Dear Nadya (a letter to) #2

Estimated reading time: 1 minutes — Dear Nadezhda, How has your week been? My week has gone pretty well. I am back at the university now. I teach art there. I have a lot of general education “art appreciation” students. Last week we tried some painting. This week they will be doing a big photography […]

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes —

Dear Nadya.  Nadya Tolokno. Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova. Наде́жда Андре́евна Толоко́нникова. Nadya Tolokno with 2 friends in a wooded area. Tolokno wears an orange top and white overalls.  Her hair is up in a blue bandanna. The friends smile for the camera, yet Tolokno seems more pensive.

Dear Nadya,

Dear Nadya #2

When I first thought of writing to Nadya Tolokno (Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova / Наде́жда Андре́евна Толоко́нникова) & Masha / Maria Alyokhina (Maria Vladimirovna Alyokhina / Мари́я Влади́мировна Алёхина) of course I pompously said to myself, well, this is really important, courageous heroes persecuted for their patriotism, I’ll just have to write to them every day! Then it took me a week to write the first letter and another week to actually get it mailed. It was mailed a week ago, so I guess this is my second weekly letter.

Meanwhile, in the mess over Syria, at least this week, it seems like Advantage Putin, with Obama looking tired. From the progressive perspective of someone like Agnes or myself, the work that Nadya, Masha, Katia, and the entire Pussy Riot movement have done is so important, but I wonder how much the people of Russia even think of their message at this moment as their “leader” takes focus on the world stage.

Of course Russia isn’t the only place where the self-interests of a political leader and a religious leader collude to take freedom and voice from the people. After the rigged Iranian elections of 12 June 2009, the opposition Iranian Green Movement emerged. They had momentum and the focus of the world for a while. But they couldn’t change their country fast enough for the appetite of the Western news cycle, and when Michael Jackson died on 25 June 2009, Western media was bored with the Iranian Green Movement and thrilled for something new and audience engaging to report.

I’m no geopolitical scholar, but I think almost no one around the globe wants Western intervention, but that most progressives struggling for freedom and self-determination, do want attention from Western media. In the case of the Iranian Elections, I’ve heard it said that Michael Jackson’s death was “the best thing that ever happened for the regime.” When Western media looked the other way, people on the ground died.

I wonder what Nadya would think about Putin’s “global leadership” as he takes focus on Syria? Safe to say we won’t know any time soon. As English PEN advised about writing letters to her in prison,

We don’t have any strict guidelines, though would obviously recommend that you don’t include anything overtly political.

Talk about neutralizing your critics and crushing political speech! Just lock the opposition up in harsh Soviet-era labor camps 400km outside of Moscow where, if they don’t die, they’ll at least be unable to hear or speak. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova & Maria Alyokhina are scheduled to be released from prison on 3 March 2014. Sometimes in my dreams I imagine President Tolokno signing a treaty with President Snowden. The cynicism of the geopolitical chess game where the same country that holds Pussy Riot political prisoners, grants asylum to Edward Snowden, brings a tear to my eye every day.

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova & Maria Alyokhina free in:

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Dear Nadezhda,

Your colleagues and friends at English PEN would like to take this opportunity to send you their very best wishes.

How has your week been? My week has gone pretty well. I am back at the university now. I teach art there. I have a lot of general education “art appreciation” students. Last week we tried some painting. This week they will be doing a big photography project. I see them tomorrow. After that I will go kayaking for a while.

My birthday is 25 April, so my “half birthday” is coming up in a week on 25 September. I’ll be 44-1/2. So my present is a new kayak paddle. It is a carbon-fiber “winged paddle.” It is really a much more elite-athlete paddle than my own crummy abilities. Still, it is very nice to use. The carbon-fiber is very light. And the “wing” paddles are so much better than the flat ones. I don’t know why they still make flat ones. The flat paddles “cavitate” or slide around as you take your stroke. The wings lock in the water giving you a much more positive and effective stroke. It is funny, but I feel so much better using the wing. Stronger, but also more connected. It makes me feel like I know what I’m doing.

I was thinking about you and my friend Agnes Sharple. I think you would like Agnes. A while ago she started an online group called “Look What I Did.” It is an online way for people to share their creative projects. To let others see and play with and adapt things they have made. It is a very inspiring Internet project I think.

Here is another old photograph of me. My sister Fiona and I took dance classes for many years. Our mother is a pretty good “ballet mom.” I don’t really dance much anymore. But it is funny, when you spend a lot of time on something it becomes a part of your identity. And I think that when it becomes how you perceive yourself, that it remains your identity even if you are no longer participating in that activity.

I went to graduate school at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. This photo is from 1996. I was 26. I’m dancing with Stephen Carpenter. He was an engaging and compelling dance partner. We never dated, but I thought about it.

I hope you have a good week Nadya. I am looking forward to my activities this week. I will write to you again next Monday.

Warm Regards,

Vanessa Anne Blaylock

Dear Nadya.  Nadya Tolokno. Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova. Наде́жда Андре́евна Толоко́нникова. Dance photograph from Koninklijk Conservatorium. The Hague. 1996. Stephen Carpenter dancing with Vanessa Blaylock. Carpenter's blonde hair is in a ponytail. He wears a striped t-shirt and pants. Blaylock's hair is in a bun. She wears a short tunic-dress, tights, and toe shoes.

Stephen Carpenter & Vanessa Blaylock, 1996.


 
from Google Translate:

Уважаемая Надежда ,

Ваши коллеги и друзья на английском PEN хотел бы воспользоваться этой возможностью, чтобы отправить вам свои наилучшие пожелания .

