Logo: DDI International

"Word Is" Graffiti artists in Kibera, Kenya

Dr. Max Schupbach, President, DDI

Zen Calligraphy and our Process Work method of “Unfolding” are children of the same spiritual family, in my mind. Both are Dojos – Practices in the spiritual sense – for finding our innate nature and expressing it as a meditation and celebration of life and spirit. Both show us that life can be led with a dedication to one’s core experiences, and that in turn, life leads us along the changing tides of our daily lives, bringing us closer to who we are. One more similarity, both believe that creativity and imagination are an inseparable part of difficulties and challenges, bringing forward “koans,” complex situations that ask us to step out of our habits in facing nonlinear encounters, living life like we draw Zen calligraphy: notice, focus, notice the unnoticed, give it a voice – with one stroke of a brush, one movement of the hand, one insight at a time.

Gomba is a Graffiti artist

living in Kibera, an informal settlement of about 1.5 million people near Nairobi, living on an area the size of Central Park New York—different infrastructure, different histories, but both the size of an apple in dreamtime. Kibera, where we learn, teach, work, and play with several communities, among them the Nubians who were the first to live in that area, is considered a slum. Gomba and his crew painted our header for this newsletter. As you can see in the YouTube interview, when asked what he would like the world to know about Kibera and himself, he answers: We hear about the difficulties and challenges and problems of Kibera, but Kibera is more than problems. It’s also a vibrant creative place, full of hope, faith, and courage.

The situationists of the 1950s

believed in experimenting with the "construction of situations." They hoped to set up environments that would allow a more democratic, artistic, and creative way of living or better—Being. Art, Politics and Economy were important, but so was nature, as well as the energy of a place, a field they called psychogeography. They coined the term, which was later picked up in France during the 1960s movement: “Under the Cobblestones—the Beach.” DDI loves the cobblestones, and is dedicated to also finding the Beach underneath: Under the everyday attitude—our dreams. Under Consensus Reality—Essence. We hope that you enjoy our newsletter.

Watch our Kibera Graffiti and the DDI Newsletter video


Kibera Graffiti and the DDI Newsletter from Deep Democracy Institute on Vimeo.


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