Who are we?
As three women from England, Singapore and the USA, who grew up speaking different versions of the same language, we created our company, Marmoris Company, to explore the musicality of different languages in a project that explored womxnhood.
We adapted what was originally designed to be an installation piece for our final year university submission into an interactive website due to the global pandemic. We are now striving to continue developing what has seemingly become our little ‘baby’ and share what we believe is an impactful, immersive celebration of womxnhood.
Lingua Franca noun. a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.
Could womxnhood be a common language?
Lingua Franca, began in an attempt to create a symphony of sounds with the one mode of communication that is most frequently used, yet least thought about – language. We found it curious how words mean so little yet so much at the same time; how are there certain words that can only be defined in a certain language? Do some languages sound inherently melodious while others inherently rough? Do words translated ever really mean the same thing?
Screenshot from the first station of Lingua Franca, which is an audio-visual montage of the womxn’s responses.
What is our mission? What drives us?
Lingua Francais a presentation of womxn as told by themselves through an interactive visually and audibly stimulating experience. The womxn’s stories are presented within three main installations, each of which allow the audience to interact with different aspects of language and its relationship with womxnhood. Lingua Francadelves into the intersectionality of womxnhood, a sense of belonging, as well as concepts of the domestic space. It opens the floor for a variety of themes that are intertwined and inescapable for many womxn in society today. This project involved the participation womxn from a variety of ages, sexualities, socio-economic background, ethnicities, religions and nationalities all speaking their native languages. The womxn revealed their relationship with their sense of selves in relation to societal norms, cultural and religious beliefs, geographical location and concepts of motherhood.
Language, being a key component of this project, enabled the womxn to express themselves and make themselves heard in the way that they choose to be heard. Language is the root of one’s identity, and hence in order to create a celebration of womxnhood, we wanted the womxn to feel comfortable while expressing themselves.
The three of us grew up speaking English in different forms – British English, American English, and Singaporean English – all of which are historically the same language that have developed identities of their own. While the words in our languages look the same, more often than not, they sound different and sometimes even mean different things. Our languages have become who we are as people, they distinguish us across continents, and yet they unite us through common understanding.
COVID-19 drove us to create a platform that celebrated womxnhood, as well as united individuals during a period of worldwide isolation. This was an interesting process for us as artists, as we had to navigate three different time zones in order to complete our project. However, this also inspired us – we used our distance to bring us, and these women, closer together when the world seemed more separated than ever.
Screenshot from the second station of Lingua Franca. It requires the audience’s interaction to engage with the words on the screen.
What did we learn? What did we discover?
The womxn that participated in this project knew nothing about each other, where each of them were from, what languages they spoke or what responses each of them gave, and yet, this complete unawareness of the other, was why the project was so groundbreaking. We found so many similarities in the way these womxn discussed their sense of selves, and whilst it may have been simpler to see how these womxn were more different than alike, they exhibited a strong sense of awareness and pride in what it means to be a womxn.
Hearing the womxn talk about their sense of selves and the pride they hold because of it filled us with an indescribable warmth, as well ignited our own strengths and reminded us of what it truly means to be a womxn. As we listened to these stories, we witnessed how our own identities evolved with theirs.
The pandemic added an extra layer to our project, as we got to see how these womxn rediscovered their sense of selves in isolation. Some of them faced the pressures of being womxn at home, some found liberty in taking time off, and some felt unaffected by the change in pace. Many found solace in knowing that there were other womxn around the world experiencing the same things as them. As the conversation surrounding womxnhood continues, new aspects of our identities are exposed every day.
People Pictured: (From Left to Right)
Claudia Lax-Tanner, Nina Menon, Samantha Smith
Our Final Message
This project, while aiming to be a celebration of womxn and womxnhood, lends itself to a cathartic experience that facilitates participants’ self-actualisation, forcing one to confront their own identity and how it affects their way of life. It has the ability to elicit thought and emotion for the most apparent realities – the womxn in our lives. We wanted Lingua Francato be an inclusive experience that welcomed people of all gender identities to join us in learning about, enjoying and appreciating womxnhood.
Lingua Francahas a very important and empowering message for womxn. It has managed to create such a powerful community of womxn across the globe, and definitely still welcomes more womxn to be a part of this collective.
We invite you to join our community of womxn, and would love for you to be able to experience and contribute towards our shared common language.
Find Out More
If you would like to experience our project,
Visit our website: https://marmoriscompany.wixsite.com/linguafranca
If you would like to find out more about our work,
Follow us on Instagram: @marmoriscompany
If you would like to get in touch,
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would love to hear from you!
We are Marmoris Company, a collective of three graduate interdisciplinary artists, based in London, Minnesota and Singapore. Our aim is to create platforms to share individual stories.
Our first project together is entitled Lingua Franca – it is a presentation of womxn as told by themselves. Intertwining language through an audio-visual sensory experience, our interactive website is a true celebration of womxnhood. Dividing our website into three different sections, we encourage the audience to interact with the different aspects of language and as the question;
Could womxnhood be a common language?
Contact us by emailing email@example.com find us on Instagram (@marmoriscompany).
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