Recieved 13th June 2018
JVA Köln, Monday, 28th May 2018
Hello again friends (and post control person)! This envelope two of seven. It contains 8xA6 drawings, 1xA5 note and this letter. Enjoy! In this letter I would like to say an enourmous (too many “u”’s maybe? It looks wrong) thank you for all the support, visits, money and letters. I am blown away by all of it. I’m always in shock when I receive a new letter, I love all of them SO much. I really should have written back sooner, but always thought “I will be back before you get it.” Apparently not, so here we go! Prepare to receive (I hope) a whole bunch of much overdue letters and feel free to share them. On a side note, I can’t believe I haven’t read any slingshot edition before! I love the three you sent HEAPS, I find a lot of the articles very interesting. I also enjoyed the copy of Bite Back, though it’s old. It was inspiring and made me smile. The rest of the package was great too, but special mention to those two. The forest, as I’m sure I mention in a drawing, is starting to feel like a dream. It’s so strange. I know I was there, I can smell it on my jacket, but it feels so far away. Are there many flowers? I can’t believe it snowed when I was there, over ten weeks ago now (week eleven started today). Is there still mud that grabs your boots like sticky tape? Is all the tofu gone? Did the rest of that week go okay? I feel so disconnected, deliberately I imagine, with the delay on letters, but I’d love to hear about how things are there. What does it smell like? Sound like? Feel like? My life here is full of the smell of industrial soup, overcooked food, scented cleaning products, flaking wall plaster, dust, stale tobacco and human body odour lathered in an assortment of lotions and deodorant. Sterile. Even the dirt outside feels sterile, grass grows in it but it’s “bunchy” like clay. It doesn’t dirty your hands when you hold it. There are no trees in the courtyard here either, just an expanse of mowed lawn. A few daisies here and there. The dandelions and butter flowers are gone. So are the baby ducks. Sometimes I see pigeons, a couple of older ducks, or twice a light brown hawk who liked to sail lazily on the breeze. That’s about it. My bed is 7cm of yellow stained (and in laces, burnt) foam. I often wake up with a sore back or shoulder. The sheet to cover the mattress is blue, and the flat sheet white. I can change them fortnightly to a new set of starchy, crisp, almost solid ones. This happens on Thursday (usually) when I also change my towels and tea towels (two of each). On Monday (usually) I can change everything else. I miss my clothes, floral scented, familiar, mine. The little things I took for granted. My thermos, full of chunky ginger tea. I miss fruit; oranges, bananas, pineapple, mango, any and all of it. Peeling an orange with a knife not intended for butter. Sharing hot coffee. I even miss tofu. Tell me about your day (if you want to). Let me hear about familiar things. About what is outside here. What to look forward to. What is happening. Help me imagine that I’m there, so it doesn’t feel so far away. All my love, stay safe, stay strong, stay brave. <3 UPIII
Note 24/5/18: So I’ve received a few letters asking if there’s anything specific I would like to be sent to me, so I thought about a few things that I’m interested in/miss doing (that I can here). Here’s a list but feel free to send whatever, I love everything I’ve been sent so far!! Things to read: <3 essays about architecture, architectural theory or design theory (reference material) <3 anything about timber frame construction, with calculations if you can find any! Like load bearing capacity, spacing etc. <3 permaculture! <3 thoughtful articles like those in Slingshot, I really enjoy reading them, especially about reification of things and cultural appropriation. <3 short stories, poems, fairy tales, stories from the forest, your own stories/adventures. I love stories!! <3 just letters, whatever you want to write. I love to read them and hear about how you are/what you’re up to! Favourite architects: - Gaudi (“alice in wonderland” style) - Alvar Aalto - Frank Iloyd Wright (not Gehry, his work is crazy!) - Bjarke Ingels (designed a ski slope that blows steam rings!) - Van der Rohe - Corbusier, his work sucks but I appreciate his ideas and find them interesting (it’s complicated) - Anyone who discusses the connection between humans and nature (Aalto has some interesting theories and applications) Things to draw: <3 weird shaped tress or ones with vines on them, mushrooms, birds, bats, anything forest friendly! <3 house plans (with a scale bar please if you can!), so I can draw some perspectives. I’m particularly keen on “Experimental House” by Alvar Aalto, as well as his studio and house in Helsinki. His work is cool, he even has a secret room in his Helsinki house to escape from visitors. Any plans are good though! <3 anatomical diagrams of people/animals so I can see how muscles move/where joints are and stuff. I’m trying to make my drawing more accurate. <3 photos of anything! Bottles, cars, houses, anything <3 ’magical’ creatures; phoenix, griffon, goblin, pixie, fairy; I’m really enjoying drawing these from pictures in Grimm’s fairy tales. Anything, maybe with a description if you can so I can draw a little book of creatures and add notes! Like a field guide or something. Other: <3 your thoughts on flamingos or gorillas <3 tell me about your favourite memory <3 do you like pulp in your orange juice? Do you think it makes it taste better or worse? <3 describe your favourite animal without naming them and I will draw them and send it to you <3 how to read runes <3 German lessen (I want to learn German) <3 what is your favourite movie/book/other and why do you like it? <3 alternatives to prison – discuss why prison isn’t good for people, or is (up to you, I like argumentative writing) <3 Glitter. Lots. I loves the last explosion of it all over everything!!
