Drifting into Rīga

Drifting into Rīga is set to release on 17 February.

Here’s how it got put together.



Hm, how best to share what I do and why I do it. Tricky, with most people, because ‘art’ and ‘philosophy’ aren’t quite… well.

It’s just not what you bring up when you’re making smalltalk, meeting strangers in strange lands for the first time.

Unless you’re me.

I do this. All the time. Wherever I am, except when I’m writing, and focused, and finishing stuff. Like this book…

Original writing and photography by Dipika Kohli in Drifting into Rīga (Kismuth Books / 2020)


In search of the new and different

Conversations everywhere I went for ten weeks in Eastern Europe folded together in this unique composition. Some of the chapters originally appeared in a zine, S P C, which I make at Design Kompany. Other segments of this book were first printed, as part of a column I wrote for a US magazine; the column was called ‘Kismuth & The Way.’

I wrote the zine every week and published the column every month. Occasionally with others, but mostly, on my own. Collaborating is harder than I thought; maybe that’s why I stopped doing it in order to write more like I used to, here at Kismuth, in the books.

I did my best to try to co-create. I did this until I stopped doing both. Which was the moment when I just felt finished; like there was no point writing my next thoughts and reflections for the wide world to read. They could read my innermost insights in a book. A very special book.

About movement, conversations with oneself, the journeys large, small, near and far, that most matter, priorities and what one aims for in life, meander, and how, ultimately, ‘Not all who wander are lost.’

I put my most honest and raw feelings about these important topics (important, that is, to me, and some who are, like the ones I met and conversed with at length, looking for meaning, purpose, and flailing a little, in that quest. But so? Nobody’s perfect).

Drifting into Rīga

The feeling that I didn’t write in the zines or columns,was what I reserve for conversations in books and backchannel conversations and also our cojournaling projects, here at Kismuth. It’s about sharing stories. Together. It’s about learning and discovering, together. This is the essence of what the new book is about, too.

Seeing what happens when you just veer. And show up. And stick around. At length, not fleetingly, to get to know a place. To feel the feelings that they bring out… in you…

Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Lithuania (April-June 2019). Never imagined I’d go to these places, but there I was, and there I went. From the comfort of a familiar perch I’m able to reflect on these experiences, and in so doing, with the help of writers in our cojournaling projects over the winter, I got to know something.

Let me be direct. Many people shared with me that they perceived ‘writing’ and ‘artistic life’ as a great luxury, one that I somehow seemed to be indulging in… effortlessly.

Some were curious about how I am going about ‘doing what you do, DK… how are you even living like that?And how does it all work out?’ A few ventured to ask.

‘I know this is a personal question, but… ‘


Artmaking through writing

I wrote. A lot. In response to this. I put those sentiments into this new collection. Drifting into Rīga outlines the sentiments. You can pre-order Drifting into Rīga for a limited time. Here’s a link.


Thanks. ;)