Mittwoch, 29. Juni 2022, 18:30–20:00 Barbara Trnovec: „The endless journey of Alma M. Karlin“

The life story of the Slovenian writer, journalist, world traveller, amateur researcher, polyglot and theosophist Alma M. Karlin (12 October 1889–14 January 1950) is astonishing and inspiring, yet also moving. She traced her own path at a very young age and then followed her dreams uncompromisingly and unpredictably.

From 1919 until 1927 she travelled the world like no one before her – travelling alone, she journeyed continuously for eight years, surviving on what she was able to earn along the way. The nature of her journey places her among the greatest travellers of all time. A comprehensive analysis of her adventures, her collection of artefacts, gathered on the way, and her writing – her autobiography, travelogues, newspaper articles, and literary works for which she drew material from her travels – revealed the motives that sent her on a journey and her goals, her numerous fields of interest and collecting strategies.
In the late 1920s and the first half of the 1930s Karlin enjoyed considerable success as a writer and traveller, both in €pe and beyond, and this was something she had dreamt about as a young girl. After this, however, came some very dark years, which lasted right to the bitter end of her life.

Alma M. Karlin with her collection_Manuscript Collection of the National and University Library (Slovenia)
Alma M. Karlin with her collection.
Manuscript Collection of the National and University Library (Slovenia)

During the course of her life’s journey, fascinating to any observer, Alma M. Karlin transcended all possible boundaries: those of physical limitations, of her sex, of the social class to which she belonged, of her constructed national identity, of physical distance, and also the boundaries of the spirit of the age. Even today her ideas seem fresh and relevant, and continue to address and inspire a growing number of people.

The lecture will take about 50 minutes to cover these topics, and a discussion will follow.

Barbara Trnovec is an anthropologist and ethnologist, the curator and custodian of the Alma Karlin Collection at the Celje Regional Museum, researcher, publicist and lecturer. She is the author and cocurator of a very well received exhibition Alma M. Karlin / Einsame Weltreise / Alone Around the World / Sama okoli sveta (2021/2022) in the Weltmuseum Wien. She is also the author of The Endless Journey of Alma M. Karlin: Life, Work, Legacy, the first scientific monograph on Alma M. Karlin. She spent many years researching Karlin’s life and work, and is her biographer.

The exhibition and the lecture are jointly organised by the Slovenian Embassy in Tokyo, the Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo and the German East Asiatic Society (OAG).

There will be a small reception after the lecture.