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…

letter 54


letter nr.something

from which direction it will come?


coordinates of the corner

the home

i wish i knew them

my world*

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

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…



“we feel and essay

to infinitude”





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

here but not here

I never pick up the phone here.

I know it’s not for me.

Nobody knows that I am here.




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…


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 48

a big hole inside of me

full of emptiness

no a filler either



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

Letter from Ko

Coffee time on the 53 floor

*Ko Sakauchi, photographer from Japan

on 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 Yelena (around me)


I’m looking directly at time

in our busy time, then we all have

very little or no time at all.


*Yelena Popova, artist based in UK.

Letter 2+8

27 letters. What does it means? We are still so far! We are still occupied with our small daily things (the matter of our work), we are still trying to write to each other, we are still trying to look inside ourselves. But you see after 27 letters, such an arbitrary number, something has changed. We both felt the same – it is time to open the shell. We started longing for the world outside, the people outside, their feelings, their images, their words. What they might want to share or keep in silence about their ordinary life and about the world around them, around us. This very same world we’ve shared everyday. Whatever happens with us or next to us (minor thing and sometimes extraordinary things) reflects on our feelings and goes throughout us, affecting the way we face the world and express it. For now, we are still interested in woman voice. In what moves this voice, and how this voice is impressed.

As Marguerite Duras in the book Woman to Woman said: It’s a kind of feminine strength, which doesn’t explain itself, this refusal, and I think women could oppose with it. Men would always go immediately to discourse in order to explain, wouldn’t they, to make it explicit. But women could oppose it. They would feel it immediately, and I think that they would act if they had speech. Unfortunately, as things are, in 95 percent of the cases, everybody just follows along.

With hope we are in those 5 percent that remains still. We would like to expand our dialogue and invite other women to participate in it. We hope their different backgrounds, views and locations will add to our conversation. Despite of the distance and differences, we are sure we have at least few things in common: we are all women and we feel the world around us. So, we would like to know more about your feelings of the world around you.

So that, we have decided to invite 8 women we know to set a dialogue with us (don’t ask why 8 – it’s just a number, and it’s just a beginning). They are women who we know, who are from different places and backgrounds. We have asked them to send us a letter during the next 2 weeks (in any medium they want to) in response to a specific theme. Let’s see how it works. Letters from everywhere.

The first theme for dialogue is: around me.

Letter 26.

Achieving the horizont, you open a new one for yourself.

Letter 2+2

you are going to the places where i was.

you are going to meet people who i know.

i am happy and sad

but with hope

you find something special in them as i did.



when you are back, tell me your story.

Letter 21

it’s hidden flow there. swim and vanish.

feel the sea everywhere.

open horizon.

Letter 20

through a grief on her face

i can see

a new canvas to paint


Letter 18

there are more than fifty teapots on her shelf.

she has a big family.

Letter 16

Sometimes just a small thing makes us feel different, or helps us to feel balanced.

Letter 14

‘Mr Palomar…asks himself why he is so interested in giraffes. Perhaps because the world around him moves in an unharmonious way, and he hopes always to find some pattern in it, a constant. Perhaps because he himself feels that his own advance is impelled by uncoordinated movements of the mind, which seem to have nothing to do with one another and are increasingly difficult to fit inot any pattern of inner harmony.’ (Italo Calvino)

this photo was taken by my mum 25 years ago.

this book was published 25 years ago.

i am reading now.

and i love giraffes.

Letter 13

deep breath.


dream away.

don’t wake me up.

Letter 11

I came back from the trip.

I wanted to tell you all the stories happened with me.

It’s always strange to come back home which is not my home.

Or it is home indeed?

What is your home?

Letter 10

we are just shadow creators.

that’s all.

Letter 7

“There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparision. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, ‘sketch’ is not quite the word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereis the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture” (Milan Kundera)

*i like number 7 by the way

Letter 5

my heart.


i need a new stitch.


and bruise on the left leg.

Letter 4

How weird is it – I thought of you and I came to write a letter for you.

But I noticed that at the same time, you came here and are writing me.




Which word starts from C is the answer?

Have you ever heard that the periods of women who share the house since some time of living together become run at the same time. This physiology is sort of magic for me. I even don’t want to know the answer on it. The same as the answer on why we both came online at the same time.

I like to play in magics.

Letter 2

I shot it yesterday.

I send it to you today.