A letter from a distant land

“I am writing you this letter from a distant land. Its name is…”


With this phrase Chris Marker’s film ‘Letters from Siberia’ has started. I am watching his film on my wall, back in my hometown. I am looking at a man who looks at a distant to me, but close to him landscape of the land I have never visited. The film narrates and asks many questions about the country, which doesn’t exist anymore. It is a country I was born in; this country is my reason to be here, back to my hometown, which I left many years ago; it is a country, traces of which I had to re-visit to be able to produce a new work, which I will be exhibiting here, in a distant land for you.

I am writing you this letter from a distant land. Its name is Estonia.




Letter 58

Letter 58

Each of us lives in own small world. But there are other worlds… about which we might not know.

Letter 57

how do we know that told story is truth…

here is always somewhere else

One day he decided to make a very long sailing trip

in search of the miraculous


*he was the fourth element


(Bas Jan Ader)

letter 55

my dear maria,

how are you?

i’ve been trying to keep life quite beautiful. by now we are making wooden furnitures by ourselves. flowers and herbs flourish in the garden. it makes the house so lovely! from time to time my son and i glimpse a butterfly with its tiny and colored wings. and my son runs to take his little camera. most of times the small insect flies along the air before he can picture it. and he starts laughing. *butterflies and children are easy images, don’t you think so?* it is delightful anyway, children and butterflies. it’s the end of the winter and the days are pretty cold. i can’t sleep well. nights have been so long. actually i could never sleep well. i belive that is why i started reading, and after some time writing. i’ve written far less than i wish, though. when we start living things it becomes difficult to write about them. such as love. it is essential its abcence to write about it. by now, my sweet, i’m just thinking about men and women working day by day, about this unusual wolrd around us. that is why i still walk with bare feet. it is my resistance.

with love,


letter 54


letter 53

’cause sometimes i want to tell you a thing.

partícula I



letter 52


letter 51

eden is that old-fashioned house

we dwell in every day

without suspecting our abode

until we drive away


how fair, on looking back, the day

we sauntered from the door

unconscious our returning

discover it no more


*emily dickinson

letter 50

nigh on winter

you hold my hand tight

and life took place again

if you could know how many shadows

will remain amongst us

in the very moment of your dreams

royal cordillera

even when we cannot reach it

we know it is still there – so white –

looking on men and their secrets

as it always has been


letter nr.something

from which direction it will come?


coordinates of the corner

the home

i wish i knew them

south pacific

tell me a unique word

and if you look that close

you will see simply

a deep square of blue

from now on*

*amalgama #8: fernando ancil (brazil) and glaura cardoso vale (brazil)


i always thought house was a place of care

and not an imprisonment

at the same time, i locked doors and drawers out

creating a barrier to prevent

strangers to come in and out

this flawed ideia of security

while fear scares me inside


for a long time house was only a room

where books, clothes, and long plays were gathering

while doors and drawers were still locked

i realized in the cloudy room the possibility to not to fear the world

locked doors and drawers

did not make possible strangers to come in and out

nor writing either

a table*

*amalgam #7: fernando ancil (brazil) and marina tsvetaeva (1933, russia)**

Oh, table, on which I write!
I thank you with all my heart:
You’ve given a trunk to me –
With goal a table to be –
But keep being the living trunk! –
With – over my head – your leaf, young,
With fresh bark and hot pitch’s tears,
With roots – till the bottom of Earth!
Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, October 22, 2005
** Marina Tsvetaeva is the great Russian poet of 20th century (1892-1941)

closed landscape*

*amalgama #6: rafael fares (brazil) and virginia yiny (spain)

A savage inside the cave and the man goes out to hunt.

Ripped in two both sexes.

She will be the womb, he will stay in the midst of

There and hither.


A tamed man cooks and the woman picks her children.

They have never been married.

They met each other cuz he was a migrant

He wanted a home, he was tired to be an errant

She wants only a lover, she had life done.

my world*

* amalgam #5: ko sakauchi (japan) and ronaldo macedo brandão (portugal)


*amalgam #3: bruno vasconcelos (brazil) and ko sakauchi (japan)

When I was little, my dad used to say “if you’re lost, I can find you looking for the girl who has three moles like Orion on her thigh and bring back home anywhere you are.” Two out of three are almost gone now and maybe I don’t need them.

a leap (Christmas post)

…and this leap from age to age,

from the order of a child to that of an old man,

will not diminish us.


– paul eluard-

… and, as ancient times,

i could sleep in the sea.

