D’bi Young wants to tell you stories, and she wants to listen to yours as well. She’s a dubpoet, monodramatist and educator, which means she writes plays and spoken word pieces and performs those pieces, re-living the experiences that have shaped the work in front of her audience. She also travels around the world teaching a holistic human and artistic development methodology called Sorplusi.
I met Young two years ago in Swaziland where she was performing at Bushfire, an arts festival that raises money to fight the HIV epidemic in that country. Leading up to that she’d been mentoring artists in Capetown, South Africa. Since, she’s been teaching in India, Jamaica, Sweden and has plans that may bring her to Bali in the coming year. Recently she spent a busy few months at the Banff Centre, teaching in the Spoken Word program, developing a play for the SummerWorks Theatre Festival in Toronto, and taking leadership courses as part of a project to further her teaching methodology.
S.O.R.P.L.U.S.I. is an acronym for the eight principles that guide Young’s teaching: Self-Knowledge, Orality, Rhythm, Political content & context, Language of communication, Urgency, Sacredness, and Integrity. Her method encourages artists to be accountable to their communities and to be partners in affecting social change. It emphasizes emotional, psychological, creative, physical and spiritual growth in the artistic process.
While at the Banff Centre she recorded several poems, including “Dare to Wear Love”: