I really hoped and wished that in march lomography will give some attention to women. After all, it was International Women’s Day on 8th of March and in this world and this time, when some women still don’t enjoy the same rights as men, well, we certainly have the power to do something. I’ll start and introduce one special lady to you and you can work from here on. Let’s do something about it, people!
Every nation has its Marco Polo. Well, we Slovenians have Alma Karlin. With March and International Women’s Day passing by, I truly have to tell you about this exceptional lady.
She was born in my home town Celje, which is the third largest city in Slovenia with around 50,000 inhabitants (yes, really). But back then in 1889, when Alma was born, this was a totally different town. The Austrians had the power and a lot of inhabitants were Germans. She was born to a German army marshall and a teacher, which meant she spoke German better than she ever did Slovenian but that was never a problem — she is our national hero.
Some of the old buldings in Celje that were already there when Alma was born:
She was very bright. She studied languages, at first in Celje and than in London. In her life she learned to speak more than 10 languages! She opened a languages school in Celje, earned some money and got the idea which would change her life forever. She wanted to travel the world. And she did! She was fearless. She had a wish and she made it true. But she wasn’t just a traveler, she was an explorer, just like a female Indiana Jones. She would go to the places a lot of people would never set foot. She collected things and she was constantly sending them home to her mother. But most importantly — she was a writer! First money she got, she spent it on buying a typing machine. She named it Erika and it was her constant companion on trips. It weighted like a ton but that wasn’t a problem, she loved her Erika!
She traveled from Australia to South America. In times when cheap airlines didn’t exist and you truly had to make an effort to go places. She wrote about every adventure she had and there even exist some photos from her trips. Everything is a part of this museum in my home town Celje, every single thing she collected, from different leaves to rocks. There are photos and postcards. There are her writings. And there is Erika, of course.
A musem dedicated to Alma Karlin:
When she was traveling she wrote articles and she kept on sending them to different newspapers. Some got published, some didn’t. She had this amazing style of writing and a good sense of humor, she truly did. After she decided to come back home, she thought the city of Celje would welcome her as a hero who traveled the world, that people would come and greet her. But when she stepped outside the train station there was nobody there. A sad story. This is why the city of Celje tried to correct the injustice and made a statue of our Alma Karlin in front of the train station. Now, she truly got what she deserved all along. So, if you travel pass Celje, don’t miss this exceptional exhibition, you truly won’t regret it.
Not the best photo but if you look closely you can see a statue of Alma with her suitcase: