Impenji / Events

2005

 
  The Tragedy of the Elephant (Nov. 2005)  
  Kumment waqt it-tnedija ta' Ftit Mara, Ftit Tifla ta' Simone Inguanez  
  Taħdita dwar Juan Mamo fid-29 ta' Novembru f'Ħal Luqa  
  Works in Search of a Literature - Re-Visions Symposium (Nov. 2005)  
  Adrian Grima on www.laurahird.com  
 

It-Trankwillità Qarrieqa tat-Test (Ottubru 2005)

 
 

"Joseph Quddiem ir-Ritratt ta' Sieħbu Jitfarrak" f'Il-Malti (Settembru 2005)

 
 

An Alternative Bridging Project: Re-Thinking the Mediterranean

 
 

Adrian Grima's Poetry in Maltese, Italian and Hebrew (June 2005)

 
 

World Refugee Day (Ħal Balzan, Malta, 18.6.05)

 
 

Contemporary Maltese literature with German students (Pembroke, Malta, 20.6.05)

 
 

Iż-Żgħażagħ u r-Razziżmu, Labyrinth, il-Belt - 13.5.05

 
 

Contemporary Maltese Literature in London, Belfast and Israel (April 05)

 
 

Maghar International Poetry Festival - April 2005

 
 

Ktieb għall-Ħruq fl-Imħażen ta' Caraffa, il-Birgu - 23.4.05

 
 

Sharing Places: Searching for common ground

in a world of continuing exclusion (EACLALS, Malta, March)

 
 

"Conference, University of London - Fortress Europe and Its "Others":

Cultural Representations in Film, Media and the Arts (London, April)

 
 

Between the Lines Literary Festival (Belfast, April, 2005)

 
     
 
 
 

Taħdita dwar Juan Mamo f'Ħal Luqa

 

L-Għaqda Mużikali Sant'Andrija ta' Ħal Luqa stednitni biex nhar it-Tlieta 29 ta’ Novembru, fis-7.00 ta’ filghaxija, fil-Każin li jinsab f'Misrah il-Knisja, nitkellem dwar il-kittieb Ħalluqi, Juan Mamo. Din il-lejla kulturali ser tkun taħt il-patroċinju tal-Wisq Rev. Kanonku Dun Karm Zammit minn Ħal Luqa li kien ghalliem tal-Malti fis-Seminarju u ppubblika xi kotba kemm dwar il-kitba tal-Malti kif ukoll dwar aspetti storiċi Ħalluqin. Fis-serata ser jieħu sehem ukoll it-Tenur Ħalluqi Andrew Sapiano flimkien ma’ muzicisti mill-Għaqda Mużikali Sant'Andrija. Il-koordinatur ta' din l-attività, li se tiġi ppreżentata mis-sur Ġorġ Peresso, huwa s-sur Lino Bugeja.

 

F'Marzu u April ta' l-2002 kont għamilt żewġ taħditiet dwar Juan Mamo fl-Università ta' Malta u fl-Università ta' Puerto Rico fil-Karibew. It-taħdita tiegħi f'Ħal Luqa se tkun kontinwazzjoni tal-proġett ta' riċerka dwar dan il-personaġġ straordinarju.

 
     
 

Juan Mamo

 

Juan Mamo twieled Ħal Luqa fit-28 ta’ Settembru 1886 minn Pawlu Mamo u Marija Anna Camilleri, it-tnejn minn Ħal Luqa. Juann kien it-tielet wieħed fost ħames aħwa, ilkoll imwelldin fl-istess raħal. Il-familja Mamo, magħrufa bħala “Ta’ Klawdju,” kienet toqgħod fid-dar 64 Triq Brittanika (illum Triq Pawlu Magri). Missieru kien bidwi u bennej, u lil ibnu kien jibagħtu jindokra t-tin u t-tin imqaddet, iżda Ġwanni kien jagħtih lin-nies biex jeħles minnu u jintasab jistudja. Sa minn żgħożitu ħalla r-raħal u ftit li xcjn kien jersaq ’1 hemm.