-paul eluard-


*amalgam #2: yelena popova (UK) and eassis (Brazil)

“The house was quiet and the world was calm”

This is the sentence by which a man

loses his place, sells his peace

curses his soul. A poem

is not a lake, his home

among lilies, it isn’t

a chair by the window, a page

from Cristina, a song

in the evening, it isn’t

he or she, it is not

a thing…

of fruits and love*

*amalgam #1: lígia diniz (brazil) and anna volkova (latvia)

So strange, you see,
these windows so wide don’t get a grip of this city’s infinity.
From our room I see trees-with-branches-with-leaves-with-mangos so big
they could fall and smash someone’s head
and yet they are homelike for me.

(Ever since I was little I look up to the sky in terror:
such greatness must be famished for being so long so blue.
And in a city like this – all turquoise sky, no ocean, no woods –
it will surely feed on a lesser woman
like me.)

That is why (you see)
I need those trees-with-branches-with-leaves-with-mangos-so-big:
so I can hold on to them when the ravenous universe finally sends for me.
And that is why
when the sun is high
I ask you to close all the windows
and throw your body both gently and heavily –
I ask you to throw your body over me.



“we feel and essay

to infinitude”





my love has no meaning



I met a friend of mine with her 6 years old son.

He looked at me and asked his mom: ‘Why she keeps her hands in pockets?’

There is no such word in English as ‘Handschmeichler’ in German. But that’s for I need my pockets.



*autocromo, lartique, 1912

everyday dishes

on my writing desk:

a computer, notebooks, faded pictures, some lists to do.

among them rests a small chinese ball you once offered me

on its surface, a delicate blue painted foliage.

love can be that flimsy.


here but not here

I never pick up the phone here.

I know it’s not for me.

Nobody knows that I am here.


Political license

for today, at least for today, i’ll close the windows and turn off lights for the men and children murdered in an indigenous village in brazil.

for today, at least for today, i’ll sing them a song I use to sing to my little boy when he feels threatened. it has no meaning. but i’ll sing it anyway.

(a song to Guarani-Kaiowa)



the theme: drawers, chests and wardrobes



i lay on the floor

in the middle of rests

you brought me


The herbs in the pots have breeded so many flies around, that I decided to cut all herbs off and ate them with my lunch.

No more home windowsill garden…


drawers, chests and wardrobes*

For a while we’ve stopped posting here. And we both started wondering why. Yesterday we met by chance on skype and talked about it (a little bit) and life. We always find something potentially interesting when talking about life randomly. It is, probably our method. A fluid, open-ended conversation about minor daily things: my son, your MA, films, books we are reading, and other ordinary situations. We were talking about what to do with our blog, trying to set a new theme and start publishing on it again. What does we have in common, besides “mouse gray” hair, red shoes, accents, photography and books? Our relationship has been marked by such coincidences. And it wasn’t different yesterday.

We were talking about leaving home, about having no more home, at least a traditional home. We are both having to deal with it, in different ways though. How is to live in between two cities and build up a feeling of home on the road, or how to feel at home when you had to leave your home unexpectedly and had no chance do set a new one? And, again, by chance, I wrote you a quotation from Bachelard’s La poétique de l’espace. You were reading it as well. So we decided to understand it better. The coincidences but, mostly, what drove us to this book. We both want to understand the idea of intimacy, of the relationship between exterior and interior, personal objects and spaces, the sense of building a home and live in it, or leave it, of home and its poétique.

So we decided to start writing/picturing to each other again, like the first time, when we fist ‘met’ each other, as a diary, as a description of ordinary time and space of life.

* from La poétique de l’espace, by Gaston Bachelard


For this theme, we decided to do each post together: one of us will post an image, another – text. We are going to swap every time who will post what, but without indication on it. We try to build one story told by two people. Let’s see how it works.

we both look like from eastern europe

[2:44:03 PM] Ana: everybody was asking me about you

[2:44:07 PM] Ana: how you look like

[2:44:11 PM] Maria: really?

[2:44:13 PM] Maria: hahaha

[2:44:16 PM] Maria: what did u say

[2:44:22 PM] Ana: if we have ever seen each other

[2:44:34 PM] Maria: 🙂

[2:44:43 PM] Ana: i told you were from the east europe

[2:44:56 PM] Maria: haha

[2:44:57 PM] Ana: and that you have short red hair

[2:45:03 PM] Maria: yes i have eastern europe look 😉

[2:45:09 PM] Ana: do you still have red hair?

[2:45:12 PM] Maria: nope

[2:45:17 PM] Ana: hahahaha

[2:45:27 PM] Maria: its first time in my life since i was 18, i have my own colour of hair

[2:45:48 PM] Ana: oh!!

