Introducing the book
Dreaming Into Community is told through the friendship between Lynn and Venetia, the authors. Each travels from her country of current residence to Greece in 2017 to attend an International Worldwork event with people from over 50 countries to interact on pressing and agonising issues in their lives, regions and histories. Worldwork is an evolving approach for tackling entrenched global conflict and wicked problems. Worldwork facilitators are on a path of lifelong study and immersion. How timely and relevant that Lynn Lobo and Venetia Bouronikou have managed to capture not only the spirit of this event with near to 500 people, also they provide a deep and concise illumination of complex ideas and processes, frame by frame in an endearing and profound way.
COMMENDATION BY ARNOLD AND AMY MINDELL
“Venetia and Lynn’s graphic novel about Worldwork, is one of the most amazing creative things we have ever seen. They show the process and understanding of Worldwork in a most creative, spontaneous, artistic manner. Once you start see-ing and reading it, you can’t stop. We very much recommend this work to every-one interested in creating a better world.” AMY MINDELL, Ph.D., author of Your Unique Facilitator Style. Explore your Special Gifts and Powers as Facilitator, Therapist, Teacher, Coach and Helper. ARNOLD MINDELL Ph.D., author of Sitting in the Fire: Large Group Transformation Using Conflict and Diversity.
Here is a taster read by the authors, and accompanied with lilting tones to evoke the timeless atmosphere of Greece.
Worldwork is both a process science and an awareness attitude for working with communities, small and large groups. It was developed by Arnold Mindell, founder of Process Work in the late 1970s and 1980s. Worldwork also refers to an experiential training in conflict work, facilitation and community building. It first took place as a seminar in 1991 and is held by the International Association of Process Oriented Psychology (IAPOP) every 2-3 years.
Scene from Day 1: Welcome and intro with Arny and Amy Mindell facilitating
People gather from around the world for a 6-10 days event, to process important issues and hold the tensions within our world. Conflicts are brought forth and facilitated by a trained and dedicated staff. The aim is to create deeper relationships and understanding by reaching some temporary resolution. The gathering is culturally and linguistically diverse. Everybody’s story matters. The issues that arise are largely determined by the life concerns of people who attend, as well as the location on this planet we share. Human history on this earth shape the interactions that are focused on. As we understand each other more, something deep in us is healed.
This graphic novel is an analysis and a creative graphic documentation of the social issues processed during Worldwork Greece 2017, told through the relationship between the authors. Venetia and Lynn host us as we dive into three large group processes that took place. Each chapter represents a topic as processed by the group of participants and facilitators. Topics include:
- The financial crisis in Greece and the EU
- Refugees and Borders
- Capitalism and Slavery
In the short video below, you can witness Worldwork in action. See how a large group of 500 people chose a topic to work on from the many pressing and at times agonising topics bubbling up in the group, jostling for attention. This is known as ‘sorting’ for a topic, in worldwork parlance:
COMMENDATION BY JAN DWORKIN
“This extraordinary graphic novel introduces readers to the unique, dramatic, chaotic, and profound atmosphere of Worldwork. The beautiful drawings are ren-dered with an elegant, expressive simplicity. Characters come alive, allowing readers to enter into and feel the intensity of the group experience. Lynn and Venetia explain basic concepts with great clarity, making this essential reading for anyone interested in Worldwork theory and practice, or for people considering participating in a Worldwork conference. In addition, it’s a must-read for anyone who has participated in past Worldwork events, and wants to be reminded of the magic and impact. Thank you Venetia and Lynn; your work is a gift.” JAN DWORKIN, Ph.D., author of “Make Love Better. How to Own Your Story, Connect with Your Partner and Deepen Your Relationship Practice”.
In this next clip, you can view the worldwork facilitation action, following the sorting process. In this scene, the large group decided on the topic: Greece and the Eu. Recall in 1917, the economy in Greece had collapsed while was welcoming thousands of refugees arriving on their shores fleeing Syria.
The creative book making process
In this next clip, the authors invite us into their creative process and reflections back home, as they create the graphic story over a two year period. Wow! A labour of love.
COMMENDATION BY DAWN MENKEN
“Lynn Lobo and Venetia Bouronikou have given us a beautiful gift ̶ a graphic novel depicting the heart and soul of Worldwork. The illustrations are captivating and simply gorgeous and the arc of the story line is delightful as the authors use their relationship as a backdrop to question and reflect on the group interactions and methods. As readers we can feel the intensity and heat as if we were present. This is a creative depiction of Worldwork that also includes small special touches that highlight an international community that has held these seminars for 30 years. Characters jumped off the page and made me smile with love, pride and familiarity. Thank you Lynn and Venetia for a work of love and beauty!” DAWN MENKEN, Ph.D., author of “Raising Parents, Raising Kids: Hands-on Wisdom for the Next Generation”.
“A fantastic exploration of Worldwork giving an accurate picture of the conference and the method. Highly recommended for anyone interested in conflict facilitation, activism, community, rank and power and how to engage with these issues.”
“This is my first picture book about Worldwork. I am so excited to have this way of expression. I am looking forward to share this book with other people.”
“Visually this graphic novel is an utter delight. Lynn Lobo’s captivating illustrations bring to life the adorable characters and give us front seats to a very personal insider view on this conflict awareness method working with the intersectionality of wicked problems in how character on different sides of the human impact of racism, sexism, the refugee experience, war, economic inequality, the environment to name a few.
“A page turner, showing the complexity in each human story moment by moment. I loved listening in on the author’s conversations helping to understand the process and roles and facilitation interventions. A wonderful resource that I will be learning from and sharing and reading over and over. Treat yourself and share with anyone involved in helping our planet whether through personal interactions, inner work and/or collective effort and activism”.
“You will get a glimpse of how process-oriented group work is facilitated, and feel the atmosphere of Worldwork. This graphic novel is a small taste of a rich experience.”
About the Authors
VENETIA BOURONIKOU, MAPW, Dip. PW.
Venetia is a psychologist and a certified process worker. She has 20 years of experience as a therapist and a group facilitator and trainer. She is passionate about Worldwork and the interconnectedness of personal and social change. Venetia loves big trees and deep blue waters.
LYNN LOBO, MAPW, Dip. PW.
Lynn is a certified process worker and visual artist. Passionate about Worldwork, they offer workshops worldwide on creative practice, climate change and racism. Lynn is also a member of faculty at the Process Work Institute. They spend most of their time painting in their studio and talking to trees in the Australian bush.