Exhibition: 29 June – 14 July 2018
Walking:Holding – Performance: Friday 6 July, 6.30–9.30pm & Saturday 7 July, 3.00–9.00pm
Bubble Schmesis – Performance: Monday 9 July & Tuesday 10 July, 7.00–9.00pm, performance begins 7.30pm
ABOUT LATITUDE 36
Latitude 36 is a socially engaged transmedia arts project focusing on the Maltese diasporic community, and is part of the Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture programme. Latitude 36 engages Maltese individuals and community groups located around the world, collecting stories and unearthing both personal and collective narratives. With the help of the Maltese diaspora, the migratory experience is placed at the core, mapping and examining migratory patterns and narratives through the visual arts. From a post-war, post-colonial perspective through to EU membership, it explores Maltese migration and captures the immigration experience of this minority group. This project has been travelling around the world since 2016, including various 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation Maltese communities in the UK and USA, and will continue gathering material through its various contacts with Embassies and High Commissions.
Latitude 36 is a project stemming from Charlie Cauchi’s upbringing as a Maltese migrant’s daughter in the United Kingdom, and brings real-life stories to the forefront to create “a more honest and open debate about migration”. Charlie speaks fondly of her time growing up in London after her parents migrated there in the 70s. “I’d always been fascinated by the Maltese relationships that formed in the UK. My father had Maltese friends that we would visit and they would speak Maltese, and my father – once in a while – would maybe take me to a place where we could buy trays of pastizzi.” Although her family moved back to Malta when she was 12, she decided to move back to the UK in her 20s.
“The migration debate is so prevalent right now, not just in Europe but on both sides of the Atlantic. And of course, Malta has in recent years had to deal with and influx of migrants, which has frequently led to animosity. But what interests me is that we tend to forget that the Maltese have themselves been migrants. There are more Maltese abroad than in Malta.”
She feels that the Latitude 36 project is important because the Maltese who emigrated must have experienced much of what immigrants in Europe are experiencing now; the hostility, being unwanted, and so on. But also, the positive effects of immigration too. The project aims “to bring these stories to light and have a different debate about migration, while also reflecting on what Maltese identity is and what it means.”
In this exhibition, Charlie Cauchi laments Malta’s migration history, creating a series of artworks, ranging from photography and soundscapes, to built structures and moving image. The exhibition uses a mixture visual art practices to examine our past and present migration stories. Arranged around the architecture of the ‘townhouse’ structure that is Blitz, this exhibition appropriates each room in the gallery to tell a different migration story.
29 June – 14 July 2018
Walking:Holding is a project by Glasgow-based artist Rosana Cade. It is a participatory performance for one audience member at a time, offering a gentle exploration of identity, touch and intimacy in urban public space. Walking:Holding is a subtle, experiential performance that involves one audience member at a time walking through a town or city holding hands with a range of different people on a carefully designed route. Born out of a series of ‘holding hands experiments’ in Glasgow, with both same sex and mixed sex couples, the piece asks people to challenge prejudices in the flesh, and experience first hand what it is to walk in someone else’s shoes – or hands. The work is focused on exploring the experience of queer and minority identities in urban environments, and is simultaneously an experiment into what can be learnt when two strangers share an intimate moment in public. It also asks questions of the social diversity and cultural codes within each town that it takes place.
The performers, or ‘hand holders’ are a group of local participants who are different ages, races, genders, sexualities and social backgrounds, to creating a diverse and rich experience for the audience member. This performance is about bringing very different people together to walk hand in hand in public. It’s about flesh to flesh experiences of difference. It hopes to encourage greater understanding and tolerance amongst people who experience it, and to open up new possibilities for ways of being in public space, and ways of being with each other.
Friday 6 July, 6.30–9.30pm
Saturday 7 July, 3.00–9.00pm
A schvitz is a traditional Jewish steambath. But for playwright and performer Nick Cassenbaum it’s also an emblem of a disappearing world – one of the last remnants of the Jewish East End. In Bubble Schmesis, Cassenbaum describes a trip to the schvitz in Canning Town with his granddad. He intersperses this account with tales of growing up in a family of Essex Jews, going to see Tottenham Hotspur with his dad (and not enjoying himself much), and attending Jewish summer camp. He describes the moment he realised that his shmackel didn’t look like those of the ther boys at school, as well as the various forms of anti-Semitism – some covert, some overt – that he’s encountered over the years.
The autobiographical material is accompanied by live klezmer music performed by Dan Gouly and Josh Middleton, both dressed in bathrobes and pool-shoes, and the show concludes with a (hands-on) enactment of a schmeiss, the central ritual of the shvitz, which basically consists of a vigorous massage with a great big raffia brush.
Monday 9 July & Tuesday 10 July, 7.00–9.00pm
Performance begins 7.30pm
For programme updates, sign up to the Blitz newsletter and watch Blitz social media. To request further information about the programme, images, or to arrange an interview with an artist or Charlie Cauchi, please contact:
M 99913919 / W 21224992