Fotograf Magazine

Libuše Jarcovjáková



People are strange when you’re a stranger

Faces look ugly when you’re alone

Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted

Streets are uneven when you’re down


The Doors – People Are Strange


“I have climbed up a tree; I see beautiful apples that remain out of reach, but I am closer to them than if I were to climb down… I must continue to climb, even at the risk of falling,” she writes in her diary in 1986. Libuše Jarcovjáková has climbed up a tree many times in this way and has mostly come crashing down. As soon as she emigrated to join her fake bridegroom in West Berlin, a Mercedes hit her and she started her five-year stay in a new culture alone, with metal pins in her ankle and a debt of 5,000 marks. She travelled to Tokyo to visit a friend, who, suffering from postpartum psychosis, still in her pyjamas, had started to arrange for Jarcovjáková to emigrate even though no one asked her to. The friend was hospitalised, but as soon as Jarcovjáková started to carve a niche for herself in Japanese fashion photography, visa policies pushed her back into the position of a zimmermädchen who did not earn enough to buy coal for her stove. Back in Prague, “They immediately took away my passport, saying ‘You’ll never travel anywhere again.’ That made me even more determined and I told myself that I wouldn’t stay here; that I would just have to try a bigger pond.” Crashing through a window headfirst, depression, wanderlust.

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