any gender and identity. “At first, I often felt like I couldn't get into some circles. But now, that has totally changed because I have a lot more friends for whom that doesn't matter.” For the future, Stella wishes that she can continue to pursue her values and ideals and that she can do projects where she doesn't have to hide as a queer person. “I want to work with people and topics that I feel comfortable with and that I can stand behind. But that's a big privilege because reality isn't always like that.”