Why this route?

Africa is the origin of humanity. We are all Africans. We come from Africa: that is why Caravan is an initiative with and in Africa, that is why we go to and through Africa.  As we move from west to east, from Timbuktu to Kampala, we meet a representative average of the African population and we encounter all aspects of African reality: desert, savannah, rainforest – as well as African way of life, art and philosophy.

The Caravan will draw the world’s interest to Africa.

Why equal numbers of men and women?

Because there are equal numbers of men and women in the world. The whole quota discussion is an imposition. Anyone who still wants to seriously discuss women’s „shares“ in anything has not yet understood that patriarchy, i.e. patriarchal thinking, is the central cause of the current crash of world society. Property accumulation thinking is patriarchal thinking, especially the material prerequisite for it, the nonsense of inheritance is primordial patriarchal thinking, the consequences of which lead to 1% of humanity having almost everything and the majority of people having almost nothing. This is not about a return to matriarchy, even if just property thinking prevailed there, of which one can pick up many elements. It is about a third, a new way of thinking and acting that takes the emancipatory from both, which logically can only be worked out in equal measure. Whether ying yang or dialectic, black and white or up and down: life consists of two sides whose living expression is women and men. When it comes to rethinking the fundamental questions of human coexistence, „what do we really need?“, „how can we distribute the world’s goods among all 8 billion people on this globe?“ „how can we organise real democratic decision-making processes at all levels?“ and many more, the balance between men and women, the tension between them, the energy triggered by it, their love and their longing for a humane world and the male-female different expressions of it, is a necessary prerequisite if all together want to come to an equally balanced result.

From the beginning, water is at the centre of the caravan, why is nothing possible without water?

Because nothing is possible without water. Water is the raw material of all life, human beings consist of 70% water, after 5 days without drinking water every human being is dead.And that is the keyword: between 60 and 70% of humanity have no access to drinking water. There are no statistics on how many people, especially children, die every day in sometimes cruel agonies of death from poisoned water. This is currently the greatest scandal of a humanity that calls itself „civilised“ and would have the material and financial means to end this daily tragedy. The worldwide effort that would be necessary to provide drinking water to all people in the last village would be less than the current worldwide effort because of the coronavirus, which causes only a fraction of victims in comparison. The refusal of rich countries to help the victims of the lack of drinking water is akin to genocide by omission. All religions, cultures and philosophies have provided necessary but not sufficient answers to the elementary questions of human coexistence. They are indispensable as individual identity-giving factors, their values the basis of our thinking, but if they claim to be valid for all people, they lead to war and mutual destruction, the opposite of their own claim. If there is only one God, he has created all religions and cultures so that every human being can find his or her individual form of prayer that suits him or her and realise the values of his or her religion in his or her actions. It is about the dialogue of cultures, which is why it is the name of the caravan in the worldwide web; the diversity of people is the inexhaustible greatest wealth of humanity. When women and men from all cultures of the world come together, they can not only learn to understand each other, but also enrich each other immeasurably.

Why is it not possible in any other way than through a participatory initiative from below?

Because the structures of the organisation of living together developed and realised on the caravan should be the model of the structures of living together of the people of the world. Any prescriptions coming from above would lead to a reproduction of the very structures of power that need to be abolished. It is about nothing less than ending the domination of people over people. The talk of „humans are bad“ etc. is obsolete. Under the given conditions, the majority of people usually have no choice but to be just as bad as the alphatians who demonstrate this to them. Man learns by imitation, so he must be offered another model to imitate; most people have resigned themselves in the face of the overwhelming power of the human power alpha animals, who are indeed in the majority bad. The culture of dialogue practised on the caravan, its realisation at the very bottom on a small scale, the confirmation that this culture of dialogue is indeed possible, although it is the most difficult thing there is, will be presented to the rest of the world at the five festivals that will take place during the caravan and will be broadcast to all the world, thus inviting the world to imitate it. Turning the current structures upside down, the example and model of the realised possibility of living together from the bottom up is the way and the goal of the Caravan.

What is the role of art at the Caravan?

A central role. The task of art is to sensually convey the experiences of new forms of social coexistence gained at the Caravan, the results of the search for new, repression-free political models and the new insights gained in the ideological exchange. Art – music, dance, mime, sculpture, painting – is the only form of communication not dependent on language. It is the cross-cultural means of communication in and of itself. For this reason, five festivals with worldwide appeal will take place. A highlight will be the broadcast of the Tibesti Festival, where you can see artists making 21st century cave drawings for the 31st century alongside cave drawings from our prehistory.Parallel to the festivals, cultural events will take place in the countries where the artists come from, organised by local cultural organisations. For example, the „Haus der Kulturen der Welt“ in Berlin could organise a Chad weekend with lectures, films, exhibitions and readings, the French „Centre culturel“ in Bamako an event with Chinese singing bowls – and so on.At the last festival in Kampala, a huge glass in the shape of a drop – filled with Japanese spring water – carried on the back of a camel from Timbuktu to Kampala will be poured into Lake Victoria. All the artists will represent the United World of Art.

