Estimated reading time: 5 minutes —
Dear Nadya #3
If it’s Monday, it must be that day of the week when I struggle to write a letter to the most politically aware person in the entire Russian nation, without saying anything overtly political! Ironically, writing a letter to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova / Наде́жда Толоко́нникова is kind of like chatting at a Blaylock family party. With the Blaylocks, I work hard to keep the conversation superficial, because I know if we let it drift over to anything that really matters, it’s going to turn into an ideological screaming match. With an extraordinary patriot like Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, it’s the opposite. I yearn to say how humbled I am by her vision and courage. Unfortunately, The State is listening. Or reading. And The State doesn’t like political thoughts. Doesn’t allow them to be shared with prisoners.
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you pick?
I’m writing a letter to the most compelling person in the world. And making banal chit chat. Like it’s just another family dinner.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Patriot
Meanwhile Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is starting a prison hunger strike today. Earlier this year Maria Alyokhina’s hunger strike ended after 11 days. Will Tolokonnikova’s be 11 days? Or less? Or will she not survive prison in Mordovia? My tears are trivial compared to how Tolokonnikova, or Aaron Swartz, or Chelsea Manning, have paid for their courage in 2013. Still. I have cried more days of 2013 than any other year of my life. High school was easy compared to geopolitics.
Oh well, time to write mindless chit-chat that might get past the prison censors. Her life hangs in the balance and I write chit-chat vapid enough that they’d let her read it. You know, if they give her mail at all.
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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova & Maria Alyokhina free in:
A letter from Vanessa Blaylock to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova:
from Google Translate:
Thanks Google Translate! Here’s the Russian > English to see how distorted it gets:
• iRez / Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Hunger Strike
• Free Pussy Riot.org / Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Hunger Strike
• English PEN / English PEN Meets Pussy Riot
• SFMOMA / Noah Miska About the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike
• Photo of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Pyotr Verzilov, her daughter Gera, and political activists Oleg Vorotnikov from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.