How soon is soon? Drawing. 5/18 Note 24/5/18: I’ve stopped counting the days, the weeks. There’s no date to count down to. No end in the foreseeable future. Each day the same, groundhog day. It’s Monday. It’s nighttime. It’s suddenly Friday. Where did the week go? What did I do? It’s the weekend already? In one respect I like this, the quicker the weeks pass the sooner I am free, but it’s odd not knowing what is happening. Am I going to trial? I get letters from the court saying this and that. I that good or bad? Does it mean anything? “We want this” - NO - “Then you will wait!” “We will take this” - NO - “Then you will wait!” I’m glad I have a lot of patience, or I am patient or whatever. I’m glad my drawing is improving, everyone tells me they are pretty, can I draw them one? Sure, I’ve got time. <3 <3
Thursday 9am Class Clash. Drawing. 5/18 Note 24/5/18: Thursday is a great day, art class at 9am. Today though, apparently I have a place in a German language course. They are on at the same time, 9am Thursday. With all the hours in a day, surely they could be on at different times? I can only go to one, which do I pick? How do I choose? I think, I love the art class and the teacher is wonderful, but where most people don’t speak English surely I should learn German so I can bridge the language gap? I feel rude asking my friends to translate for me, so what if I could translate for myself? I chose the German language course and it’s super interesting. I like how German sounds, the way the words from sentences, like a puzzle. English puzzle to German puzzle. In my first lesson I learnt “how are you?” and “what do you like to be called?”. My ears aren’t quite used to some sounds, and I struggle with saying “ä, ö, ü” but I’m sure I’ll learn soon!
22nd May Fireworks. Drawing. 5/18 Note 24/5/18: I can’t believe I missed them!! I was so sick I shut my window and went to bed “early” (10pmish). My friends have been talking about them for two days. I love fireworks so much, I was so upset that I didn’t see them! They made everyone here so happy (so many people have told me about them, smiling and laughing). I saw some other ones a while ago (a few weeks maybe?) and another few soon after I got here. I think they’re beautiful. I wonder what it’s like up close? It must look like magic. I hope there is a missive show when I go free, at least coincidently (whoever is setting them off must be having heaps of fun). Thank you so much again for the support letters and everything else. You’re amazing!! <3
Weight Gain and Fat Fear. Drawing. 5/18 Note 24/5/18: TRIGGER WARNING There’s no way to hide I’ve put on weight, and not just a little. The hospital weighed me, I’m up at least seven kilograms (as of two weeks ago). People here talk about it. The photos taken of me aren’t recognizable as me now. In March, these photos make me look like a skeleton, now I weigh more than I ever have (how crazy is it to be afraid of a number that just tells you your relation to gravity?). But I am. I’ve recovered from an ED but it’s hard not to let it creep back, when even my “close” friends here call me fat, fatty, you’re so fat, my fat friend, etc. In a few weeks after I’m free it won’t matter, when I’m back to walking everywhere, real physical movement not six steps up and down a cell, it’ll slowly fall off. Still, it’s not the best way to start a day. I beat my ED though. I’m not going to fall into old habits that easy. Not today.
The First Ever Letter. Drawing. 5/18 Note 24/5/18: I have never posted a letter before. Really. I receive letters (mostly bills but not here!) but never send them. Here goes though, I hope I put enough stamps! <3
What I imagine of the Magical and Strange Postal System, and what it probably is. Drawing. 5/18 Note 24/5/18: I like to think that even in this capitalist system of entrapment people can somehow find a way to make their “job” more exciting. Though I imagine at the rate I’m receiving letters the postal service should find a new way past the dragon. Dragons must not appreciate capitalism either, I wonder if dragons steal money and gold as a way of slowing down the system? Shame most “money” these days is plastic cards. If I had a lighter I’d burn the corner to tell you I survived the letter quest, but I feel bad lying because I couldn’t tell you if dragons are anarchists too. Maybe the post person can ask for me. <3
Conversation about Veganism in Prison. Drawing. 5/18 Note 25/5/18: Thankfully, I have a vegan friend here and we’ve had several little discussion about how difficult it is to be vegan here, which is good because it makes me feel less strange (“why don’t you eat meat or cheese?”) and I imagine we will have many more. She doesn’t eat vegan in prison (it is very nearly impossible, and I’m really feeling the lack of variety body wise, I always feel lethargic), but tries to be as vegetarian as possible. I guess freegan, because whatever we are given we either eat or throw away. If you’ve read the “menu letter” I wrote about what I ate and usually eat, it sucks here food wise. I’m also starting to cut bread out of the things I eat as it’s making me sick. Also the soup. I have no more chocolate. White rice, boiled potatoes and the once or twice a week fruit or vegetable, and cold coffee. What if there is butter in the rice? Hmm.
Time Zone Birthday Curiosity. Drawing. 5/18 Note 25/5/18: I was thing about a conversation I had in the forest. I didn’t draw it very clearly but I wondered about this person’s birthday. If we were born in the same year, who would be older? My time zone is a different (or time zone for my birth anyway). So it would be them, born the “day before”. But. What if they where born late at night, and me early in the morning or other way round? Time zones say they are older/younger, but logically I/they have existed for longer, born the equivalent of early evening in their time zone. I hope this makes sense. I have to ask when I’m free, I want to know if we were born on the same day because of time zone weirdness. If there is really a day between us. I hope I remember to ask! <3