 

Fid-19 ta’ Mejju 1923 Ġwann iżżewweġ lil Carmela Vella mill-Marsa fil-parroċċa tal-Marsa, u kellu disat itfal. Kien jgħammar fid-dar 51 (illum 118) Triq Azzopardi, il-Marsa. Fit-28 ta’ April 1941, għall-ħabta tal-ħdax nieqsa kwart ta’ filgħodu Mamo nstab mejjet b’“ħasda minn kustilji miksura” fuq il-blat magħruf bħala Il-Munqar, ħdejn Wied Babu, limiti taż-Żurrieq. Din is-sejba saret wara li kienu ilhom ifittxuh, għax naqas mid-dar, għal madwar sebat ijiem. Jingħad li waqa’ waqt li kien qiegħed ifittex xi ħxejjex mediċinali.

 

Mamo għex dejjern ħajja ta’ fqir. F’żewġ passaporti tiegħu, bħala professjoni, hemm imniżżel li kien skrivan fl-ewwel wieħed, u antikwarju fit-tieni. Il-karattru ħaj, avventurier u kritiku tiegħu jidher f’għadd ta’ ħidmiet u kitbiet. Kien bniedem li jħobb isiefer biex jitbiegħed minn Malta għal xi żmien u jiskopri dinjiet aħjar: għex għal numru ta’ snin ġewwa l-Eġittu u żar it-Tuneżija, Franza, l-Italja u l-Ingilterra.

 

Oliver Friggieri jqis lil Mamo bħala bniedem li ddedika ħajtu għall-kultura tal-poplu. Il-ħerqa kbira tiegħu għal bidla progressiva fil-gżira rabtitu l-aktar mal-persunalità u mal-fehmiet ta’ Manwel Dimech. Fost il-pubblikazzjonijiet ta’ Mamo hemm ir-rumanz Ulied in-Nanna Venut fl-Amerka (1930-31), Ġabra ta’ Sigrieti (1934) u Obstetricia Illustrata (1939).

 

(minn Ġwann Mamo. Il-Kittieb tar-Riforma Soċjali, ta’ Oliver Friggieri (Mid-Med Bank, 1984)

 
 
 
 
 

The Tragedy of the Elephant

In November 2005 Inizjamed and Midsea Books published a series of six books of Contemporary Maltese Literature in Translation, including my 32-page collection The Tragedy of the Elephant. The book includes English translations of poems I had originally written in Maltese. Many of the translations are by Maria Grech Ganado, but there are also translations by Maria Aristomedou, Antoine Cassar, Albert Gatt, and Christine Grixti.

Concept and design of the whole series, which I edited, is by Pierre Portelli. The books can be bought either individually or as a set (at a special price). For more about the series visit the Inizjamed website.

 
 
 
 

"Joseph Quddiem ir-Ritratt ta' Sieħbu Jitfarrak" f'Il-Malti
 

Fl-iktar edizzjoni riċenti ta' Il-Malti - Rivista ta' l-Akkademja tal-Malti, (LXXVI, Sett. 2005, Ħarġa Letterarja) hemm xogħlijiet ta' għadd ta' kittieba, fosthom il-poeżija tiegħi, "Joseph Quddiem ir-Ritratt ta' Sieħbu Jitfarrak." L-editur ta' din il-ħarġa huwa Dr. Bernard Micallef, President ta' l-Akkademja tal-Malti.

 
     
 
 
 

Works in Search of a Literature

I will be speaking at the Re-Visions international symposium on Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe organized by the international organization Literature Across Frontiers and Inizjamed on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 November 2005 at St. James Cavalier. Entrance to all events is free and those who wish to attend need not book in advance. The symposium starts on Friday at 2.00pm. My paper is called "Works in Search of a Literature" and will deal with the place and promotion of Maltese literature in Malta, in the Mediterranean region and Europe. Full programme and more on www.inizjamed.org.

 
     
 
 
 

Adrian Grima on www.laurahird.com

Four poems of mine in an English translation by Maria Grech Ganado have been published on www.laurahird.com, one of the most popular literary sites in Scotland. The poems are "The Shape of Your Love," "Cells," "London by Night" and "Moon." The Adrian Grima Showcase on this site also includes "Distances" and "Fifteen Minutes Away." Novelist Laura Hird will be in Malta to take part in the Re-Visions symposium on Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe hosted by Inizjamed. To read the poems click here.

