The European Humanist Forum in Madrid is approaching, and we would like to introduce further speakers beforehand in an interview.
Alex Ross emigrated from the Swabian-Bavarian mountains to the Lüneburger Heide. After graduating from high school, she moved to Hamburg to learn a trade. Alex dedicates herself as an author to writing and as an artist of creative painting.
Alex, you volunteer for the online magazine Neue Debatte (new debate). How did this come about and why for Neue Debatte?
In 2016 I became aware of the peace demonstration in Berlin on 8 October. I had decided to look around for people with similar views on the world and events as I did, and on that day I boarded a bus organized by the Hamburg Forum. There I made my first contacts in the peace movement. People got into conversation; in four hours we talked about a lot of things and also about ways to publish my work as a writer. I was recommended Neue Debatte and a few days later I saw my three-part “Racism in Everyday Life” published in this online magazine. The start was made.
You enrich New Debate above all with art prose and it is much about self-reflection. What do you draw from, what inspires you?
I’m fascinated by human behavior. What do human beings do, how do they do it and through that I want to find the why. There is a lot of literature about this research, which is very exciting. But often it’s too scientific. I would like to look at the complexity of our wonder machine, the brain, in a literary light.
I observe my surroundings, see something I do not understand and deal with it with paper and pen. It is a beautiful way to look at oneself by perceiving and learning from the beautiful and unattractive sides.
You are also an activist and will participate as a speaker in the panel discussion ‘Independent Journalism and Social Activism’. Why do you think this is an important topic to talk about?
When I graduated from high school, I was told that I had to read the newspaper and inform myself because it was very important and mature… I’ve never felt like it and I’ve always had an inner aversion to it. I didn’t get much information from big media organizations because much of what I was interested in was never reported. Problems in all variants were reported, mostly negative and underpinned with advertising.
Reports about what is happening in the world should be as objective as possible and without any ulterior motives of manipulation and that is not the case. If a medium is dependent on value creation through advertising, something is already wrong. People need the possibility to inform themselves without voices in the form of pictures, banners, videos, etc. at your side, which try to influence you. Advertising really gets on my nerves, if something is good, then the arguments speak for themselves, then I don’t need anything that shows me how cool it is.
The slogan of the Forum is: “What unites us – towards the Universal Human Nation”. What does that mean to you?
I can’t change the world of people on my own. None of us can. We all realize how wrong the hamster wheel we’re walking in is. You just have to sit in the subway in the morning and look at their faces. It’s a misery. But you can’t do it alone. We have created a system based on greed. That’s one side of the human being.
This story is told to us again and again. “It’s just the way people are.” We can tell another story. A story of mutual help, cooperation, beauty, freedom and love. These are also aspects of human beings.