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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: Markha Youchaeva
  • Artist / Art conservator
  • Pronouns: she/her
  • Age: 22
  • Instagram: @youkouu

What do you care most about, and how is it relevant to your art/practice? It could be a social issue, your community, yourself, or anything!

I care about many things but in most cases, it comes down to connections. Meaningful connections to people, connection to the world we came out of and to the quiet beauty of life.

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

Compassion, connection, love

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

Knowing that we all share a universal inner experience that can only be expressed through art.

<img class="editorial-image-50-left" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/64c3929bbbf8ad730ae5443a_DifferentClassItum%20Kali%20%C2%A9%20youkouu.webp"/>

<img class="editorial-image-50-right" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/64c3929b72d697494a6b0982_knipDifferentClasswork%201%20%C2%A9%20youkouu.webp"/>

How do you hope to inspire others?

Inspiring others is a big ambition but I hope to inspire people to keep appreciating beauty, even if the world feels like a tragic place.

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

There are many changes I wish to see and they all start with empathy.

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

My cultural background plays a huge role in my life so it naturally also influences what I create. I love incorporating motifs and elements from my ethnicity into my work. It is an attempt to understand the world in visual terms. Through the beauty of diversity, we can find what unites different cultures and build bridges between them.

I love incorporating motifs and elements from my ethnicity into my work

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

My biggest challenge is my perfectionism, which can be paralyzing. I am very critical and set the bar high for myself. But I’m working on it by reminding myself that ‘perfect is not real’.

<img class="editorial-image" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/64c3929a8561c58fd495825f_DifferentClassportrait%203%20%C2%A9%20youkouu.webp"/>

How do you define ‘community’? 

A group of people that share a common interest or goal.

What is a ‘safe space’ for you? 

A space without expectations from others.

Is receiving care a privilege, a right? 

It’s a basic human need that everyone should receive.

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

I am not sure. This generation is more connected than ever before, but how many of these connections are genuine? One of the challenges we have to deal with is the rise of hyperindividualism. On the other hand, I have a feeling that it has become easier to discuss vulnerable topics, especially through the Internet. So I guess it’s moving in both directions.

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

I hope to see more gratitude and gracefulness in the way we care for our environment.

<img class="editorial-image-50-left" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/64c3929ac3b065eb5a84e954_DifferentClassportrait%202%20%C2%A9%20youkouu.webp"/>

<img class="editorial-image-50-right" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/64c39fc21b258e0cbaa9d6a8_knipDifferentClasswork%202%20%C2%A9%20%40bayacoll.webp"/>

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

Self-care is important and I'm a big introvert so I love solitude. Though we are wired for human connection, there are systems in society to keep people miserable. No amount of self-improvement can make up for the lack of connection with others and the ability to change systems to make meaning. ‘Happiness is only real when shared’

Do you care about being cared about?

Of course, everyone does in some way.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I can’t control if and how I’ll be remembered but I hope can somehow leave a positive impact with my paintings.

<div class="editorial-banner"> <div class=“editorial-credits”> Photos by Markha Youchaeva </div></div>

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