StoryWork Methodologies

Deep Democracy (The Lewis Method)

Deep Democracy is a facilitated process that enables all voices, states of awareness, and frameworks of reality to be brought forth. Deep Democracy also works on the basis that all the information carried within these voices, levels of awareness, and frameworks is  needed to understand the complete process of a system. Deep Democracy is an attitude that focuses on the awareness of voices that are both central and marginal.

Biomythography (coined by Audre Lourde)

We use Biomythography to situate our personal stories and (bio) and weave them together with the stories we use to understand the world – (our myths) along with our history, to understand and re-create our stories into a form that better reflect our political context and context. It is a style of story composition that represents all the ways in which we perceive the world.


The SORPLUSI methodology (D’bi Young Antiafrika)

Sorplusi is a ground-breaking self-actualization, creativity, and leadership methodology for artists, instigators, educators and change-makers from all walks of life.

The Sorplusi Methodology is a framework for 1) self-actualization 2) artistic creation and 3) public engagement towards community mobilisation, 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), these ideas form 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 catalysed 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.


Take leadership from the most impacted

Effective social change requires providing appropriate support to, and taking direction from, those who have the most at stake

People who are on the receiving end of great injustices have to live with the outcomes of the social justice campaigns that aim to spark the change needed to create a better world. They also have the most to gain from the victory – and the most to lose if something goes wrong. They also have lots of knowledge and skills to find workable solutions with the access to resources and support you can provide.


Principals of Accountability

The four basic principals of accountability (accountability is not our goal; collaboration is our goal, accountability is the pathway we walk):

  • Transparency means being clear about one’s politics, organisational structure, goals, desires and weaknesses. The point here is to be as open as possible about your perspectives and motivations.
  • Participation is about actively and equitably engaging with folks about the decisions that affect them.
  • Reflection and deliberation means that we actively open up conversation to re-evaluate where we’re headed. It happens after participation, but once it’s begun, it is a continuous thread that is woven throughout the experience
  • Response is the ability to make amendments and adjustments to issues by reflection and deliberation


Think Narratively (Doyle Canning and Patrick Reinsburg)

Sometimes the best response to a powerful enemy is a powerful story. We are narrative beings that understand the world through stories, so it is important that we wage a battle of the stories against stories that perpetuate harm. But for an alternative story to close the playing field, we need to think creatively and compellingly, and not just become master storytellers, but to also think in stories, strategise with story, and participate in story work.


Narrative Power Analysis (Doyle Canning)

Narrative power analysis provides a framework to extend power analysis into narrative space — the intangible realm of stories, ideas, and assumptions that frame public perception of the situation and the players involved. All power relations have this kind of narrative dimension, which often defines what is considered normal, as well as the limits of what is politically possible.
The stories power-holders tell often reinforce people’s existing assumptions and beliefs and can prevent them from hearing social change messages. A narrative power analysis seeks to unearth the hidden building blocks of these pernicious stories, so that a narrative of liberation can better challenge them.




StoryWork Workshops

Stories that Change the World

A good story has the power to change the world. Stories not only teach us how to act – they inspire us to act. Stories communicate our values through the language of the heart, our emotions. And it is what we feel – our hopes, our cares, our obligations – not simply what we know that can inspire us with the courage to act.The Stories that Change the World methodology supports people to share their personal stories more effectively, in order to build a sense of community around shared values and experiences, and ultimately to move large numbers of people to action on an issue or cause.




Brave New Voices

For those who are marginalised, excluded, and/or disenfranchised, voice is a source of empowerment. Having a voice is closely linked to notions of self-determination and autonomy.
The impetus of this workshop is to explore our voice through narratives of biomythology by exploring the tales accumulated from personal experience, families, friends and culture. The exploration stems from your stories as they relate to your own personal truths- truths found in your physical forms and within the lives of the artist. We then explore the history of poetry as a tool for social change, and you will build your own poetic toolkit, and write your own poem.