An online event called Lingua Franca will be happening this weekend.

The event, is a collaborative poetry event between seven poets from Malaysian Borneo and the North East of England.

The event will explore two vastly different, yet parallel national and cultural identities through spoken word, and hopes to spark a conversation in the UK and Malaysia on identity, marginalisation, dualism, and otherness.

Details on Lingua Franca

It will be hosted online on Saturday 17th July, in which the event launches GEM Arts Masala Festival, a British festival celebrating South Asian arts and culture.

During the event, performers will be reading their poetry on two stages – one at HAUS Kuching in Malaysia, and one at Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Since it will be online, the event will be streamed online to an international audience.

The line up for the event includes local talent from Wordsmiths of Kuching, a poetry collective in Malaysia, Angelina Bong, Bethany Balan, Neyna Radzuan and Maclean Patrick and British performers Tahmina Ali, AJ McKenna and Matt Miller.

Performers will discuss their roots and identity through their poetry with aim to explore at what intersections these performers can meet to share words, stories and experiences with one another.


Lingua Franca is the culmination of a collaborative poetry gathering organised by Borneo Bengkel and Wordsmiths of Kuching, as part of an international programme Born(neo) NORTH+EAST, aiming to bridge connections between creatives from the North East of England and Borneo in SouthEast Asia.

The programme is funded by the British Council’s Connections through Culture programme and curated by Catriona Maddocks, from the creative platform Borneo Bengkel.

Tickets for the online event are available at  or for more information see @borneobengkel  on social media.