Lingua Amoris is a series of audiovisual and educational film projects and cultural exchange programs that explore the different forms of romantic love outside the current social norm and is looking for ways of providing visibility and representation of excluded/underrepresented groups.
There is a story of the love between two characters. Lingua Amoris tells how these two characters meet, fall in love, reach their own limits, move apart, lose each other and maybe find each other again at the end. Even though the movie is one story, it is made up of eight episodes. Each episode plays in a different country, with a different context and a different language. Also, the characters are played by different actors and actresses in each episode. The movie plays with the different gender identities and sexualities of the characters.
Each episode is written and produced by a different film and education team. Only the dramaturgical structure of the story and the nature of the characters are taken as guidelines. The shooting is accompanied and supported by the artistic direction.
Lingua Amoris will be a feature film with a length of 90 minutes. Each episode will therefore have a length of about 12.5 minutes. To show the boundlessness even more, each episode is shot as a “one-take”.
Media is not only a mirror of reality but also forms it. It shapes our understanding of one another and thereby influences our culture, identity, and values. This becomes dangerous as the media often misrepresents certain groups. It presents unrealistic and stereotyped images of different ‘‘types’’ of people based on characteristics such as gender, age, race, and body shape. The receivers of the media learn subconsciously how to think about and act around socially valued and devalued groups, leading to discrimination or lacking self-assurance due to missing role models.
Focusing on love stories, Lingua Amoris questions the way they are constructed, represented and told. The project explores both the plain narrative and the visual language used to tell these stories.
The power of the media, however, can not only be used to reinforce stereotypes but also fight against these stereotypes by presenting different stories. This is exactly why Lingua Amoris has been initiated. Lingua Amoris is contributing to the audio-visual landscape with inclusive narratives. This is not only done through the final movie but also through the process. The participants who created the movie developed a critical view and are now equipped with elements to be critical viewers and creators of narratives. Therefore, Lingua Amoris is stimulating more inclusive and diverse narratives in the future and working actively against sexism, racism, ableism and other forms of discrimination that are often reproduced on our screens.
The following video shows as an example how we are collaborating in international projects like Lingua Amoris and Adamstown with our partners Kwetu Film Institute and Rwanda Cinema Centre in Kigali.
Way of working
Lingua Amoris is approaching audiovisual creation critically and in a participatory way. Only this allows the final movie to make other perspectives, other ways of desiring, diverse bodies, gender identities and sexual orientations visible. This process can be seen as empowerment through looking for ways of visibility and representation.
It is a truly glocal (local and global) project as on the one hand, it brings people from different cultures together while at the same time paying attention to the local context and addressing social issues of that specific context.
Lingua Amoris is bringing together a group of people of all ages and backgrounds from around the world who are passionate about filmmaking by engaging them in joint projects that combine high level film production, media literacy training, civic and cultural education and intercultural exchanges (on- and offline). The projects are focussing especially on the practice of storytelling and filmmaking, and to collectively organise, plan and carry out the shooting of a movie.
In the form of workshops, a collective creative process is initiated by discovering the film traditions of different countries and the different ways in which love stories have been told. Based on these discoveries and on how love stories are constructed, what elements compose them, what stereotypes are reproduced in them, different groups set themselves the task of creating a story in which underrepresented or non-visible forms of love are present.
As the movie is still work in progress we are always looking for new collaborations. If you are interested send us an email or call us so we can get to know each other and develop the project further.