Jerca Legan Cvikl holds a PhD in philosophy and theory of visual culture. She is an anthropologist of contemporary life and works as an expert for strategic communication, consulting individuals and groups in public and private sectors. She is also known as an engaged philanthropist, recently founding an international women’s movement. She was born on February 19th in 1977 in Novo Mesto, partially studying and living in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, besides working and travelling constantly around the globe for almost three decades. She worked as a press and public broadcast investigative journalist and editor in chief, as a university lecturer, event manager and as a strategic communication consultant in Slovenia and abroad. Besides her scientific researches in the humanities, she offers media production and analysis. Recently, she started her new business as part of sustainable Slovene tourism in Bled. Besides co-authorship of books and articles with a scientific or more popular status, she is a writer of five books – two scientific monographs on different media phenomenons, a special marriage hand-book, a multilingual fairy-tale for children of all ages and she is preparing a new autobiographical opus about an ex-Yugoslav important figure.
WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE SLOVENIA?
Divine, diverse, challenging, while safe and inspirational!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SLOVENIAN GIFTS AND SOUVENIRS TO GIVE TO PEOPLE?
There are many different and unique handicrafts in Slovenia. As a Slovenian I’m also proud on our renowned artists, poets and writers and other cultural attaches…a painting from Ivana Kobilica, NSK group arts or a book of poems from Feri Lajnšček or music compositions by Vlado Kreslin, Zoran Predin and others could be a precious present for a foreign friend.
WHAT MAKES SLOVENIA A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?
Slovenia is rather small as a country, but big in its diversity and potentials. I regret that not all Slovene people are yet aware of this. I once said that if I were in the role of president of the republic, I would have donated a special ticket to every citizen to travel around the world. After which, they would be able to appreciate the quality of life and work in Slovenia.
WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT SLOVENIA WHEN YOU ARE ABROAD?
The cosiness and comfort of our home on Castle Hill in the capital city of Ljubljana, with its Old City pedestrian area, as a consequent manageability of living, closeness of our family and friends and above all, the variety of untouched and changing nature from the Mediterranean seaside to the Alpine mountain with extraordinary culinary experiences in each direction.
TELL US ABOUT THE SILA-IWCL?
Slovene International Ladies Association (SILA) was established in 1993 by some of the most eminent Slovene ladies, ambassadors wives and other high representatives of international community in Slovenia. SILA, which in Slovene language means “strength”, assists newcomers with know edge and experience about the country and organises a variety of cultural, sports, educational, social and charity events. Member ladies of highly diverse backgrounds and of all ages come from more than 44 countries and SILA provides them all a home away from home. And above all, SILA recently extended to IWCL (International Women’s Club Ljubljana) through years of fundraising for the benefit of carefully defined charity projects. From the success of the biggest charity annual event SILA BAZAR and now the traditional diplomatic SILA GALA ball we have donated more than 1.7 million euros to various humanitarian organisations and gained a great social reputation.
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH OF ELITES IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY?
Part of my professional career is dedicated to a scientific research. I’ve been working in the field of humanistic science,researching gender and media studies, specialising on the theory and philosophy of visual culture in the global world. I’ve invented a special term – popular elite, which refers to a phenomena of strategic elites of contemporary, media driven society. Traditional elites where much different and clear in its existence and function than modern, so called strategic ones. We recognise economic, political, military, academic, sports, cultural, religious and media elite. I found that they have a common platform for exchanging power, sharing same interests, aiming wealthy way of life, constructing their public image… and when they cross to each other in front of the media, they co-create the popular elite.
WHICH NEW PHILANTHROPIC ACTIVITIES ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
I have worked as a philanthropist for almost 20 years. Being mostly passionate with helping children and women in need, I recently initiated a new international and multicultural initiative Femmes Sans Frontières. The purpose of the movement is to help implement the basic human right and desire of all women to intensify their education, to achieve economic independence and general emancipation within their societies. We would like to contribute to the ultimate goal of gender equality in all aspects of social and private lives all over the world, and especially where these rights are not yet respected.
YOU OFTEN SAY THAT THE WORLD IS YOUR HOME, WHY SO?
I started to travel around the world’s continents when I was 13 years old. From then on I began to make one long and a few short trips every year. Meeting people from different cultural backgrounds and visiting new places with rich historical backgrounds became my way of life and adds a special sense to my all other days. I have found friends and enjoyed privileged adventures everywhere in the world, and that makes me truly inspired and internally happy.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON LIFE HAS TAUGHT YOU?
Never give up, each end is a chance for a new beginning!
WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL MOTTO OR PHILOSOPHY ON LIFE?
Live and let live!