His books are ruthlessly open, full of disarming truths and with powerful images. But the author, musician and graphic artist Benjamin Schmidt has not had enough. He would like to publish another book and even recordings for a record are still on his to-do list. Who his muses and companions were, why he would like to swim with an octopus and where he took off his glasses, he tells us at REHACARE.com.
Name: Benjamin Schmidt Age: 29 City: Berlin/Germany Occupation: Author, musician and graphic artist (Relation to the topic) Impairment: Incomplete paraplegia, disabilities among friends, readings since 2014 all over Germany (also) on this topic
Benjamin Schmidt: So much! Sometimes my daughter, friends, sometimes a book by Terry Pratchett or Danish comedies. Life itself is often a funny thing, I think I have laughed a lot in my life.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Benjamin Schmidt: It's actually always logistical or financial hurdles – or both – that keep me from something, not the fear of it. I just want to publish a new book soon, start recording a record and a trip to Norway would be nice. Nothing that should intimidate you...
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Benjamin Schmidt: Phew... I think friends and family members are the biggest influences here as well. I move in a very creative environment and also far away from it I find impressive qualities in different people in different ways. Good – but I would also say that especially authors and musicians had a considerable influence on me. Henry Miller, Knut Hamsun, Rilke, but also Herrndorf and Lovecraft and Poe of course, just to name a few. In the music they were Joy Division, The Doors and much from the gothic corner. Dark, weird stuff.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Benjamin Schmidt: I'm afraid I don't know enough about that. "Political" decisions and their feasibility often depend on many other factors than the mere wish or ideal. And for the sake of reason, many things simply have to be examined individually. But I think it would be nice if the cultural places and living spaces were generally accessible. An impeccable infrastructure would have to be available everywhere. And you shouldn't need a disabled person's representative at all, because it should simply be taken for granted that many different people with different needs can live together on an equal footing. Disabled people must not be a fringe group that has to be approached first. That is why I would also support art and cultural events and associations that have set themselves the task of educating and creatively working in this direction.
Benjamin Schmidt has published two novels and several poetry volumes. His latest work is called "Fick die Musen" (English: Fuck the muses).
What is especially near and dear to you?
Benjamin Schmidt: First and foremost, of course, the well-being of my daughter, which of course presupposes the well-being of the world in which she grows up. I would have a lot of love for the world and the people in it, but every now and then I lose hope for both.
I would like to ...
Benjamin Schmidt: ...dive with an octopus. I like these animals very much. That would be really, really great - hihi.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Benjamin Schmidt: Where did I put my damn glasses down again?