The scope of this project is to create a valuable information database which maps out the cultural use of public and private spaces across the islands. This project will have two deliverables; an interactive online map and an academic publication bringing together academics and specialists from a number of relevant fields.
In order to identify the spaces, sites and venues of relevance and their basic tangible qualities, a map of all localities in Malta and Gozo is drawn up using GIS technology. Data includes spaces, streets, squares and venues used for a range of cultural activities. This map is accessible to the public and can be used by individuals, organisations and policy-makers in the planning of any activities or events. Furthermore, researchers are able to directly contribute to development of the map by adding layers of data obtained through their own research.
Meanwhile, an analysis of contemporary cultural activity in relation to the use of these spaces is also being carried out. This analysis will be carried out by a University of Malta Working Group comprised of academics from the fields of Education, Sociology, Public Policy, Anthropology, Built Environment, and Economics.
Findings will be published as well as presented in a final conference which considers similar international and European excercises.
The Valletta 2018 international conference, Cultural Mapping: Debating Spaces and Places held in October 2015, looked at cultural mapping worldwide, but focuses primarily on European and Mediterranean countries/regions. Apart from bringing together researchers and cultural practitioners, the conference also aims to provide better understanding on how cultural mapping exercises can be utilised as a tool for policy makers and cultural practitioners, while also promoting cooperation between researchers and operators.
This tool will allow the Foundation to address challenges in the artistic and cultural sectors through an assessment of the cultural infrastructure across the country. Cultural mapping is one way in which the Foundation plans to leave behind a sustainable and long lasting heritage; future teams in cultural management will be provided with a digital tool with which to make informed decisions about venues, cultural practices, the regeneration of various localities and the needs of local cultural industries.
The Cultural Mapping Project is an initiative funded by the Valletta 2018 Foundation, organized in collaboration with the University of Malta and supported by the Culture and Audiovisual Unit within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.
Photo: Tomoko Goto