Spazju Kreattiv and Valletta 2018 jointly invite creatives from all fields to apply for an immersive Artist-in-Residence programme based on the Maltese island of Gozo during Valletta’s title of European Capital of Culture 2018. Residencies are for the duration of two to three weeks for residencies and projects taking place between August 2017 and December 2018.
These residencies are based in the context of a growing cultural scene in Malta, fed by Valletta’s European Capital of Culture title, and the Arts Council Malta’s Strategy 2020. The residency itself is based in the rural island of Gozo, sister island of Malta, surrounded by a close-knit community. The residency programme is designed to maximise cultural immersion within the island and its communities; with its landscapes, seascapes and soundscapes, and the contemporary exploration of cultural diversity that exists there. Links with Malta and Valletta are possible, however the artist-in-resident should seek to collaborate as much as possible with nearby communities.
The Residency Programme aims to enrich cultural diversity within the national creative scene, and encourage productive interaction between international creatives and local creatives; between international creatives and communities, as well as physical and virtual environments. Both entities believe that such initiatives and collaborations will enrich their programmes before, during and after 2018.
Artists-in-Residence Programme Priorities
AiR applications will be considered in relation to the overarching strategic visions of Spazju Kreattiv and Valletta 2018, however priority will be given to those applicants who:
- work directly and actively with local communities and cultures;
- are willing to interact productively with local creatives;
- work within a context that relates directly to the Spazju Kreattiv programme and/or the programme of Valletta 2018 (see vision and themes below);
- are based in the Mediterranean Region, particularly North Africa and the Arab Region;
- work in creative forms that are currently emerging or underrepresented in Malta and Gozo;
- link directly with Fondazzjoni Kreattività’s annual ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People
Fondazzjoni Kreattività’s mission is to act as a catalyst for all forms of creative expression by providing space and extending experience to reach all people and involve them in interactive participation in Malta and Gozo. The Fondazzjoni produces the Spazju Kreattiv programme, the Valletta International Visual Arts Festival (VIVA) and the ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People.
Spazju Kreattiv’s Strategic Vision aims to revolve around these core themes, with particular emphasis as follows:
IDENTITY: creativity, art, and culture are different concepts related to one another. Who we are as a creative community depends on a clear understanding of the differences and overlaps between these three constructs.
DIVERSITY: Spazju Kreattiv seeks to present innovative work, encouraging creativity over other aspects of artistic expression. Simultaneously, as per the Fondazzjoni Kreattività’s Mission Statement: we seek to act as “a catalyst for all forms of expression, by providing space and extending experience to reach all people and involve them in interactive participation.”
LEGACY: knowing where we come from and what we’re leaving behind are essential qualities of engagement with aspects of legacy. While being aware of our heritage and how this informs new work, it is also necessary that works presented demonstrate what will be left behind. This will provide the opportunity for future generations to appreciate the creative efforts presented in our time.
ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People (scheduled in November).
ŻiguŻajg is an annual ten-day event which has as its vision that of positioning the creative arts for children and young people at the core of Malta’s creative ecology. The festival aims to do so by presenting a multidisciplinary programme of high artistic excellence especially catered for children and young people. It does this through the development of a national repertoire of works by Maltese artists and in showcasing some of the best international productions.
Valletta 2018’s Cultural Programme Themes
The Valletta 2018 Foundation is responsible for the implementation of Valletta’s title of European Capital of Culture 2018. Through creativity and artistic expression, the title will enable social, economic, cultural and environmental changes that will have a lasting legacy in Valletta and around Malta. The Valletta 2018 Programme can be seen through these three themes.
Future Baroque is about a way of life; it’s an extravagance and theatricality that’s part and parcel of our daily rhythms. It means colour and ornamentation, exaggerated gestures and actions; ostentation is the central philosophy of the Future Baroque.
Our capital city, Baroque at heart, and layered with a succession of diverse stylistic interventions across time, is a backdrop which tells stories about our history and culture even when the hustle and bustle of daily activity won’t stop to listen.
