The Guide to Saving the World as a Potter

Yuliya Makliuk

Risktakers Fellowship - Yulyia_1

Climate crisis, injustice and wars are a threat to human civilization. Many ceramic artists feel a calling to be part of the solution, yet ceramics as an art and a craft is underrepresented in the realm of political art. From minimizing the environmental footprint of their practice to creating conceptual art that criticizes the current state of affairs, there’s a growing number of ceramicists who already lead the way but are unknown to the general public. My aim is to identify and celebrate the potters who are on a mission to save the world.

What will you be working on during the fellowship?

I work with ceramic artists, crafters, enthusiasts, curators and scholars in Ukraine and globally. With my project I hope to help them to find their unique way of adequately responding to societal challenges. I want to shape the emerging group of keen ceramicists into an interconnected community of sustainability actors. This will be done by the means of participatory online events, interviews with the leading peers and blogposts. The output will be a published book.

To what future do you aspire?

In the future we are free to be our truest selves. People are no longer limited and humiliated by experience of poverty, environmental catastrophe and war. Our creative, cognitive and spiritual potential is nurtured, rather than being smashed by the stupefying reality of survival and alienation. In this future, we’re able to break the cycle of causing and experiencing trauma ‒ to each other and to other forms of life. It frees us to be who we truly are: co-creators of solutions and discoveries.

What does being a risktaker mean to you?

Making conscious efforts to remain curious and vulnerable in a world shrouded in a sense of doom. Exercising hope in actions big and small and crafting paradoxical solutions that bridge different realities. Having courage to take on one’s role in the play of life with all the responsibility that comes with it.