07.11.2017 13:20

The journey taught me to work with time. Returning to a hectic presence is difficult, says Foletti

Autor: Markéta Lankašová | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

Living in 2017 and also in Middle Ages - is it possible? For Ivan Foletti it is. Don't rejoice, he hasn't invented the time machine (yet). But this year, Foletti with his wife and group of ten students behaved like medieval pilgrims. They walked from Laussane in Switzerland, through Geneva, Lyon, and Reims to Mont-Sain-Michel monastery. Along the way, more than fifteen hundreds of kilometers long, they didn't use any cell phones or navigation.

BRNO - Thirty-six years old Foletti is a teacher at the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University in Brno. But he was born in France and he studied the history of arts in Laussane. He organized this trip for his students. "We have collected papers for the diploma work of students interested in medieval art,“ explains the tiny man with a beard. "There was only one plan for the journey: three weeks on the road, three weeks in a monastery. There we studied, worked on our research and also engaged in the routine of monastic life,“ he adds.

Even if members of the expedition were considered atheists, they had time to think about faith during the journey. "We woke up every day to sing with monks on morning mass. It's fantastic how you can be part of something thanks to singing. What you know is that it has a spiritual overhang for monks, but your ego doesn't necessarily have to touch it,“ specialist for medieval studies says. Monasteries were also the only places, where he was in contact with the world via laptop, cell phone, and internet, and that was because of his job. "Colleagues from Brno brought it for us. But after first weeks I didn't want to use these things,“ he admits.

Foletti speaks quickly and in a long, demanding sentences, but during four months of their pilgrimage, he was glad for occasional silence. "When you are constantly in one group of twelve people for four months, it's very difficult to avoid the hassles. Sometimes we discussed deep topics, sometimes we sang, but sometimes we were fed up with each other,“ Ivan says, shruggging his shoulders.

Foletti says that local residents were generous, loving, and unbelievably worthy. At the French markets, he realized that it is the basic human instinct to help and to be kind to others. He and his students got local food for free, they even could sleep at someone's place. "There were some funny moments. We met old friends, we made new ones. I am happy I met my friend from another trip, after almost ten years“ says Foletti.

In addition to collecting background materials for Foletti students' diploma work, his team also filmed short movies. There are twelve movies, and all are on Youtube. Viewers will see worries of the participants of the road trip, meetings with world best scientists, observations and discoveries of the four months long trip. “Touching the sights is something completely different from what you see in the picture. We also wanted to bring medieval art to people under the skin, to convince them that the Middle Ages were interesting. That's why I wanted to make movies,“ historian scientist explains.

At the pilgrimage, historian Foletti realized what it meant "to arrive“ and what it was like when one had time to look forward to something.“You are walking, for example, thirteen kilometers and you see the castle on the horizon ahead of you. And you know there will be a moment when you will stand next to it,“ Foletti describes. Now he is slowly getting into a real, busy life. "It is difficult for us to come back. I shaved my face and wear formal clothes, but the time is still a big problem. I am nervous every time I have a meeting at some exact time," concluded Foletti, smiling.

Klíčová slova: France, Foletti, pilgrims


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