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Conversation with Uwe Michael Neumann on Co-Morbidities, Heightened Intelligence, and Community: Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society (3)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2021/10/01


Uwe Michael Neumann developed a love of photography when he got his first camera, a Polaroid, at the age of eight years old. From 1982 to 1988, Neumann diverted from photography, studying law at Cologne State University. But his love of photography, driven by curiosity and the desire to see new things and discover and show their beauty, always called him back. He conducted his first photo tour in Provence, France in 1992. In 1998 he visited New York where he further developed his photographic style; experimenting with verticals and keystone/perspectives. Launching into the field of international cooperation he combined his daily work with his photography in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Finland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and Ukraine. In November 2014, Neumann attended the wedding of a daughter of the Sultan of Foumban, Princess Janina, in Foumban, north-west of Cameroon. There he met and became friends with the famous French photographer and producer, Alain Denis who inspired him to become a professional photographer, instructing him in portrait and landscape photography. After his life-changing visit to Cameroon in 2014 Neumann returned there in February 2015 taking photographs of Central Africa’s unique nature and everyday life, which differed greatly from Europe, and even tourist destinations in Africa like Kenya and the Republic of South Africa. During his stay in Central Africa, he lived in Yaoundé, Cameroon and travelled frequently to Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Chad and Congo Brazzaville, among the poorest countries in the world. He also visited and photographed Algeria, Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), Benin, Kenya, Egypt, Mauretania and the Republic of South Africa. Neumann focused on often-overlooked treasures in nature, the environment, and beauty in places seemingly dominated by poverty. In October 2017, Neumann returned to Berlin and worked on over 90,000 photos from Africa, launching his first exhibition in May in ‘Animus Kunstgalerie’, Berlin. In October 2018 his exhibition ‘Inner Africa’ in GH 36 gallery in Berlin was focused on Central Africa displaying not only a huge variety of photographs, but also traditional masks from different regions. In 2019 and 2020, other exhibitions at Bülow90, Berlin and Nils Hanke, Berlin followed. In Ghent, Belgium, he was a speaker at the European Mensa Meeting 2019 on Africa and presented some of his works.  He was also invited to present his works in the online exhibition e-mERGING a r t i S T S. and again at GH36 in the exhibition No Time. One of his photos was on the title page of the Norwegian magazine Dyade in 2019. His photos have also been featured several times in the online Magazine Foto Minimal & Art. In December 2021 his works were part of an exhibition at Basel Art Center in Basel, Switzerland. He discusses: heightened intelligence; a double diagnosis alongside depression with ADS; a social interest group through Mensa; and high-IQ communities are providing support for individuals.

Keywords: co-morbidities, depression, folk psychology, high-IQ, IQ, Uwe Michael Neumann.

Conversation with Uwe Michael Neumann on Co-Morbidities, Heightened Intelligence, and Community: Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society (3)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: And it’s counterfactual too. Because the correlations we have about heightened intelligence are that they’re positively linked rather than negatively linked. So, the folk psychology that you’re pointing out is counterfactual.

Uwe Michael Neumann[1],[2]*: Yes, it is. But I think this situation proved to me that people think so, because that was the only explanation. Why would you think that about this guy mostly, basically? So, what was it? I mean, he was just smaller than me. A lot smaller and he wore glasses. I didn’t wear glasses at that time. So, these two things. But that was really depressing to hear that because you cannot change it.

Jacobsen: You mentioned a double diagnosis alongside depression with ADS before. So, depression, I think in many countries; there’s more of a sensitivity to the difficulties that come along with it, minor and major, in many other forms of depression. Do you feel as if there’s more of a sensitivity to these morbidities? These things that may or may not help in certain areas of life.

