Meet the team

Our team

Meet the international team behind the Mother Tongues Festival 2021!

francesca la morgia photographed by Elena Cristofanon

Dr Francesca La Morgia

Festival Director

Francesca La Morgia is the founder and director of the Mother Tongues Festival. She is passionate about languages and community, and an Olympic champion in non-stop chatting! When remembering the previous editions of the Mother Tongues Festival she thinks of the warmth of children’s laughter, the dances of people from all over the world embracing each other, the powerful messages written on a wall. When she is not daydreaming about Mother Tongues, Francesca can be found in lecture rooms in Maynooth, Dublin and Belfast teaching linguistics to the next generation of language lovers.
francesca [at]

elena cristofanon

Elena Cristofanon

Creative Project Manager

Since Elena moved to Dublin from Rome in 2014, language became a fundamental issue to her, as she found herself struggling with the barrier of truly express her ideas and passions in a language she didn’t fully control.
One year later she decided to learn Spanish (for love) and also started teaching Italian to Irish people. At that point, she realized how much bilingualism and multilingualism can shape and change people’s minds. With an academic background in art history, a master in Standards for education in museums and her skills in graphic and web design she looks after the creative and administrative side of Mother Tongues.
elena [at]  –

Romi Cruañas. Photographed by Elena Cristofanon

Romi Cruañas

Curatorial Advisor

Romi has been living in Ireland since 2007, She holds a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies from TCD and is now pursuing a MA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy at NUIG.
Her upbringing as a bilingual child and passion for languages and diversity made her an advocate for equity and social cohesion through arts. She speaks English, Italian, Spanish, French and German and has a geeky adoration for puns. Co Founder of Rather Gather Inclusive Arts Collective she also worked with Five Lamps Arts Festival, Chinese New Year Festival and Body and Soul.


Christie Kandiwa

Communication & Marketing Assistant

A Business Studies, Marketing student at the Institute of Public Administration, Christie has a passion for literature, language and people. She has extensive experience in performance poetry, and is also singer and songwriter. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Ireland, her work is primarily  influenced by blending her Zimbabwean cultural heritage and her Irish upbringing and intertwines Southern-African myths and local languages and forms. As well as being published in Dedalus Press Writing Home: The ‘New Irish’ Poets Anthology, her work was selected for Poetry Ireland’s Versify 2019 and she was a panelist for the IASIL 2019 Conference event: “Are We Doing Diversity Justice?”.
Most recently, she worked along with Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi in the production of See x Sea as part of the Mother Tongues Festival 2020,  which touched on elements of black womanhood, identity and themes of home.


Lauren Fahey

Project Manager Assistant

Lauren was born in England but have lived in Dublin for most of her life. She has a BA in German and History which she studied at Maynooth University. During her Erasmus year, she worked in Germany as a language assistant in a school for the blind and visually impaired. She is currently studying Cultural Policy and Arts Management in UCD as a postgraduate degree.

Inês Páscoa Baptista

Operations Manager

Inês is a freelance translator/interpreter and project manager. She has a Master Degree in Literary Translation from the University of Florence and has worked as an HR assistant with Eures, as a travel agent and as an international customer care support agent.
Passionate about languages for as long as she can remember, she speaks Portuguese, Italian and English fluently. In her student years in Portugal and later in Italy she lived with people from different countries and cultures – this cultural exchange made her realize that multiculturalism and multilingualism are the basis for a stronger society. She lives in Ireland since late 2017 with her family, raising her daughter to be trilingual.

ema stapleton

Ema Stapleton

Event coordinator

Ema is a writer and musician from Dublin. She has a Masters in Popular Music Research from Goldsmiths College, London and an undergraduate degree in Commercial Modern Music from BIMM Dublin. She enjoys teaching music theory and vocals to all levels. She learnt French and Irish in school and loves speaking them whenever she gets the chance. She has volunteered for numerous music festivals and is putting her festival knowledge to the test by helping to organise Mother Tongues Festival! (Photo by Ruthless Imagery)

Kate Higham

Kate Higham

Marketing Officer and copywriter

Kate is a Freelance Content Marketing Writer based in Dublin. She has a Higher Diploma in Marketing, Advertising, PR & Sales, a Diploma in Digital Marketing and is a qualified Copywriter. As a writer, Kate is obsessed with the art of words and storytelling. Throughout her student years, Kate fell in love with learning stories across other languages and has set herself a goal to tackle German over the next couple of years.
Kate volunteered for Mother Tongues to marry her love of the arts and her passion for writing with her experience with running events and marketing. As our Marketing Officer, she hopes to bring the story of Mother Tongues alive, online and offline. When Kate is not helping out with Mother Tongues, she is kept busy running her own content marketing business: CopyKate.

Steering group members

Mother Tongues festival relies on a group of dedicated and talented individuals who support our team in delivering all that we do to the highest standard.

Rebecca Blake
Irma Bochorishvili
Joy-Tendai Kangere
Tony Fagan
Lianne Quigley
Jo Dukkipati

Sandra Ruiz Moriana
Soraya Sobrevía
Zoe O’Reilly
Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan
Shauna McDaniel
Inês Pascoa Baptista