So, the Internet still connects me to the outside world, which is very good. It is interesting that one person on the IUOMA site excluded me from his friends and forbade me to write comments to him. My guess is that this is such a manifestation of anti-war sentiment; this Mail Art artist probably implies that I, as a holder of Russian citizenship, am now filled with hatred, marching with guns in hand and all that. In fact, I live in a small room in an apartment building, taking care of my parents and cultivate art.

Unfortunately, I slowed down a lot in April, and only today I can thank the Mail Art artists to send me their work. I received envelopes during the spring from:

Mail Art Martha
Flying Adventures Weesp
Carien van Hest
Vass Tibor – Spanyolnátha
Predrag Petrović
Juan Petry
Rebekka Schmidt
Lutz Anders
Jean-Charles Boilevin
Margreet Beemsterboer

I am very grateful to everyone and would like to post pictures of everything that came in the mail soon.

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Comment by Juan Petry on May 8, 2023 at 5:40pm

hello ilya,

thanks for your open words. very useful in these times. i will write you a follow up with more detailed information. i see it as a big gift and big advantage of this network to communicate with all sides of all conflicts... and this enables us to stay as humans to our roots of common sense... i wish you the best... and this includes peace.

see you somewhere somehow .... juan

Comment by Mail Art Martha on May 5, 2023 at 7:39pm

This blog is great, Ilya, and a ray of sunshine for all of us. May you keep up the good work!

Comment by Rebekka Schmidt on May 3, 2023 at 6:17pm

Hi Ilya, I'm glad you received the mail. If it can give you a good moment then I am happy with you. :)

Comment by Ramailart (Gianni Ramacciotti) on May 3, 2023 at 12:57pm

I am an Italian living in a country that has always been governed by fascists, Mafiosi, and CIA employees: I am very different from them, and it would be a mockery to be censured abroad for being governed by them. I don't know how many people are proud of their governments, of being citizens of their state: I am not. All the avant-gardes, from those of the early 1900s to the punks, had lifestyles and looks that were disgusting for their times, so people with futile and outdated preconceptions kept themselves away, without much effort. Ilya if you look at what happened to you from this perspective it is an advantage to be Russian for a Russian, a trap for others with rat brains. However, I disagree that art should keep out of politics. I feel anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, internationalist, pacifist, and ecologist: I hope that everything I do stays within these assets. Politics is life and if art stayed out of it, there would practically be no art in the 20th century. Today there is no politics, just as there is no culture among the people, but that is another matter. I speak of political commitment as an anti-government Italian, because these days the same words spoken by a Russian or Ukrainian would be an act of courage that I don't know if I would have: everyone would have to experience situations to be able to talk about them.

Comment by Ilya Semenenko-Basin on May 2, 2023 at 10:19pm

@Pam Chatfield

@Predrag Petrovic

@Margreet Beemsterboer

@nonlocal variable


@Marcia Rosenberger


Dear friends, thank You for Your support, Your attention to my blogging and lovely words.

By no means do I feel like a victim, as the victims now are other people who (as you know) are suffering. I accept the fact that people with the same citizenship as mine become pariahs in this world. I don't like it, but I accept it because something very dark is happening. (As you understand, I choose my terms with great care for a publicly available text). It is all the more important to me that so many people want to keep in touch with me and maybe other authors from Russia (and Ukraine). I'm touched. Let's continue our journey together.

Comment by Kiki on May 1, 2023 at 10:58pm
Hello Ilya :-)

I am sorry to hear someone removed you from a friend list on IUOMA suddenly. I hope you concentrate more
on your other wonderful mail artist friends worldwide.

I am also sorry that Japan currently cannot send any postal mails to Russia while Russia can send mails to Japan... :-/ But I am glad that you received two envelopes I sent you from my travel destination :-) It has been fabulous to have you as one of my friends on IUOMA! :-)
Comment by Marcia Rosenberger on May 1, 2023 at 10:45pm

I make Predrag's words my words. How lucky for you to know who is not your friend. For my part, you have my friendship and my solidarity always. Unfortunately shipping from Brazil to Russia is still not allowed... eventually I can count on the efforts of a friend to send you something, but even so, I hope that we will have better times. <3

Comment by Zack on May 1, 2023 at 8:49pm

oh Ilya that's too bad. but yes life does go on and yes definitely their loss.

sad to learn that even in IUOMA-land there are folks who can't think beyond (geographical) borders... but as they say, minds are like parachutes: they function only when open.

courage, mon ami!

Comment by nonlocal variable on May 1, 2023 at 8:01pm

I agree with Predrag - it's their loss. Mail Art is based upon "no judges," so tolerance is built-in. Let's all make sure that this post encourages even more mail art showing up here and in the real world for Ilya.

Comment by Predrag Petrovic on May 1, 2023 at 7:36pm

Ilya, pay no attention to false friends, and now it is even better to you, to know whoever removed you from their list, it is just their loss, and your gain. Nobody needs false friends and persons who will mix the politics into mail art, or in any form of art. We are here gathered around the artistic ideas and process of making and sharing art, and not to gain any political benefit. 


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