I always choose to interview people that live their life with passion and enthusiasm and are able to bring about a change to the world. Special people. That’s why I was very delighted to meet Théotime Chabre. After I met him, I was keen on learning more about his life and his work. If you take a look at his interview below, you’ll understand what I mean.
- Describe yourself in 3 words.
Determined, curious, sensitive
- What is your best childhood memory?
I went to a small Spanish city with my parents when I was 8 years old, not far from the French border. A different currency, a different language, different food: everything seemed so different but wonderful. I remember seeing myself like an explorer in a movie. Now I am more travelled but I still try to find this naïve and wonderful first experience of the abroad.
- Which is the best book you have read?
Hum, this is a tough one. Except from the classics of our generation, such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, which had an impact on me as a teenager, my favorite books of all time are On the Road of Jack Kerouak and A Distant Neighborhood of Jiro Taniguchi. Quite different, both books talk about travelling through space and life.
- What is your favorite holiday destination?
I travelled to Tahiti when I was 15 to visit my godfather, who was working there. Fascinating island, in the middle of the Pacific.
- What would you do if you knew that the world was going to end in 24 hours?
I guess I would spend the remaining time with my family and my close friends.
- What are you doing in Cyprus at the moment?
I came to Cyprus for two months to do my fieldwork for my master thesis in Political Sociology. I have been observing the initiatives related to the research for the missing people on the island, who have been lost between 1960-1970.
- How did you find interviewing siblings of people who were lost in the war of 1974?
I didn’t only interview families that lost someone in the war of 1974, but also the ones that experienced this loss during the intercommunal violence in the 1960s. It was surely an intense experience for me. These families opened their house and their heart to me even though I was a total stranger. I experienced some strong moments with them, which will stay in my mind forever.
- How would you describe your experience, after living one month on the Greek side and another month in the Turkish occupied area?
I have had the chance to live on both sides of the island. I say chance, because I have met great people on both sides. I can say that as long as I am not directly related with the conflict, I can see a lot of similarities between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. I hope that at some point there won’t be anything that could prevent people to go to the other side, so that everyone can live in a unified island.
- What similarities and differences do you find between the Cypriot and the French culture?
Wow, that is a tough question. I fear I won’t go too much through the stereotypes here (laugh). Both Cypriots and French like good food and good wine I guess! But maybe Cypriots are a bit easier to talk to and they surely speak better English than we do. Also, France is quite a bigger country. We don’t have the chance to travel all around our country, and that is a pity. People here have visited most parts of their country, at least the area in which they are living. I like this direct connection with the environment.
- Do you think that individuals can change the world?
I think so. Look at how much they can change it in a bad way! I hope and believe that they can also change it in good way, even if it is hard. I am not sure how our actions have an impact on the world, but if everybody does something, even a small thing, it will already be a change to a better world.
Thank you Théotime Chabre!
Special thank you to Nicholas Zouvanis!