Dearest Yoko,

I hope this finds you well.

My friend Raksha and I are both artists and we are trying to start an art/merchandising business called “Republic of Peace”
I wrote the manifesto as my artist’s statement for my MFA thesis show in May.

I would love to send you a t-shirt with our logo.
I’m loving the smiling project. I started a similar one last year but it was videos and stills of people laughing.
I love your cut pieces.
Peace and chocolate,



We belong to a little known tribe of philosophical/cultural/spiritual nomads who regard the world as at once a foreign land and a homeland. Our identities are rooted in difference and familiarity. Everywhere is home, yet far from home. We pitch our tents wherever there is dire need for agency, awareness, hope, and equity. We listen to stories as much as we are eager to tell them.

We are eternal seekers using words, imagery and actions to fashion questions to bring awareness to injustice. When all else fails, we will bend the barrels of the oppressor’s weapons backwards surprising them with flowers instead of bullets.

We are tricksters, storytellers and mythmakers who embrace contradictions in our approach to problem solving while inspiring change. We relish simplicity and our faith resides in the kindness of spirit and the power of empathy. Our heroes are the fearless souls who speak truth and continue to stand firm in the face of peril and certain death.

We know where our feet are planted, yet are filled with memories of places from where we have journeyed. We believe in the interconnectedness of everything, in non hierarchical holistic interrelationships of connected parts and in the power of thought to stir consciousness and move mountains.

We speak in many tongues, but in our world, understanding transcends language and when necessary, we employ silence to express our meaning. We practice many trades, yet are concerned less with mastery, than with seeking to do what is best for humankind. We see possibility and potential in the discarded and so we appropriate, recycle, recontextualize, ravel and unravel.

In our most lucid dreams, there are no locks on our minds, no scales impede our vision… Our voices are loud and clear.

Although land and water may separate us, we are both – Like land we ground each other and like water we flow into each other generating electricity. We are mirrored in the faces of the exploited and downtrodden whose smiles amid adversity fuel our creativity and compose our songs. With them we vow to share our triumphs and successes.

We are witnesses and art is our evidence . We belong to a fluid state without borders, love is our currency, peace our anthem and we pledge allegiance to the light that shines in all of us even when we wander through darkness.

We belong to the Republic of Peace.

Dear Ofunne and Raksha
Thank  you for a very lucid statement of Republic of Peace.
As you know, your words are sending power to the world.
Thank you. Love, yoko