Over the years, Lingua Franca has refined the signature sound and artform that makes our model of spoken-word poetry proudly South African and innovatively fluid and ever-growing. Our unique style carries the following elements and philosophies:
Poetry is an unconfined, living and breathing artform through Lingua Franca. Our members are dynamically trained in performance poetry, theatre, and music. In the belief that an artist must commit to being multidimensional, fluid and experimental in order to discover his/her unique truths, Lingua Franca has committed to fusing music, spoken-word and theatre, often in ways that leave audiences hooked. Lingua Franca is always in a state of growth and continues to seek artistic innovation through new fusions that best express our truths as individuals and as a community.
Spoken-word poetry is often perceived as one-directional: the poet stands at the mic and enlightens a passive audience with her/his wisdom. Lingua Franca has a different model. Instead, our collective sits in a semicircle on stage to symbolize the conversational element of poetry and to pay homage to our deep storytelling traditions. We call this ‘the kraal’ to also symbolize the spiritual and ancestral journey involved we reciting poetry.
Our poetry is multilingual. We honour our home languages and encourage audiences to celebrate the value and wisdom embedded in our mothertongues. In any one of our shows, you will find a mixture of Xhosa, English, Sotho, Zulu, Afrikaans, etc. Our word is a celebration of our linguistic diversity.