 
     
 
 
 

It-Trankwillità Qarrieqa tat-Test

 

Ritratt: Immanuel Mifsud

Id-Dipartiment tal-Malti tal-Junior College ta' l-Università ta' Malta, flimkien mal-Progress Press, għadu kemm ippubblika t-taħditiet akkademiċi li kienu ġew ippreżentati f'seminar dwar It-Trankwillità Qarrieqa tat-Test - Perspettivi Oħra tal-Letteratura Maltija. Dan is-seminar kont ikkoordinajtu jien flimkien mal-kelliema l-oħrajn li kien hemm fis-seminar. Il-ktieb jinkludi daħla tiegħi għall-volum u t-taħdita li għamilt dwar "Tarżan u l-Udjenza Tiegħu f'"Il-Ġnien" ta' Henry Holland." [Ikompli]

 
     

 


 

 

An Alternative Bridging Project: Re-Thinking the Mediterranean

The September 9 / 11, 2005 edition of CounterPunch, "America's best political newsletter," and ZNET (Sept. 9) have published an article I co-authored with Omar Barghouti, a political and cultural analyst who has published essays on the rise of empire, the Palestine question and art of the oppressed. The article, "An Alternative Bridging Project: Re-Thinking the Mediterranean," is an alternative conceptualization of the Euro-Mediterranean region in the light of the "clash of civilizations" theory and the unrelenting Arab-Israeli conflict. The full article is available at CounterPunch and ZNET. Also on The Palestine Chronicle Weekly Journal (11 Sept. 2005), Babelmed and Sephardic Heritage Update (no. 177, October 2005).

 
     
 
 
 

Adrian Grima's Poetry in Maltese, Italian and Hebrew

 

My poem "Distanzi" ("Distances"), translated into Italian by Biagio Guerrera and myself, has been included in Voci del Mediterraneo (Catania: Azienda Provinciale Turismo Catania, 2005), a collection of works by eighteen poets read at the Voci del Mediterraneo International Poetry Festival in Catania in March 2004. The other poets included in the collection are Mimoza Ahmeti (Albania), Habib Tengour (Algeria), Anna Aguilar-Amat (Catalonia), Mehmet Yashin (Cyprus), Ghjacomu Thiers (Corsica), Hassan Teleb (Egypt),
Yves Bergeret (France), Marigo Alexopoulou (Greece), Ronny Someck (Israel), Emilio Isgr
ò (Italy), Michel Cassir (Lebanon),
Faisal Taher (Palestine), Alberto Masala and Antonio Are (Sardinia), Sinan Gudzevic (ex-Yugoslavia), Maram Al Massri (Syria), Eloy Santos (Spain), and Moncef Ghachem (Tunisia).
 

In June 2005, the Israeli literary magazine Iton 77 published a poem of mine which first appeared in It-Trumbettier (1999), "Il-Kwadru Lest" ("The Portrait's Ready"). The translation into Hebrew is by Shlomit Anbar, who also translated "It-Traġedja ta' l-Iljunfant Li Ried Jidħol f'Gaġġa ta' l-Għasafar." The Israeli poet Ronny Someck wrote this comment about the poem: "Adrian Grima is trying to paint with words. His model has the soul of Pygmalion and wants to break the frame. Grima succeeds in describing a duel between the artist who is trying to create the world with the power of his brush and his model who recreates himself with the power of his natural colors."

 

My poem "Joseph Quddiem ir-Ritratt ta' Sieħbu Jitfarrak" (2005) has been published in Il-Malti (LXXVI, Sept 2005), the journal of L-Akkademja tal-Malti. The poem refers to the incidents at a Detention Centre for Immigrants in Ħal Safi, Malta, on January 13,2005, in which a large number of peaceful protesters were beaten by soldiers in riot gear. The poem was inspired by the reactions of a Maltese friend of one of the immigrants who was seen being beaten up by soldiers in a picture published by the Maltese daily, The Times. Il-Malti (LXXVI and LXXVII, Sept 2005) is edited by Bernard Micallef.

 
 
 

 

World Refugee Day - Saturday, June 18

Adrian Grima read his poems "Kieku Kelli Lanċa Żgħira" and "Palestinjan Taħt il-Ħdura tal-Lenbubi" on Saturday, June 18 in Ħal Balzan main square, during a celebration of World Refugee Day (20 June). The event was organized by the Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta), the Emigrant's Commission, Moviment Graffitti and UNHCR in collaboration with other national and international NGOs. Three other poets from Malta and Eritrea and an Eritrean singer and musician also performed.

