Metal and Disability – Part 2
It's been ages and quite a lot changed, but more about
that later. People always ask me, which medical condition I suffer from and how
it is noticeable. To that, I have to say that I am quite open with and about my
mental illness, and I try to help other people who suffer from similar
conditions. Unfortunately our society makes being mentally ill a taboo issue.
There are prejudices, e.g. being intellectually challenged or similar sayings.
But I can assure you that – except for some small handicaps – I'm up to speed
It's hard for me to visit concerts or festivals, because
huge crowds of people scare me. But I try again and again, and sometimes it
works really well. I need to plan those outings for weeks and have to consider
the pros and cons very carefully. For healthy people that's no problem at all.
For some suffering from a psychosis it's a huge step to even leave the house.
It's also hard to form a certain level of social contact
with people and to keep that contact alive. Someone who is schizophrenic lives
in their own world and only rarely is in the position to enter social
commitments, so after a while they become less and less. It's always nice to
talk to a schizophrenic, because they tend to take mental leaps, i.e. in a
conversation they are a bit further ahead than their counterpart, that means
there are only half sentences or the speaker cuts the sentences mid-sentence. I
had those experiences a lot of times, and I can only hope the other person will
understand. I can only give you a short insight here, and a healthy person might
just shake their head, but it's just like this.
What bothers me the most, is that a severely disabled
person is often not considered when looking for a job. But I also have to say
that in the last few years the situation has improved a bit. I'm just striking a
blow here, and say that severely disabled people are as capable as their healthy
But back to the topic of metal. In the last few months, I
had close contact to different organizers and and pelted them with my questions.
The organizers of Wacken Open Air and Summer Breeze attracted my attention
positively. They were really obliging and patiently answered my questions. And
for organizers of smaller events, I could at least convince them to provide some
disabled-accessible toilets and think about how people in wheelchairs would be
able to come and visit their concerts. I should also mention how much the bands
support me, if I had to mention all of them, the space here wouldn't be enough.
My project was received the same way as articles of RockHard or Metalhammer. I
got the chance for interviews and just want to say 'thank you'!
A highlight of the last few months was the interview in
RockHard and a radio interview about the topic of festivals and disability. This
interview will be available in full length on this website, but only after it
was aired. On the article in RockHard, there were different reactions, positive
ones as well as some negative ones. But I guess that comes with the topic. With
this report I found some new contributors for this website, who will work in
irregular intervals for new-metal-media. My next goal is to get an interview in
Metalhammer and to talk there about disabled metal fans. Because even though
some people might not like it, but disabled people are a part of our society.
The closing words are mine this time, I want to thank all
the bands, organizers, friends, colleagues and everybody else who supports me
with my project. In order to improve something there has to be someone to
address the topic, but there also have to be many to listen and support them.