How important is music in your life?
Gohlke: Music keeps inspiring new passion, enthusiasm, and love in me. Music is energy, vibration, and access to the mystery of life. At the risk of sounding cliché, music is a universal language that doesn’t need words.
Together with my Mischa Gohlke Band, we interpret songs from music legends Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix and have now started to increasingly add our own songs that cover a broad range of different music genres. To put them into categories: rock, funk, blues, pop, jazz and experimental music. Musical inclusion is also something that needs to be put into action. Within the context of an inclusion campaign in Belarus, we recently played at the Minsk Philharmonic through the German Embassy, which was an extraordinary experience. Right now we are working on our new EP; a Best of 2013-2016 band film will soon be released and we plan to rock many different stages in Germany and abroad in 2017.
What does inclusion mean to you?
Gohlke: Current public debate primarily reduces "integration" to people with formally recognized disabilities. Even the so-called "disability scene" keeps interpreting and implementing inclusion in a segregated way. Yet inclusion should and must be far more than that. Inclusion is not a special convention but includes the implementation of existing universal human rights. What’s more, we are ALL "disabled". Regardless of whether this is of a physical, mental, social, cultural, emotional, emphatic, financial or/and structural nature. Many barriers are in our minds.
That is why inclusion pertains to all areas that affect our lives in a complex heterogeneous society: social, ecological, economic, educational, cultural, spiritual, global, personal and interpersonal issues can no longer be viewed separately but must – in relation to each other – be seen (and embraced) as a whole.
My dream of inclusion is a radical one. Radical comes from the word radix, meaning the root: well thought-out and implemented inclusion clashes with our performance and growth-oriented consumer society that’s shaped by neoliberalism. Right now, we are champions in - among other things- segregated perception, work and action and are characterized by an elitist, easily digestible charitable culture that glorifies entertainment and celebrity mannerisms. Prejudices, fears, a dubious sense of self-worth as well as our "social realities" still result in people leading an isolated life, thus creating many separating microcosms. In times of "Me First" cultures, ME and YOU should once again make way for a "We Are All Connected" awareness. Diversity needs to be embraced and experienced both on a small and large scale.
Combined with the potential of "a holistic approach to inclusion", this results in a "new relationship culture". Everything relates and correlates. Personal issues and processes, human encounters, our consumer behavior, which is predominantly based on global exploitation, the way we treat nature and so much more.
Ultimately, this is about our awareness, which is expressed in many different kinds of personal, interpersonal and sociopolitical systems and always wants to be transformed. Let’s move towards a paradigm shift!