 

This year the theme chosen was that of "Courage", for it is courage which gives refugees the strength to flee, many a time seriously risking their lives, in search of a safe haven. "It is unfortunate," wrote Marija Schranz of JRS Malta, "that in this day and age the world still sees so many refugees, fleeing from horrific realities and lives which many of us are not even capable of comprehending."

The event started at 6 pm with art and drum workshops, henna painting and braiding. His Excellency the Archbishop and His Excellency the President of Malta, together with UNHCR's representative, officially opened the event. There were also food-tasting stalls set up in Good Shepherd's Home and a line-up of entertainers including Miriam Christine, Vince Fabri and the Kilimanjaro Band. Computers were set up on location and people could post messages on an international website set up by JRS Europe specifically for the event. Local and foreign artists were also engaged in on-site painting, sculpting and photography.

The event came to a close at 11 pm.

 

 


 

 

Letteratura Kontemporanja Maltija

Studenti Ġermaniżi f'Pembroke

It-Tnejn, 20 ta' Ġunju, 2005

 

Nhar it-Tnejn, 20 ta' Ġunju, fis-7.30pm, fis-sala tal-Kunsill ta' Pembroke, għadd ta’ awturi Maltin se jiltaqgħu ma’ studenti Ġermaniżi li qed jaqraw u jagħmlu riċerka dwar il-letteratura kontemporanja Maltija. L-istudenti huma mill-Gymnasium an der Schweizer Allee ta’ Dortmund (Aplerbeck). Aplerbeck tinsab fil-punent tal-Ġermanja u hija wieħed mill-għaxar distretti muniċipali fi ħdan il-belt ta’ Dortmund.

 

Iż-żjara kulturali f’Malta ta’ dawn il-ħmistax-il student u studenta ta’ tmintax-il sena u ż-żewġ għalliema tagħhom, fosthom is-Sur Wilfried Renkhoff, se tkun bejn it-18 u l-24 ta’ Ġunju, 2005, u diġà nkiteb dwarha f’waħda mill-gazzetti ta’ Dortmund. Bħala parti mill-kors tagħhom, kellhom interessanti ħafna dwar wieħed mit-testi Maltin li studjaw fil-verżjoni tradotta għall-Ingliż.

 

Dakinhar tal-laqgħa bejn kittieba ta’ Inizjamed u l-istudenti Ġermaniżi, fis-6.30pm, is-sindku tal-Kunsill ta' Pembroke, is-Sur Joe Zammit, offra li jdawwarna mas-siti storiċi u l-proġett ta’ tħawwil tas-siġar f’Pembroke. Għal dawn l-attivitajiet se jattendu wkoll xi studenti Maltin. Il-kittieba Maltin li se jattendu huma Clare Azzopardi, Norbert Bugeja, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima, u Simone Inguanez.

 

Waqt il-laqgħa ta’ diskussjoni li tibda fis-7,30pm, il-kittieba Maltin se jaqraw xogħol jew tnejn, bil-Malti u bl-Ingliż, u mbagħad ikun diskussjoni ma' l-istudenti.

 

Adrian Grima qara x-xogħol tiegħu "Kieku Kelli Lanċa Żgħira" fil-verżjoni bl-Ingliż tradotta minn Christine Grixti.

 

 

 

 

 
 
  Ktieb għall-Ħruq fl-Imħażen ta' Caraffa, il-Birgu
Is-Sibt, 23 ta' April, 2005, fis-7.30pm

Adrian Grima ppreżenta x-xogħol il-ġdid tiegħu "Ramallah" waqt lejla ta' letteratura fl-okkażjoni tal-Jum Dinji tal-Ktieb 2005. Din il-poeżija nqrat mill-attriċi Marcelle Teuma. L-attività, bl-isem ta' Ktieb għall-Ħruq, saret nhar is-Sibt 23 ta' April, 2005, fl-Imħażen ta' Caraffa fix-Xatt tal-Birgu.

