The Valletta 2018 Foundation is endorsing Merħba Sengleana, a community driven festival that celebrates the fabric and cultural realities of Senglea. Conceived and developed with the support of the Department of Local Government (DLG) and the Kunsill Lokali l-Isla, Merħba Sengleana celebrates community through art, culture and identity.
Together with associations, clubs, artisans and artists the festival draws on the locality’s narrative and heritage to navigate its story and cultural context through a sense of ambition, purpose and legacy. The one day festival will offer a variety of activities that will appeal to the broad public as much as locals and visitors alike.
Merħba Sengleana will kick off with five a side football coaching, for children and youths in the Venda of Senglea, followed by the first ‘Cottoner Cup’ tournament at 11am. At dusk the lights of the square will be switched off and the public will be invited to play on an LED lit pitch and a fluorescent ball.
At 2 pm, the Regatta Club will host a slack line across the Barkun, and will open its doors for the public to discover and learn about the work, craftsmanship and athleticism the Regatta world entails.
On the Xatt side of Senglea, artists and artisans will display their wares, restoration projects, model building and works, as well as offer a hands on approach through various workshops of their work and art forms from 3pm onwards.
Triq is-Sirena will be littered with candles paving the way to the Belvedere overlooking the harbor that will in turn be transformed into a fairyland of flowers, angels, clouds and myths made out of paper. Children will be invited to engage with the artists as well as create works of their own throughout the afternoon long workshops. In the evening the public will be invited to a relaxing chill out live duo, whilst sipping on a glass of wine and street food enjoying the breath taking views…
On the Macina side, the Xatt will also host a typical Maltese flavour of Boċċi, Għana, Maltese bites, art and bird sprucing at the Cottonera Żabbar Homing Union as well as a visual narrative of seafaring by the Għaqda Dilletanti Sajjieda u Barklori
Throughout the afternoon and evening the public will engage and enjoy a palette of street performing artists as well as a marching band and a carnival of percussions that will travel around the locality climaxing into a firm favourite of the public, the Gostra! This will be set up in the centre of the Xatt in all its greasy glory begging to be conquered by the fearless punter at 6pm.
The public is also invited to explore the tight streets and steps throughout the evening, as a group of artists resident in Senglea will open up their front rooms into art galleries, curating an artistic trail that travails the secrets and hidden splendor of the streets of Senglea by night.
The steps of Migja tal-Papa on the Xatt will be used in all its symmetry to serve as a reference point and grand stand for the festival’s final concert, not before hosting a troupe of young dancers as well as a celebration and publication of a cultural and historical narrative of Senglea Citta Invicta by the community itself. The festival will be hosted by Senglea’s very own Chiara.
The artists and artisans of Merħba Sengleana will be welcoming children, youths and adults to participate and experience their work, to enable and foster old narratives with new dialogue. Sharing lives, stories and experiences… enrich our cultural legacy.
Merħba Sengleana is a festival and a celebration of the people, by the people for the people.