Diversity is an enrichment. It is his parents Michel Arriens owes this attitude to. On REHACARE.com he tells us why he would like to have a time machine to get politics 2.0 rolling and why he believes that his romantic idea could fail because of relativity. And he also tells all visitors at REHACARE how he became an activist – on Friday 28 September.
Name: Michel Arriens Age: 28 City: Hamburg / Berlin, Germany Occupation:Head of Social Media / campaigner at change.org / speaker / activist for inclusion Impairment: Short stature
Michel Arriens: French comedy, my girlfriend Franzi, neverending / wonderful evenings with my friends.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Michel Arriens: At some point I want to roll across Germany. From north to south. Only my scooter, me, nature and how life happens. That would be something. It may sound cheesy, but in the big city I often miss the closeness to nature and to myself. Sleeping on brooks, being without people for hours and enjoying beautiful nature makes me very happy in my perhaps too romantic idea. Why haven't I made it easy so far? Time, fear of non-accessibility, of the unknown, perhaps simply lethargy. A dream that I will fulfill some day. Maybe...
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Michel Arriens: My greatest inspiration are and remain my parents. 28 years ago, they slipped unprepared into a new, different life with a disabled child. I was normal for them from the beginning, the arms and legs of the other babies they all found much too long. lol. Nevertheless, they had to and have always fought for my independence. They wrestled with schools, fought with health insurance companies and authorities and countered stupid sayings and looks. Fought for me to be able to lead a completely normal life. Far too often they thought: "WTF?" For them, it was never a question of whether they loved the "unknown" at first. To get involved in something new and to recognise diversity as an enrichment is an attitude that I have inherited and that I would like people to adopt in so many different contexts.
Every day I also learn from my partner Franziska, my friends Dana & Anki, from the activists Kübra Gümüsay & Laura Gehlhaar, my BKMF sparring partner Patricia Carl, activist Raul Krauthausen and from the world, which as you know is not a pony farm. Thank you that you exist. You rock! :-)
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Michel Arriens: Accessibility. In all areas. For all people. As a duty! (and also otherwise I would hit more often on the table and represent more radical, more democratic opinions)
Michel Arriens would like to be more politically consistent when it comes to accessibility if he had the political power to do so. He is an activist through and through, and not only in his profession as a campaigner. At REHACARE he will therefore talk about empowerment and activism.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Michel Arriens: The people who take the streets against Nazis and right-wing radicalism. You are great! Please keep going! <3
I would like to be ...
Michel Arriens: ... in a place where I can find a time machine. Zack: 100 years on. Watching the world go by. Whether society got along again and tackled the biggest problems. Talk to clever people about the ways to get there. Zack: back. Make it clear that politics 2.0 is now participatory democracy, forming working groups on the burning issues. Shaping our beautiful future with the knowledge from 2118 + everything even better.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Michel Arriens: How we fight the #motherofallproblems "injustice".
And how many fucking noodles I have to cook, so that Franzi and I can get full and there is not something left every single time! (Ok, snacking cold out of the fridge is also awesome!)