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Thursday 28.05.2015 Dampfzentrale Bern at 19:00
Check-In opens 18:30
Duration: approx. 3 hours
Admission Free!
Open throughout!



19:00// Dialogue 1


HEINZ FREI has been taking part in the Paralympics for over 30 years and has won a number of medals, amongst those 15 gold medals. He can also look back onto many victories at athletic European and world championships and has been Sportsman of the Year several times. In 2005 he celebrated his 100th marathon victory. Even though he is over 50 years old, he has won 3 of his 5 gold medals in summer-Paralympics in 2008 and 2012. Today he serves as a sports consultant at the Swiss paraplegic federation in the department of wheelchair sports Switzerland Nottwil. In an interview with the Solothurner Zeitung the athlete asks himself: «What would I have been without my accident? Would I have become a normal worker somewhere?» His answer: «I definitely would have had less sporting success, I wouldn't have seen the world this way.»

STEFAN KELLER has been flying for many years-first as a child with an umbrella, then with model-airplanes and later with a self-made Delta-glider. The para- and delta flights prepared him for his future as the founder and owner of FLUSO a paragliding school for wheelchair-users and pedestrians. In 2013 a strong thermic turbulence ripped him out of the sky and since then he is a partial paraplegic. Under the motto «now more than ever» he flies again and still owns and manages FLUSO. He also works as a coach, consultant and motivational speaker and thematizes, amongst other things, the question of the upright posture: «technically and rationally speaking, the upright posture on two legs and two feet has been outdated since the invention of the wheel. » While paragliding the wheelchair even appears to be an advantage.

20:00// Dialogue 2


ELIZABETH WRIGHT as a teenager set herself the goal to become a Paralympian, resulting in her swimming at two Paralympic Games, walking away with three Paralympic Medals, two bronze and a silver. Retiring from swimming at the age of 21, Elizabeth then went onto university receiving her Fine Arts Degree at Newcastle University, Australia. She was accepted into the Master of Philosophy Degree at the same university, completing this degree in two years, researching the visual interpretation of the female disabled body. Elizabeth is now a speaker and author. A majority of her clients are schools, but she does speak in the corporate arena as well. Her main topics are the Paralympics, disability, teamwork, self- belief, and the goal journey. « Ditch the Arm, Keep the Leg » is Elizabeth’s autobiography, which she published earlier this year, about growing up with a disability in Australia as well as her Paralympic journey. Elizabeth is also an Ambassador for Disability Sport Yorkshire and a Patron for EDRIC (European Dysmelia Reference Information Centre).

NINA MUEHLEMANN is currently in the third year of her PhD at King’s College London, where she also did her Master’s degree in English Literature. She has published in the Contemporary Theatre Review, presented papers at the London Theatre Seminar, the International Federation for Theatre Research and many other conferences, and facilitated Mat Fraser’s performance at King’s College London for the Arts and Humanities Festival 2013. In addition to her PhD work, Nina is a writer and blogger for Disability Arts Online. Her thesis focuses on performance art projects by disabled artists, which were presented during the London 2012 Paralympics. She researches the idea of the disabled supercrip, or superhuman, which was very popular in mainstream media and -culture during the London 2012 Paralympics, and the responses to it from disabled artists during that period: Have artists such as Mat Fraser, Sue Austin, Liz Carr, and others rejected, reworked or embraced the supercrip in their work?

21:00 // Dialogue 3


KLAUS BIRNSTIEL is a literary scholar at the University of Basel. He lives with a 250-pound wheelchair, which takes over many of the uncovered functions of his body. His work deals with cultural representations of disability and sexuality, but also with the question of the relation between body and technology. His research shows that disabled bodies have always been fascinating. It is not only the curiosity of non-disabled people, whose cultural perception Birnstiel is interested in, but also the question of how disabled bodies can look back when they feel exposed to the gaze of others.

ALEX OBERHOLZER studied mathematics, art history and journalism. In order to watch films as a student he worked as a film- and TV-critic for different newspapers and magazines and as a film editor for Radio 24 where he still works today. In addition he works at the confederation in Bern, in the communication department (BSV). He spent the first ten years of his life in a rehabilitation clinic, due to a congenital physical disease and polio. As a child and teenager he had a hard time accepting his body. The experience of having women fall in love with him, made it possible for him to change his perspective. Today he lives in Zürich and is the father of four children.

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