Ivana Follová

* 1955

  • "For example, my husband-to-be and I went from the theater and from the pub, because at that time there was no room for anything else, so we went to pubs a lot. But it wasn't that we all just drank, but it was like that - in quotes - discussion club. When we came back at night, we were often checked by the police. Public security back then. And if I didn't have a stamp in my ID stating that I was employed or married, then I was automatically a migrant worker, because there was no opportunity to work, but an obligation to work. So, as I didn't have a stamp, they checked us a couple of times and it was very unpleasant. Because I could be locked up normally for 24 hours and judged as a parasite. Which automatically carried the label of prostitution. And they got many dissident women due to that."

  • "My mother worked as a social worker in a hospital and then she stayed at home with me because she took care not only of me, but also of my grandmother. I don't remember much; it was my father's mother who was quite sick. Just to illustrate the situation, she had a pension of 147 crowns, which was very little even then, because the salary was several thousand in crowns. But of course - if she didn't live with her son and his family - she would have simply starved to death. And it was also because my grandfather, whom I have not experienced at all, was a builder and he built several apartment buildings in Dejvice. And of course, this had an impact on my grandmother's fate, because she had no support and no one, not even the state took care of her."

  • "And about those childhood experiences. I remember terribly - I was at my grandmother's in Uherské Hradiště - the occupation in August 1968. And I was twelve, I had a younger cousin. In Uherské Hradiště, they turned all the directions, people, someone turned all the directions round and round, so the Russian army drove around for about three hours, they couldn't get into the city, and when they finally got in, it was dangerous. Of course, I was a big hero at the age of twelve, so I waved my cousin and we went to have a look. There was a crowd of people. Grandma lived a short distance from the center and we joined the crowd and threatened the tanks with our fists. Then I almost got slapped a few times because it was amazing that grandma didn't have a heart attack. I remember it terribly, how powerful it was for me, as I actually already knew at the age of twelve what kind of power it was, when you are affected by the environment, when people radiate that horror and hatred and at the same time the bravery that they got there with their bare hands. So it was just a very powerful experience."

  • "We almost didn't sleep. We were of course among those who distributed a few sentences and signatures for various petitions, for various closed ones, so then we distributed. I distributed the tapes that were multiplied by students in Mánes. At that time, for example, the Caban brothers were sleeping in Mánes and they reproduced tapes about what was happening and how it was happening. It was distributed around the villages. In Prague, everyone knew what was happening, but further on in the surrounding towns, smaller towns and villages, actors did a huge amount of work there, when they drove around everywhere and told what was happening and distributed the tapes. Otherwise, I attended almost all the demonstrations that were held, and Honza was there, my husband was in the Drama Club when the government fell. After that, he took part in the Civic Forum and so on."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Praha 4, 23.02.2022

    délka: 53:46
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu The Stories of Our Neigbours
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

The most important thing is freedom

Ivana Follová at the press conference of the "Professional Woman" project
Ivana Follová at the press conference of the "Professional Woman" project
zdroj: FB stránka PROFI ŽENA

Ivana Follová, née Hymanová, was born on October 7, 1955 in Prague. The father worked as a mechanical engineer, the mother as a social worker. Grandparents on both sides came from wealthier families, and both families lost all their property after the communist coup in 1948. What little they had left was devalued by the currency reform in 1953. Ivana Follová‘s father was the creator of several patents in his field. As a staunch anti-communist, he could never hold leadership positions. Due to a bad personnel review, Ivana was forced to study only a two-year extension at the School Institute of Artistic Creation after high school, the regime did not allow her classical university studies. She has devoted her whole life to fashion design, and her clients include well-known figures of contemporary Czech cultural life. With her now deceased husband PhDr. Jan Foll, a journalist and later dramaturg of Czech Television, was actively involved in the support of dissident groups during normalization, e.g. in the distribution of banned books, copying of samizdat and dissemination of the manifesto Several Sentences. She and her husband were both friends of Olga and Václav Havel. In 2022, she lived in Prague.