I hope to inspire others by representing the unrepresentable

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This yearbook brings together twenty creatives and community organisers from all walks of life: musicians, visual artists, dancers, art collectives, and everything in between. From personal to political, their contributions reflect diverse forms of community-building through care. How do they inspire each other? Who do they care for? How do they care? 💘

  • Name: Bader Shashit
  • Multidisciplinary creator, social artistic cultural worker
  • Pronouns: he/him
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Ghent
  • Instagram: @badershashit

Three words that come to mind when you hear the term ‘care’? 

Community, myself, and art.

What do you care most about, and how is it relevant to your art/practice?

What I care about most is always being myself and reflecting on the real me in everything that I do.

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What inspires you to care more for others, or to use your art/practice as a platform to do so? 

The lack of representation is what inspired me the most in caring about the people in my community.

How do you hope to inspire others? 

I hope to inspire others by representing the unrepresentable.

What type of change do you want to inspire in your community/environment? 

Empowering through art and creativity and sharing useful spaces with people who are afraid of facing the big complex society that we live in. 

<img class="editorial-image-50-left" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/64ae96f2cea154deb7285889_DifferentClassimage_1%20%C2%A9%20Tarek%20al%20khattab%20.webp"/>

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How much influence do you think (y)our backgrounds have on (y)our art and practices? 

My background is the main engine for my all practices. Being from a different background makes me see everything from another perspective.

What are some challenges that you face while doing what you are passionate about? 

Being a person of colour in a white society is always a challenge. There are a lot of other challenges affecting me and my passion sometimes; like tokenism, white empathy and fragility etc…

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<img class="editorial-image-50-right" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/64ae96f25d862bba5be413e1_DifferentClassfoto%205%20%C2%A9%20Luay%20Al%20Ganim.webp"/>

How do you define ‘community’? 

The definition can be really simple; community is all about care, love, support and representing.

What is a ‘safe space’ for you? 

I don’t like to be in a safe space because a safe space doesn't reflect reality. I like to be in a free space that's closer to our reality but where I can get inspired and inspire others at the same time.

Is receiving care a privilege, a right? 

Receiving care can be both a privilege and a right, depending on the context and circumstances involved.

Do you think this generation is redefining care and community building? And how?

I think the current generation is different from any other past generation when it comes to care and community because our generation is attached to the internet and its algorithm is the main community builder. When the algorithm decides to care about something, then our whole generation will care about it.

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What small acts of care do you hope to see more of? 

Many small acts of care can make a big difference in people’s lives; like smiling more, showing less robotic emotions and fewer algorithms.

How do you balance taking care of others and taking care of yourself? Do you make that distinction in the first place?

As a multidisciplinary artist and social-cultural worker, caring is essential for my existence. I care about others and I allow others to care about me.

Do you care about being cared about?

For sure, I care when others care about me.

<img class="editorial-image-50-left" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/64aeaf5957b522cc5ea3ed2c_DifferentClassimage_6%20%C2%A9%20Tarek%20al%20khattab%20.webp"/>

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What do you want to be remembered for? 

Music and art were a refuge when I started my life in Belgium. So, I put all those things I learned from hard times in Yalla, a project which tries to make nightlife more diverse and more accessible for unrepresented artists and people from different backgrounds. Yalla means a lot to me and my community, as this project links people who would probably have not met each other otherwise. It is the one thing I would love to be remembered for.

<div class="editorial-banner"> <div class=“editorial-credits”> Photos by Luay Al Ganim, Yalla photos and footage by Tarek al Khatar. <br/> Styling & scenography by Jeff Verschueren & Luay Al Ganim </div></div>

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