This generation values open communication and discussion more than any other generation

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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: Tarek Hayek
  • Producer / DJ / Athlete / Student / Engineer
  • Pronouns: he/him (although I don't mind being called they/them tbh)
  • Age: 23
  • Location: Ghent
  • Instagram: @hayek___  

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! 

When it comes to my life-goal-oriented desires, I care the most about collective progression. In other words, becoming the most advanced and capable version of myself along with the like-minded individuals that I am lucky to have come across during my lifetime. I think we were put on this planet to discover what our true potential is, and what we are fully capable of achieving. As for non-personal-goal-related topics, I care the most about using my platforms and reaching out to shine a light on the inequalities happening in the world. In Palestine, Yemen, China, Congo, and countless other issues. Slavery and apartheid are not dead, they’ve simply rebranded themselves.

I think we were put on this planet to discover what our true potential is

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

Sacrifice, prioritization & protection.

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

Simply put, the fact that I feel that I am capable of making a change both inspires and makes me feel responsible to use my art and influence to do so. Power and ability come with equal responsibility.

How do you hope to inspire others?

To stand up for the things they believe are right, no matter what the majority thinks. To absolutely obsess over maximizing their potential. To fully immerse themselves in their interests, trust the process, and not worry about making money from a 9-5 job. If you practice whatever it is you're interested in for long enough, you'll end up being so good at it that it will pay your bills anyways, AND you'll live a happier, more fulfilling life doing what you love! :)

If you practice whatever it is you're interested in for long enough, you'll end up being so good at it that it will pay your bills anyways

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

Ideally more awareness and action. I never want to hear ‘What can I do about it?’ ever again from the people around me. Awareness can be of injustices and biases in our society, but also of values and activities that bring us closer to the happiest most complete versions of ourselves.

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

My background in sports has shaped me to be who I am today, it has helped accelerate my rate of progression to the max. Before being a musician, I was a professional athlete for 17 years. I practised 21 sports throughout my lifetime, competed at 8 of them, and taught 2 of them at a very high level (super-kart racing after being 31st in the world finals in 2016, and later on kitesurfing). Training for championships put me in this mindset where I do not see failure as an option. You can only call something a failure once you decide to stop trying, otherwise, it’s a work in progress!

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

My main challenge at the moment is that I have outgrown my equipment. To buy better equipment right now, it would cost me as much as buying a house back home in Egypt. So there's this constant dilemma in my head between my fear of plateauing and my fear of financial instability.

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How do you define ‘community’?

To me, a community is a group of people who share something similar, and ideally take care of each other. The similarity could be a geographic location, a common interest, or just a feeling or common ideology. As long as those individuals perceive each other as a collective unit, it's a community. However, for it to be a good community those within it have to watch out and care for each other's well-being.

What is a ‘safe space’ for you?

A safe space in my perspective is a place where one can present and express themselves as they truly desire without fearing for their safety or whether or not they will be judged (as long as this does not cause harm or disrespect to others). It’s a place where people can connect or disconnect, where they can find themselves or safely lose themselves in the depths of escapism.

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Is receiving care a privilege, a right?  

In my opinion, it is both. Initially, receiving/giving care is a right because we should always act on the basis that humanity in its essence is good and not evil. However, if individuals over time show red flags, or if the care is one-sided, it becomes a privilege. 

(That aside though, I do have to acknowledge that some people do not receive enough care in their lifetimes due to family/relationship situations. In their case unfortunately care is treated like a privilege, it's important to remember that this does not make them bad people relative to their experiences.)

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

Definitely! The how part can be broken down into a few sections. Firstly and most importantly, this generation values open communication and discussion more than any other generation (majorly thanks to social media allowing us to say what we want without the fear of being punched in the face for it lol). Second, a lot of people feel like they are not alone due to others sharing their experiences online which then makes us realize ‘Oh, it's not just me who felt/experienced that.’ To me, those 2 factors have driven us to take initiatives, such as safer spaces, which immensely strengthen the feeling of a community.

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

Being kind to the homeless. Smiling at people in public. Donating to overexploited countries. Welcoming and integrating refugees. The acceptance and inclusion of all minorities in the arts scene including but not limited to FLINTA+ and LGBTQIA + people. 

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

I think there is a clear distinction, however, they do touch each other. I have to take care of myself to make sure I have the capacity to care for others. But mainly it's a matter of being stable, as long as I am stable I can care for those around me at all times.

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Do you care about being cared about? 

I have to say yes, I do care about being cared about by the people I love, and those in my community. Other than those people tho, I couldn't care less about being cared about on social media, for example, that kind of care seems very short-sighted to me. I do majorly care and wish to be cared for by fans tho!

What do you want to be remembered for? 

Mainly, I want to be remembered for my vision of art and activism, as well as promoting those who come in contact with my work or with me in person to push their boundaries, and absolutely SHATTER them!

<div class="editorial-banner"> <div class=“editorial-credits”> Photos by @alicia_creupelandt@manon_zwartjes@maximelorand@eva.swennen  <br/> </div></div>

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