[2:45:50 PM] Maria: i have forgotten already what my color was 🙂

[2:45:55 PM] Ana: and what colour it is?

[2:45:59 PM] Ana: is it?

[2:46:06 PM] Maria: i cut all coloured hair since

[2:46:21 PM] Maria: we called in as a joke “mouse grey” 🙂

[2:46:36 PM] Ana: that’s my hair colour also!

[2:46:39 PM] Maria: !!!!!

[2:46:49 PM] Ana: yep

[2:46:49 PM] Maria: hehe

[2:46:54 PM] Ana: hahahaha

[2:46:55 PM] Maria: so you know then what i mean:)

[2:47:02 PM] Ana: yep

[2:47:07 PM] Maria: i hated it, that’s why i was colouring since 18

[2:47:22 PM] Ana: i used to colored mine as well

[2:47:34 PM] Ana: but then i got pregnant and i had to stop

[2:47:54 PM] Ana: so i decided not to colour them since then

[2:48:03 PM] Maria: but recently i started to think that most of my friends have grey hair and they are still young. they have to colour to feel they are still young. but i dont have grey ones. i am lucky, so i need to stop color and show my natural color then:)

[2:48:20 PM] Ana: and now they are long…

[2:48:46 PM] Ana: i use very short hair since my 13

[2:49:02 PM] Maria: i am always with short

[2:49:10 PM] Ana: i love then short

[2:49:17 PM] Ana: but now they are really long

[2:49:30 PM] Maria: i have now 70% of my head is with hair 2cm long 🙂

[2:49:45 PM] Ana: wow!!!

[2:49:52 PM] Ana: that’s great!

[2:49:59 PM] Maria: i was thinking to try to grow them longer. came last time to hairdresser and they cut me…2cm…so…:)))

[2:50:19 PM] Ana: when i was in boston, people always asked me if i was from east europe

[2:50:33 PM] Ana: because of my accent and skin and hair’s colour

[2:50:33 PM] Maria: really? why? did you asked them why

[2:50:56 PM] Maria: so if we meet up, we gonna look like from one country 😉

[2:51:04 PM] Ana: they told me i talk as a russian

[2:51:09 PM] Maria: really?!

[2:51:19 PM] Maria: so i am russian. then you talk like me?!

[2:51:27 PM] Ana: and one day i was in the russian neighborhood

[2:51:40 PM] Ana: and i listened some people talking

[2:51:55 PM] Ana: and it really sounds as brazilian portuguese

[2:52:04 PM] Ana: i don’t know why

[2:52:12 PM] Ana: it has to do with fonemas

[2:52:16 PM] Ana: fonetica

[2:52:21 PM] Maria: maybe

[2:52:31 PM] Ana: phonetic

[2:52:31 PM] Maria: but interesting that you felt that similarity

[2:52:47 PM] Ana: i imagine, but i’m not sure

(our conversation on skype, 10 September 2011)

Letter 49

Trying to fix words up

Letter 48

a big hole inside of me

full of emptiness

no a filler either



Letter 47


Letter to you

you are free to fly

up to you to decide

who holds the line

Letter from Krista

It has been for a while…
I have skipped some coffees. Time is rich in the mid-summer and ice seems to be melted.

Krista Mölder, photographer from Estonia

on the theme – tea coffee and something else

Letter with no picture

It’s so often happen to me that I see an image, I am passing it, but I keep it in my minds only, not on the film in my camera.

Sometimes I regret about it. Sometimes I enjoy the fact that this image belongs to me only.

Sometimes I wish to write down what I saw but I forget. Sometimes I do write down it.

I am sure lots of people have such kind of pictures…which were seen but never taken.

Let them describe it for us. Let them tell us.


Responses from other people are here: NO PICTURE THEME

A letter to Maria

Dear Maria,

Sorry for not answering your emails and skype calls. Life sometimes can be very tricky. We never know what comes next. I’m back to my hometown after six years. I think it is time to stay close to my beloved ones, at least for now. It’s Fall here and the sky is so blue that is almost impossible not to feel touched by it. I feel deeply touched by ipê trees outside. From my window I can see a pink one. They remember me my mom, she loves them, mostly the yellow ones. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera with me, otherwise I would send you a picture of it. It’s funny, don’t’ you think so? A photographer without a camera. It happens sometimes. So I write instead of shot. Let’s start all over again? I can invite you for a cup of tea and we will talk about love, photography, gardens and the days for come.