Contemporary Malta speaks the language of the Baroque as loudly as its architecture. Today, communities engage with the fabric of the city as it is developed and rethought across time, making Valletta a stage where life and ideas are constantly evolving, settling and re-shaping themselves.
Future Baroque is spiritual, but not in the traditional sense. The backdrop of Valletta is enriched by the necessity of ritual; the colourful ornaments and banners that line the streets to celebrate our famous karnival and the capital’s own festi, or feasts, may boast of material riches, but they also create spontaneous soundscapes of revelry and joy. Behind the clinking of jewellery and the honking of new cars, and in the blasting of loud speakers and the chanting of prayers through the streets, might therefore reside our plain and simple tendency to make noise. But beyond this is a newer, ever-growing need that’s married to our old ostentation – a need to make our voices heard over and above the noise of the city.
Valletta has always been a melting pot of different cultures thanks to its harbours; combine that with an ancient heritage, Arabic roots which stand alongside a European past and present, and Malta’s strategic geographic location – which place it right between Europe and Africa – and you have a capital city that’s in a unique position to host meaningful encounters with and between its close neighbours, both in and beyond the Mediterranean.
Our capital is no stranger to surges of conflict and resistance: Valletta is a city surrounded by thick stone walls, built for warding off external attacks and for celebrating victory within. Even now, the city stands inside a wider global context that’s marked by growing political instability, and which brings into sharp relief issues of violence, exile and migration.
Valletta 2018 is an opportunity to celebrate life and creativity in our capital while nurturing vital debate; it provides a space in which to challenge oppression and injustice, and extends a hand of friendship to artists and creatives working under threat. An openness to different cultures is vital for a healthy community, and as we strive to recreate a sense of belonging in an age of multiculturalism, we have the power to give everyone a voice alongside our own, and to promote the return of cosmopolitanism in the city.
What’s island life really like, anyway? We may be able to drive across the whole of Malta in a single morning, but it doesn’t mean we’ve seen it all. Indeed, a closer look at life on the island soon reveals that there’s more than one narrative at play.
One side of the island story goes that Malta’s a tiny, loud, emotional island where you can never escape your neighbour’s gaze and where your family’s always just around the corner bearing either good news, bad news, enough food for a week, or all three. So living on the island is often seen as a domestic drama, with a dose of tragi-comedy that’s hard to resist. The flip-side to that view is that Malta happens to be one of the most densely populated countries in the world – a fact that brings to the fore issues of overcrowding and a growing concern over space and what to do with it.
How to better explore and reconcile the various narratives that play out on the island is a question that’s constantly evolving. Certainly, community spaces and the image of the open sea play a big role in our journey towards imagining better solutions – for when private spaces aren’t easy to come by, the Maltese turn to community spaces for company, and to the sea for air to breathe.
Vivid pictures of island life and its realities, of communities and the spaces they use, of how to utilize an old space for new things – and of how to create new spaces inside which one may appreciate tradition – are the kinds of stories that Island Lives seeks to draw out.
Gozo (known as Għawdex, pronounced aw-desh in Maltese) is a rural island, and with a population of 37,000, is the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago. Malta lies in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily and has a rich heritage dating back to the neolithic period and a vibrant contemporary cultural scene.
The Residency programme offers an accommodation and daily subsistence. Airport transfers in Malta will be provided, as will transport to/from the Gozo residence on arrival/departure. However visiting artists will be expected to cover their own insurance costs while travelling and during their stay in the Maltese Islands.
We believe that the success of the Residency Programme lies in the time and energy we spend linking our artists with local communities and creatives. Artists will be assisted before, during and after their stay, to create these links and to plan and coordinate their project’s logistics, thus ensuring a successful stay.
Those interested are to submit the application found in this link.
Call opens on Friday 27th January 2017
Call closes on Friday 31st March 2017
Decisions by Friday 19th May 2017
Fondazzjoni Kreattività mission statement: www.kreattivita.org/fondazzjoni/
Valletta 2018 mission statement: www.valletta2018.org/mission-statement/
Spazju Kreattiv strategic vision: www.kreattivita.org/spazju/
ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People: www.ziguzajg.org