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Respekt in English8. 1. 20086 minut

A Czech university in Mexico

When Radko Tichavský was getting ready for one of his flights from Europe to Mexico several years ago, he had no idea what the trip would bring.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Matěj Stránský • Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Matěj Stránský
Autor fotografie: Matěj Stránský • Autor: Respekt
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When Radko Tichavský was getting ready for one of his flights from Europe to Mexico several years ago, he had no idea what the trip would bring. Over the ocean, his heart suddenly stopped beating and he experienced a short clinical death. For a while he struggled to survive, but he had regained conscience by the time the plane landed and they took him to the doctor. „There I realised I am mortal. And I told myself I had to do a spiritual kind of thing before I die,“ Tichavský says. Such is the beginning of his unique project to start a university in a poor, mountainous region in northern Mexico.

What do you want to study?

Radko Tichavský has experienced several fateful moments. The first came in the first half of the 1980s, when he met his future Mexican wife at students' dorms in Prague. She came to study documentary film at the Film Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU), he studied hard to become a composer at the Academy of Performing Arts (AMU). This relationship was topped up with a wedding and an application for residency in Mexico. After one year of waiting, he was given permission and could say good-bye to Gustav Husák's Czechoslovakia.

As an emigrant, Radko Tichavský struggled at first. He travelled around cities asking people what subjects they would like to study. He knew little Spanish, so when he was looking for a job, he had several…

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