Alba’s Pilgrimage

10min 46sec
In collaboration with Tsering Tashi Gyalthang
Written by Alba Benilde Roberts

Realized in collaboration with Tibetan director Tsering Tashi Gyalthang, based in Saigon, Tsai captures a close friend Alba’s experience of a pilgrimage by recreating memories and landscapes through her narration and close ups of her body.

What is a Pilgrimage?

Pilgrimage shows you humility for you do not know if you will ever reach the destination until you do.

You are just one amongst many others before and after.

You are all the same, your life outside pilgrimage is irrelevant.

The only things that matter are what to eat, where to sleep, how you walk, and who you decide to walk with.

Time is expanding for you are part of its creation.

In a pilgrimage, there is space for everything: for love, for loss, for tiredness, for hunger, for joy, and for silence. There is space for the mountains, the sea, and the flowers; the spiders and the churches. There are welcomes and refusals. There is time for disappearing, and for avoiding the noise and the rage of a city. There is time for returning.

Pilgrimage is going somewhere without knowing if you will ever make it. It is trying to relinquish all negation.

One day is a lifetime in which everything that happens can happen.

This sense of openness and freedom is so real that it defeats all comparisons. It has no translation and cannot be transported.

Reaching the destination brings forth an undeniable feeling of ending.

Physical exhaustion is necessary for it produces the feeling of well-being and satisfaction.

Physical endurance is mental endurance.

One feeds the other.It is to lose the mundane points of reference, which forces you to become more attentive, and to become more open to your environment.

There are no sudden revelations…There is your focus and walking, and the concentration that this exercise requires brings you to an adequate space for exchange.

The more you give yourself to experience, the more you can be changed, and the more you learn.

You live on the day. You focus on your walk. You create time by the rhythm of one foot after another.

As you know nothing, you say yes to everything.

Written by Alba Benilde Roberts

Special thanks to Alba Benilde Roberts, Tsering Tashi Gyalthang, Yeti Production team, Louise de Courcel, Guillaume Teyssier and Shuming Lin.