How does the caravan deal with Eurocentrism?

Eurocentrism is stupidity, parochialism, loneliness and vested interests. The most ridiculous thing here is the sense of superiority of the generous „helpers“ who, to give just one example, put money into the hands of the „poor Africans“. The recipients of the money just laugh at these idiots who think they are „superior“ because they have more money and better weapons: in reality, they are the superior ones because they know both cultures and benefit from both. Development money is the source of corruption. The talk of „equality of eye level“ only betrays the contempt of those who mouth it towards those they talk to: like adults who, pedagogically correct, go down on their knees when they talk to children. The first measure to change this would be to cancel all funds without replacement, as Brigitte Erler demanded in her 1989 book „dead aid“ and as Dambisa Moyo demanded in her 2014 book „dead aid“, and as African intellectuals and economists have been demanding for a long time. Africa, to take just this most blatant example, does not need aid. How best to behave in the face of Eurocentrism was demonstrated by the President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara: he laughed not only at the lenders, but very specifically at the French President Francois Mitterand – which of course he did not survive. Eurocentrism is an attitude that can only be countered by a different consciousness. This consciousness grows out of the experience of living together with people to whom one feels superior. This experience can produce shame; if you allow it, you reap happiness. This is behind the idea of the caravan. Each of us carries remnants of this false consciousness, even if we are of good will. Even the victims of Eurocentrism, who rightly despise the perpetrators. When victims and perpetrators live together for a long time under existential conditions and exchange views, they can have this experience. Since an attitude is something that is fed from the unconscious, it cannot be changed with intellectual knowledge alone, but must also be challenged at the level of the unconscious.

Why should the caravan be realised as a caravan and not on a ship, for example a new „Noah’s Ark“?

A ship needs a captain, on a caravan people can determine the design of the common path together without a captain, and that is the point. Animals need an alpha dog, which, as we have known since Konrad Lorenz, can also be a human being, and that was Noah. The difference between animals and humans is that humans no longer need alphatians, only then will they be humans: when they no longer have or need leaders, gurus, saviours. When they no longer run after any flag, but are guided by their own dreams. The fact that alphatians still determine the destinies of people is the reason why humanity is hurtling towards the abyss. That is why we are still in prehistory. The history of mankind will only begin when it has detached itself from these animal origins. The history of humanity will only begin when it uses the inventions made over thousands of years with unspeakable effort, up to and including intelligent technology, not as an instrument of power, but for what they are there for: To free itself as far as possible from the work that is necessary for nature and to enable each of the 8 billion individuals on this planet to have the greatest possible freedom to develop their personality and to be different from all the others: the diversity of human beings is their greatest wealth, the exchange and mutual fertilisation the possibility of a diversity and blossoming and development of the same that is still unimaginable for us today. It is not about the pointless question of whether people as such are good or bad, but about how they organise their living together. It is historically high time that they finally begin to realise the possibility of this living together. The caravan as the caravan of the delegates of humanity is a first step towards this.

What are the foundations for this new world?

These are precisely what should be discussed at the caravan. No one, no ideology, no religion, and certainly no guru or philosopher, no matter how wise he may be, can prescribe them alone or in a small group. It is precisely for this that proposals are to be submitted before the start of the caravan, where they will then be discussed in detail. There is, for example, the proposal of returning to the origins of Greek democracy. There is the idea of a council-democratic organisation of people, which the philosopher Hannah Arendt says is the natural form of human organisation that forms automatically, so to speak, as soon as power disappears. The best-known example is Kronstadt – the destruction of this development by the Soviets the end of the revolution and its greatest crime. The self-organisation of the people during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, even to the point of cheerful cultural flourishing under these circumstances, is another example. All this is brought together and discussed over a long period of time. In the process, the culture of dialogue is necessary for the dialogue of cultures. This means: not trying to convince the other of one’s own idea, but offering one’s own idea, listening to the other and reflecting on it with an honest willingness to change one’s own if necessary. That is the hardest thing there is. This culture of dialogue is practically lived in Mali, this internalised culture of theirs, which has grown for thousands of years, should be a model for all people in this world: that is why the Caravan begins in Mali.