Neumann: I think now there’s no sensitivity. Let’s say, I also have problems at work. I did a 10-page report on the U.S. tax reform. And I was focusing completely on the content. And my boss only commented that on page five, instead of font Arial, I was using Times New Roman and size 12. And they were always pointing out, “Yes, okay, that can happen to everybody,” but I think, “Okay, I have the tendency to overlook these things and to forget things and to lose things. I always constantly searching for things.” I now have developed some methods to reduce it a bit, but it’s a problem. But when you explain to people, I have a certificate. It’s officially accepted, officially proven. But when I tell that to my employers, they don’t understand that. They see, but they don’t understand about ADS and everything, so it’s difficult to explain to them.

So, that’s why I’m also trying to say I’m working at the tax administration and here the finance ministry. But I’m also working as a photographer. I’m trying to get independent and to become independent and to work solely. I want to make programs with Africa and international cooperation, and to also combine it with photography and video, and so on. So, I want to become independent because then, I think, I can design my own procedures and so on. So, that would help me out. The only thing lacking is funding, but, at the moment, it’s difficult for everybody.

Jacobsen: Do you think a social interest group through Mensa could be serviced to individuals with ADS, with depression, etc., to provide almost like a mutual support group as in, “I’m not the only one”?

Neumann: Yes. That’s very helpful. It’s always helpful to have discussion on a level that you can discuss things like this that we are talking about. And it’s really some conducted to the point of recharging the batteries. It’s very helpful, especially when you are not used to speak to intelligent people or people who understand the problems. It’s really like a relief. Anything that helps to exchange with all these things; it’s helpful. My friends and me, we are doing a lot of video conferencing like Zooming and so on. And that’s really helpful.

Jacobsen: Do you think that the high-IQ communities are providing support for individuals who might have co-morbidities? So, they have this thing generally seen as a positive, higher intelligence, while having certain things that can impair some functioning in life. It could be anxiety, depression, could be schizoaffective disorders, and so on. These things; I mean, they are distinct. They impact life in different ways. Yet, the commonality of someone having a high horsepower brain while having, three legs – so to speak, having that community of people to help them make sense of what’s happened in their life, for instance, or to have common communication. Do you think it’s at a point at which there is support or not?

Neumann: Yes. Let’s say to see that there are groups like this, and that there are people who have the same problems, it’s very supportive already. So, we are communicating. I think it’s very intense, also, because when you talk to somebody from Mensa; there’s some kind of respect. And how this person has been going through some difficulties in the past, of course, everybody has. But yes, there are specific problems. I mean, for most people the younger years are the best time of their life, but I would doubt at all for us. It’s more like it’s very difficult to realize that you’re different and you realize that you are different, but you don’t realize that in the first place. The first moment, in the beginning, you don’t realize that it’s high intelligence. People just think you are somehow strange and awkward.

So, you start to think somehow. Also, I think it’s also a self-fulfilling prophecy when people see you as something different. You feel uncomfortable. So, every kind of community and exchange helps you lots. It would have helped me a lot when I had this experience before. Actually, when I took the test, the IQ test was combined with the ADS test which was set by my neurologist. He explained the results for me. I was really shocked. I think, for three days, I was like walking like somebody with a shock, like had an accident or attack. It’s because it changes your whole view. And I’m now also on my way to work at the ministry while having my normal job. Many people think that, maybe, I’m stupid. They don’t understand. They wouldn’t think that I have passed this test with that result. They think that it has to be some kind of professor of mathematics in Princeton or – I don’t know – whatever university. That person has that test result, but not me.

Because I’m not perfect. I’m high-IQ, but but I have my shortcomings. So, it’s difficult. It’s also because the public perception of the majority of people; they would regard other people as potentially highly intelligent or whatever. Also, when it’s about partnerships and so on, I often hear the argument that women say that it must be easy for some intelligent men to get women because women want intelligent men. The thing is that the majority of women do not recognize intelligent men like the majority of men do not recognize intelligent men and women, of course. Because they have a different level of perpective, they cannot see it. It’s like basically, maybe; if you are in a bicycle race, and you see the person in front of you, but you don’t see the guy who is 10 kilometers in front of you because it’s so far away and can’t see him. I don’t know if that answered the question, but those were my thoughts about this.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 1, 2021:; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2022:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.


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