With love,


on theme: tea coffe and something else

Letter from Ko

Coffee time on the 53 floor

*Ko Sakauchi, photographer from Japan

on theme-  tea coffee and something else

Letter from Carolina

I do not know when the words were lost, but it was in the end of winter. These days, I’ve planned a strategy – a strategy of writing or an image. I thought to invite myself to a cup of tea – after the end of writing, I started living things rather than writing them. It was a little disturbing. The word love, for example, existed only in writing. Outside, the word is more simple and quotidian. I can not write about a tea unless I take it. Soon, I will have a cup of tea in a place I like near my house. I will sit, ask for the flavors, and make from this rough writing, my wordless moment.

[Today I saw the first autumm pink Ipê tree – I thought it was worthy to note.]

Carolina Junqueira likes photography and notebooks

on the theme – tea coffee and something else

Letter from Baiba

Coffee bewilders me when somebody invites me for a cup of coffee. I can still enjoy this distraction again and again.

Photo: Baiba Tetere, 2007.
on the theme: tea coffee and something else

Letter from Kirsti

I used to think that I had never been in love, or even that I was incapable of falling in love. I asked my newfound lover how one could be sure if one was in love. (I believed him to be somewhat of an expert on the field) He could not give me the answer I wanted; he said it was all about feeling, and thinking and feeling for the other. Then I asked him if one could ever get so close to another person that one could feel where he or she itched when he or she itched. He did not believe so.


This morning my lover said that he wanted to drink tea more often. I had a cup of earl grey with my müsli; he had a glass of orange juice. Later I asked him why he wanted to drink tea more often. He replied that he had never said such a thing, but that some mornings he had tea, other mornings coffee and yet other mornings juice.

I guess maybe it is like this: I have left him, and I am alone, but still it feels like he is touching me, or a memory of him is touching me, like my body needs for the touch telling me that I need to be with him again. As I walk, the parts that were latest connected to his parts lean in the direction he would have been in. Like a man who has lost his arm and compensates by leaning in the direction of the lost limb. When we are apart, he is my lost limb. I guess that this could be the explanation I was searching for; this is how I could know.

*Kirsti Taylor Bye, photographer from Norway

(on a theme tea coffee and something else)

Letter from Arunima

*Arunima Singh, photographer from India

(on a theme tea coffee and something else)

tea coffee and something else

From: Ana Carvalho <nicacarvalho@gmail.com>

To: Maria Kapajeva <kapajeva@yahoo.com>

hi maria,

i’ve been so busy these days… sorry for not talking to you yesterday…
how about to set a new theme for our blog? and start inviting people?
you said you have some ideias.

these days i can only think about loneliness. not related to sadness… but with the daily life, tasks, hurry… all these things related to our days and cities…. maybe we could explore this… but you said something about tea. and tea remembers me meetings. so it would be much happier to talk about it instead of loneliness…

well, let’s talk and see what we decide for next topic.
i’m looking forward to it!!!
many hugs


i have got this email from you today.

i am dreaming about tea or coffee alone.

just me, coffee/tea and book.

but i have no time for it.


so should we invite other women then?

Letter from Julia (around me)

what do I do? it feels like a huge puzzle, no. there are lots of pieces and I try to combine them.
The photography may be one of cores of my life. Everything is connected to it. My relationship with my husband David Dector, who is also photographer, my sons – they are big part of my photography. But it’s hard. I finished a book “Kitab Al-Balad” a year ago and it still haven’t been published, soon my second book will be finished and nothing. Why I’m doing that? Selfpeety is bad i know it.
So I do my photography and wait. At least I do it good.

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*Julia Komissaroff, photographer from Israel.

Letter from Ko (around me)

The ground shook, the mass of water came and the wind of radiation blows.

Someone hung out the carp streamers called Koinobori on the Children’s day, 5th of May, praying boy’s healthy growth. They are swimming facing the Pacific Ocean with their all families.
*Ko Sakauchi, photographer from Tokyo.

Letter 30 (around me)

we all run and run and run. no time. no breathe.

what for?

i have no answer. i am runner too.

i can see only a tiny piece of sky from my window.

and i dream about sea. calm sea.

Letter from Luísa (around me)

*Luísa Horta, artist based in Brazil

Letter from Renata (around me)

Around me, small fragments of daily life

Around me
bared feet
searching for a path
I go along
being the word
the sense
the direction
Even without a route
I’m the guide

(mother’s eyes)

In the heart of a babble
My words vanish
gather on the floor
Sometimes, someone stumbles on them
Pay attention
and a question will arise
From the seed word
springs up a clear speech

(teacher’s eyes)

It grows dark
the house becomes quiet
as the others fall asleep
I think I’m also going to sleep
’cause I am afraid to look

(eyes in the mirror)

*Renata Resende, Brazil ( historian, teacher and mother of João Pedro)