What does it mean that all activities are to be documented?

Through the media with which the discussion and artistic groups work, whether in writing, sound or image, individually or in groups, they will produce their own documentation of their experiences with people, surroundings and not least with themselves in the course of the Caravan. The extraordinary circumstances will produce extraordinary works that will document this initiative in great diversity. That is its purpose: to show an insight into the experiences of this particular constellation of free exchange, the possibility of spreading the idea of living with foreign people, cultures and languages, the possibility of giving this idea back, not as a religious dogma, an ideological dictate or a political power, but in the form of analysis, factual report or art, reflecting all areas of life.Who can afford to take a year for this journey?Everyone can participate for as long as they want or are able to. Considering that participants will have the opportunity to interact with people from all parts of the world, all cultures, religions and languages, a year is not a long time. The very slowness of travel is an important aspect of the Caravan philosophy.Will stars be recruited for more publicity?No. The idea will be publicised and anyone who wants to participate in any way is welcome. Stars are welcome too. Most of the participating artists will be well known in their environment. Of course, international show business stars are not excluded from participating. Within the framework of the Caravan, new insights and proposals for action are to emerge through the fusion of ideas from as contrasting origins as possible. That is what makes the Caravan a unique initiative. And that is what the public interest should focus on, not stars.

How much money is needed for this?

250 million US dollars.

That is a lot of money. Who is going to pay for it?

„A lot of money“ depends on perspective. When you consider that the Caravan is a global effort of biblical proportions, $250 million is not a lot. Considering that it is possible for a company to absorb a loss of several billion US dollars per day due to currency fluctuations, hopefully there will be many industrial companies willing to fund the Caravan.The companies in question should consider it an honour to enable the realisation of this humanity project, this positive version of globalisation. They may advertise themselves by sponsoring this initiative, but the Caravan will not promote them, their names and logos will not appear in the publications.In addition, TV stations around the world will be offered broadcasting rights. This is also provided for the Caravan’s current documentaries.

What remuneration will the participants receive?

According to their needs in each case. This will be difficult, but it can be solved. The principle is 100% transparent accounting. Every cent spent will be registered and visible to all. This is an absolute necessity, because in activities of this kind there is a great danger that people will try to enrich themselves. This would destroy the central idea of the Caravan, which is to end the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many in the world.

How can one cross regions of misery and eat one’s fill at the same time?

The gap between rich and poor is not only when one is very close to it. The question of how to eat while others are starving should also be asked when one is far away from the regions of misery. It is precisely this aspect, among others, that should be emphasised in reports on the Caravan. By the way, we will not have champagne, salmon and caviar. Certainly we will have enough food and medicine to help in emergencies, but the Caravan is not a charity. The Caravan is a rebuttal of the Clash of Civilisations, but it will not eliminate world hunger, it is meant to create the conditions for it.

What are the benefits for the countries involved in this?

Firstly, working closely with the people in the regions we are crossing will create jobs, relationships – and hopefully partnerships and new perspectives. Secondly, the coverage of Africa in general and our host countries in particular will not be dominated by disasters and misery, but by the people who live there, their culture and their way of life. The rest of the world is thus given the opportunity to learn from Africa, allowing for an equal give and take. The Caravan is about a new awareness and perception, aiming at a new attitude towards Africa – not about material support.

How to get directly and actively involved?

Ask questions and encourage funding. The work of the people on the caravan is to answer the questions that are compiled in advance. Developing the question catalogue further is the most urgent task that can be tackled immediately and worldwide thanks to smart technology. The whole project stands and falls with the development of this question catalogue. This is where the independent cooperation of people from all over the world can begin from now on. Here, without any further effort, the proof can be given that domination-free cooperation from people from all over the world is possible. This also includes the translation of the website into as many languages as possible, which until now has only been realised through automatic programmes. The funding of about 250 million euros is peanuts for the big industrial companies of this world. In 2002, the German Minister of Finance and Economics, Wolfgang Clement, wanted to raise this sum from 10 industrial companies, but this was prevented by the then Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer. It remains the case that this world effort must be financed not by one person or one company or one country, but by at least ten. Wolfgang Clement was of the opinion that the Global Peace Caravan would give Germany in particular the chance to pay off part of its historical debt. Everyone who has the opportunity to bring these thoughts to the attention of decision-makers can contribute to their realisation.

Why is the drinking water initiative the start of the caravan?

because it would be a crime, politically as well as spiritually unjustifiable, to think about the basic needs of people and their satisfaction as long as countless people, especially children, die in agony because the rest of humanity does not enable them to satisfy the very first basic need of all life, drinking water, although it could.

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