Felix Brückner is a wheelchair user – so far, so (at least theoretically) unspectacular. Nevertheless, the man from Hamburg stands out. Most of the audience of a concert have never seen a frontman in a wheelchair. The musician wants to change that with his buddies Jens, Tobi and Justus. Why mirror images play a role and what he would like to change in society, he tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Felix Brückner Age: 31 City: Hamburg, Germany Occupation: Freelance musician and social pedagogue Impairment: paraplegic
Felix Brückner: The happiness of others and the sometimes demanding to extremely shallow humor of the people I surround myself with.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Felix Brückner: Skydiving and diving. What has kept me from doing so far is not so much my courage, but rather the search for a suitable place to jump. Besides, I currently lack the time to accommodate regular diving lessons in my everyday life.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Felix Brückner: It would not be fair to mention just one person at this point. Someone very clever once said that we are mirrors of the people around us. I think there is some truth in that and therefore I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those whom I have been able to mirror over the past 31 years and who have made me the Felix, with his strengths and weaknesses, that I am today. Also the way of my musical work is the result of many companions of the most different genres.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Felix Brückner: There are many things that could be addressed or changed, but perhaps we will stay in the cultural field for my part. Here I would definitely see to it that there is a legal obligation – in spite of monument protection and fire regulations – to provide access without any barriers and an accessible toilet for club owners and organisers of all kinds. In addition, this directive would then also have to implement restaurants, bars and all other public establishments on the basis of the equal participation of people with unusual characteristics. We live in one of the most advanced countries in the world and I have the feeling that in Brazil (the place where I am writing this interview) the topic of accessibility is better thought and treated in many places.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Felix Brückner: Climate protection, world peace, equal opportunities, the fight against poverty and child mortality as well as global health care for everyone would definitely be things that would have to be mentioned here. But to stay in the context of this interview, the inclusion of people with unusual characteristics is particularly close to my heart. Of course this motivation is closely linked to my own biography.
Here there is a lot of catching up to do on all corners. The best and at the same time simplest indication of this are the still big eyes as well as the expressions of respect and sympathy of the people in the public space. People with disabilities are not a normality out there, and certainly not on stage – my home for the last few years and hopefully for years to come.
I would like to be...
Felix Brückner: ...my grandfather in his youth – as a witness, participant and victim of the Second World War, political upheavals and the reorganisation of Germany up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Angela Merkel – for more political understanding, but also the feeling of having the power to change things.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Felix Brückner: How is it possible to keep people of different origin, faith, gender and sexuality on the path of enlightenment, openness and mutual responsibility, far away from nationalism, xenophobia and intolerance?
What else I wanted to say...
Felix Brückner: Thank you for having the motivation to read this interview and if you are interested in my band's music live or online, feel free to check out our homepage, Facebook or Instagram page. Every click or visit to one of our concerts provides a little bit more normality for people with disabilities in the German cultural landscape.