The Slovenia Times

20th century cosmopolitan presented at Cankarjev dom


The presentation of Karlin (1889-1950) starts at the Genoa port, where she started the journey in 1919, and continues in all the places she visited.

Every important stop is accompanied by a short description, a photo and a few objects from Karlin's comprehensive collection of items she brought home from her journeys.

The collection features a statuette of Li Tieguai, which Karlin believed had supernatural powers, a Japanese kimono she found comfort in, countless folding fans, a pendant with two milk teeth and a tapa cloth dress.

Karlin's affection for Asia can also be seen through her small collection of Japanese woodcuts.

Karlin travelled alone and to make money she wrote articles for the Ciller Zeitung on the way and occasionally took on various jobs.

After finishing her journey, she soon became well known abroad. She travelled around Europe, where she held lectures, and her books sold particularly well in Germany.

In a 1931 calendar, she was presented as one of the most influential women in Germany.

Although she was born in Celje, her mother decided that her mother tongue will be German, but Karlin later showed her devotion to her homeland by becoming a fierce opponent of Nazism and joining the Partisan movement in 1944.

According to anthropologist Barbara Trnovec, the author of the exhibition, the presentation targets both those who know a lot about Karlin already and those who know nothing about her at all.

Details about the traveller are available in digital form and a documentary about her life and work is screened as part of the exhibition. Visitors can also see her original works and read books about her.

"The exhibition is an intellectual, spiritual, emotional and aesthetic experience. It is as topical as Alma's story, which due to the values she promoted, is evergreen," said Trnovec, who has been researching Karlin for the last two decades.

The exhibition, open until 12 January 2018, will be accompanied by three lectures and a symposium on Karlin's writing.


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