Magdalena Sodomková



My family lived behind the “iron curtain” in the communist Czechoslovakiawhere I was born as the middle of five daughters. I enjoyed spending time withmy Grandfather: he took us for long walks and day trips on the train. He also collectedhundreds of maps which he showed us proudly and constantly talked of goingabroad although we had never even dreamt of crossing the border. Sadly, my Grandfatherdied shortly after the fall of the “iron curtain”. But he passed his passionfor travelling to me - I love packing my suitcase in the anticipation of thenext travel adventure: subsequently I unpack only reluctantly.


Since graduating from university, I worked as a reporter inMF DNES for seven years: first, covering regional news and then as a foreignreporter. Last two years I wrote for Reflex weekly magazine. You could read mystories in MF DNES, Reflex, Koktejl, Lidove Noviny, Lidé a země, MF plus and Traveldigest. I also published in Presseurope.


 As a reporter Ivisited 30 countries worldwide: mainly in Europe but also further afieldsuch as Burma, Cuba and Syria. My speciality is Poland – a country that Ivisited on numerous occasions and that I learned to love as my own.


My topic of interest has included repression and injusticeas suffered by individuals. Kristiana Valcheva, a Bulgarian nurse who spentover eight years as a prisoner by Gaddafi’s regime in Libya, once told me: “Following our release, we boarded a planeand after three hours, we landed in Bulgaria, a free country! Over eight yearswe were only three hours away from any normality and freedom!” I would saythat this statement can also work the other way round: “iron curtains “are sometimes nearer to usthan we would want to consider possible.