Как изменилась ваша неделя была? Моя неделя прошла очень хорошо. Я вернулся в университет сейчас . Я учу искусстве . У меня есть много общего образования ” искусство признательность ” студентов. На прошлой неделе мы попробовали некоторые картины . На этой неделе они будут делать большой проект фотографии. Я вижу их завтра . После этого я каяке на некоторое время.

Мой день рождения 25 апреля так что моя “половина дня рождения” идет вверх через неделю 25 сентября . Я буду 44-1/2 . Так что мой настоящий это новый весло байдарки . Это углеродного волокна «крылатого веслом “. Это действительно гораздо более элитный спортсмен весла , чем мой собственный вшивой способностей. Тем не менее, это очень приятно в использовании. Углеродного волокна очень легкие . И”крыло” весла гораздо лучше, чемплоские. Я не знаю, почему они до сих пор делают плоские. Плоские весла ” кавитация ” или слайд вокруг, как вы берете вашего удара. Крылья заблокировать в воде дает вам гораздо более позитивной и эффективной инсульта. Это смешно , но я чувствую себя намного лучше, используякрыло. Сильнее , но и более связаны . Это заставляет меня чувствовать , что я знаю , что я делаю .

Я думал о тебе , и мой друг Агнес Sharple . Я думаю, что вы хотели бы Агнес . Некоторое время назад она началаонлайн группа под названием ” Смотри, что я сделал. ” Это интернет- способ для людей , чтобы поделиться своими творческими проектами . Чтобы люди могли увидеть и поиграть с и адаптировать то, что они сделали . Это очень вдохновляет интернет-проект , я думаю.

Вот еще одна фотография, на меня. Моя сестра Фиона и я прошел курс обучения танцам в течение многих лет . Наша мать является довольно хорошим “Балет мамой. ” Я действительно не танцевать много больше. Но это смешно, когда вы проводите много времени на то, он становится частью вашей личности . И я думаю, что когда он станет , как вы воспринимаете себя , что она остается вашей личности , даже если вы больше не участвует в этой деятельности.

Я поступил в аспирантуру в Консерватории Koninklijk в Гааге. Эта фотография от 1996 года. Мне было 26 лет . Я танцую со Стивеном Карпентер. Он былинтересным и убедительным партнера по танцам . Мы никогда не датированы, но я думал об этом .

Я надеюсь, что у вас есть хороший Надя неделю. Я с нетерпением жду своей деятельности на этой неделе. Я напишу вам снова в следующий понедельник .

Теплый С уважением,

Ванесса Энн Blaylock

Last time I forgot to run my English > Russian Google Translate back through as Russian > English to see how distorted it got. Here’s this week’s letter:

Dear Hope,

Your colleagues and friends in the English PEN would like to take this opportunity to send you my best wishes.

How has your week been? My week went very well . I went back to university now . I teach art. I have a lot of general education ” art appreciation ” of students. Last week we tried some of the pictures. This week, they will make a great project photos . I see them tomorrow . After that I have a kayak for a while.

My birthday is April 25 so that my “half birthday ” is coming up next week on September 25. I’m going to 44-1/2 . So this is really my new paddle kayaks. This carbon fiber “winged paddle .” It’s really a much more elite athlete paddle than my own crummy ability. Nevertheless , it is a pleasure to use . Carbon fiber is very light . And “wing” paddle much better chemploskie . I do not know why they still make the flat . flat paddle ” cavitation ” or slide around as you take your stroke. lock wings in the water gives you a much more positive and effective stroke. ‘s ridiculous , but I feel much better ispolzuyakrylo . Stronger but more connected. This makes me feel like I know what I’m doing.

I thought about you , and my friend Agnes Sharple. I think you would like Agnes. Some time ago, she nachalaonlayn group called ” Look what I did. ” This is the online way for people to share their creative projects . So that people can see and play with , and adapt what they have done. It’s very inspiring online project , I think.

Here is another photograph of me. My sister Fiona and I took dance classes for years . Our mother is a pretty good ” ballet mom. ” I do not dance much anymore. But it’s funny when you spend a lot of time , it becomes part of your personality. And I think he will be , how you perceive yourself that it is your personality, even if you are no longer involved in this activity.

I entered graduate school in the Koninklijk Conservatory in The Hague. This photo is from 1996. I was 26 years old . I dance with Stephen Carpenter. He bylinteresnym and compelling dance partner . We never dated, but I thought about it.

I hope you have a good Nadia week. I look forward to my work this week. I will write to you again next Monday.

Warm Regards,

Vanessa Ann Blaylock

Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova
431150
Rep. Mordovia
zubovo-Polyansky district
Parca, IR-14, RUSSIA
Толоконникова Надежда Андреевна
431150
респ. Мордовия
Зубово-Полянский район
пос. Парца, ИК-14, RUSSIA

• English PEN / Anniversary of Pussy Riot Conviction
• English PEN / English PEN Meets Pussy Riot
Free Pussy Riot.org
• SFMOMA / Noah Miska About the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike
• Wikipedia / Iranian Presidential Election, 2009
• Wikipedia / Michael Jackson

Photo of Nadya Tolokno with unidentified friends, date unknown, from VG Saveliev’s LiveJournal.

A big thank you to the cool peeps over at TwinPictures.de for their awesome T Minus CountDown WordPress plugin. It’s used in this post and also on the home page of iRez. Thanks guys!
• WordPress Plugin Repository / T(-) CountDown
• TwinPictures Plugin Oven / jQuery T Minus CountDown Widget

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