Artists can be mentored by d’bi. in Toronto Canada, at The Watah school, where she runs ongoing programs grounded in The Sorplusi Method, and or apply to her YEMOYA int’l artist residency for a three-week mentorship intensive.
The Sorplusi Methodology is a framework for 1) self-actualization 2) artistic creation and 3) mentorship and facilitation towards community mobilization, that (a) focuses on the holistic development of the practitioner in the process of self-discovery/recovery through rigorous self-exploration; (b) helps the practitioner identify their personal and professional integrities in art creation and dissemination (c) equips the practitioner with the tools to mentor others towards the development of community.
Based on the seminal work of pioneer dubpoet Anita Stewart (d’bi’s mother), and developed by her daughter d’bi.young anitafrika, the Sorplusi Method enables a comprehensive eco-system of accountability and responsibility between the practitioner and their communities. There are eight guiding principles in the method: Self-knowledge, Orality, Rhythm, Political Content and Context, Language, Urgency, Sacredness and Integrity. These are balanced by and explored through the practitioner’s five bodies: the physical, emotional, mental, creative and spiritual. Each principle challenges us to live to our deepest integrities; to not only be self-invested but to (re)position to the centre of our micro and macro communities.
Like a storyteller sitting under a tree, at the centre of the village, telling stories to the community gathered, the practitioner’s re-positioning urges them to become both accountable and responsible (able to account for and respond to) their communities. Practitioners create works of art during the Sorplusi process that are catalyzed by their own biographical experiences. Art mirrors society, encourages its self-critique, and inspires its self-growth. The Sorplusi Method is a guide to help us re-cover ourselves and each other.
What does it mean to self-actualize? What does it mean to be a leader? Are storytellers leaders? And if so, what considerations are associated with leading? Where are we leading ourselves and the world to? The meticulous investigation of these questions sits at the core of the Sorplusi Method. The practitioner is invited to continually ask the questions: Who am I? How am I? What is my purpose? Supported by the methodology through a range of meditations, regression exercises, physical, theatrical, literary, and leadership development activities, as well as other creative techniques, each practitioner is guided through a process of uncovering their own empathetic eco-system of accountability and responsibility between themselves and the stories they choose to create and share.
They meticulously excavate the principles, developing their own critical-analytical, self-reflective, oppression-aware lenses, while simultaneously creating a story grounded in Sorplusi. This adventure of self-investigation charts the intersections of self, with(in) the collective. There is no standardization. Everyone is unique. Therefore it is crucial that each practitioner explores the principles individually and collectively.
The Sorplusi methodology has a permanent home in d’bi.’s school, The Watah School, based in Toronto Canada which, where she teaches ongoing courses. The international component of her school is the YEMOYA international artist residency, founded in 2008. The residency, hosted biannually in a different country, serves as an ongoing gurukal, where artists from around the world study and learn the theory and practice of Sorplusi in a three week intensive mentorship with d’bi.
REVIEW OF THE SORPLUSI METHOD WORKSHOP
The Sorplusi Method masterclass with d’bi young was an amazing…I had to sit with it for a long time before I could write about it. Although it’s a method about creating art…it’s the kind of thing that is useful for everything, for just living life in general. This would be as useful for a lawyer as it is for a playwright… It was a two-day session on rooting myself and starting to figure out what it means to me to live my life with integrity. The first day was spent almost entirely on developing / improving self-knowledge.
The second day focused a bit more on how to use that knowledge to root yourself and develop whatever you do (art practice, or general everyday life) from that base…Now, this wasn’t a class, in a classroom, with desks and the like. We as participants sat in a circle, most on the floor, but with the option of sitting on a chair if you found sitting on the floor too uncomfortable…It was a group of people communing and connecting as they learned. The purpose of the workshop was to access the stories within us… tools to tell stories are great, but the tools to access those stories will ultimately prove to be invaluable.
– Megan Mooney ‘Mooney on Theatre’ from The Sorplusi Masterclass hosted by Nightwood Theatre in Toronto Canada
Read d’bi.young anitafrika’s artistic statement on the sorplusi methodology and her creative process: r/evolution begins within