Ix-xogħlijiet kollha li nqraw fil-lejla, flimkien ma' xi kitbiet oħra, fosthom daħla ta' Adrian Grima ("Kotba tal-Ħuġġieġa") dwar it-tema tal-ħruq tal-kotba fil-letteratura Maltija, huma miġburin fi ktieb bl-istess isem b'disinn ta' Pierre Portelli u editjat minn Adrian Grima. Il-pubblikazzjoni hija ta' Inizjamed u tiswa Lm2.95.

L-awturi kollha li ħadu sehem bix-xogħlijiet tagħhom kienu Clare Azzopardi, Stanley Borg, Norbert Bugeja, John Buttigieg, Priscilla Cassar, Claudia Fiorini, Miriam Galea, Maria Grech Ganado, Sergio Grech, Adrian Grima, Henry Holland, Simone Inguanez, Roderick Mallia, Immanuel Mifsud, Walid Nabhan, Ġużè Stagno, u Leslie Vassallo.

L-artist Raphael Vella ppreżenta installazzjoni "Nihil Obstat" marbuta mat-tema tal-ktieb, waqt li l-atturi Annabelle Galea, Marion Zammit, Claire Zerafa, Dominic Dimech, u Kevin Attard, taħt id-direzzjoni ta' Marcelle Teuma, ippreżentaw ix-xogħol ta' Clare Azzopardi, "Jien ix-Xhud."

Ktieb għall-Ħruq ittellgħet minn Inizjamed bi sħab mal-Kunsill Lokali tal-Birgu u bl-appoġġ tal-Cottonera Waterfront Group. Ara d-dettalji kollha

 
 
 
 

Maghar International Poetry Festival

April, 2005

Adrian Grima read his poetry in Maltese, with English, Arabic and Hebrew translations at the Maghar International Poetry Festival held in April 2005 in Galilee. He was one of a number of local and foreign poets who were invited to take part in this yearly event coordinated by the Druze poet and academic, Dr. Naim Araidi.

On the first night, Adrian Grima read his poem "It-Traġedja ta' l-Iljunfant Li Ried Jidħol f'Gaġġa ta' l-Għasafar" in Maltese, while the Israeli poet Ronny Someck (in the middle in the picture above) read the translation in Hebrew. On the second night, he read "Il-Forma ta' Mħabbtek" transalated into English by Maria Grech Ganado and part of his poem "Ramallah" which is inspired by the Palestinian dance troupe El-Funoun and their struggle against the Israeli occupation through dance and culture.

During a special event for teenager students, Adrian Grima read his poems "Ħallejt Ġenbejk fuq Ruħi" and "Tifel Bla Spirtu" in Maltese while Naim Araidi read the Arabic translations by Malta-based Palestinian refugee Walid Nabhan which were well received by the mainly Arabic-speaking audience.

 
 
 
  “Youth and Racism,” Labyrinth, 13 May 2005 - TAC

Nhar il-Ħamis, 13 ta' Mejju, Adrian Grima se jkun wieħed mill-kittieba li se jieħdu sehem fil-lejla ta' poeżija li hi parti mill-ġimgħa ta' attivitajiet "Youth and Racism" organizzata minn The Arts Collective fil-Labyrinth, il-Belt Valletta. L-attività tibda fit-8.30pm u d-dħul huwa b'xejn.

 

F'din il-lejla ta' poeżija se jaqraw ix-xogħlijiet tagħhom Mark Camilleri u poeti li huma refuġjati f'Malta, u se jkun hemm ukoll il-mużika akustika ta' Treeears u l-kantawtur ewlieni Walter Micallef.
 

 
 

 

 

The Arts Collective is organising an initiative entitled “Youth and Racism” which will comprise of cultural events based on the chosen theme, with the aim of raising awareness in favour of tolerance, social inclusion and respect of diversity.

 

The initiative is co-funded by the Youth Support Programme within the Ministry for Education, Youth and Employment and shall be held at The Labyrinth in Valletta. “Youth and Racism” spans over a week between 9 and 15 May 2005, and includes an Art Exhibition, Poetry Night, Live Concert and Discussion. For more information go to http://www.geocities.com/theartscollective/events.html

Artists who wish to participate in the exhibition on “Youth and Racism” are invited to contact TAC at theartscollective@hotmail.com.

 

 
 
 

 

Triennial Conference of the
European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies

 

Sharing Places: Searching for common ground in a world of continuing exclusion

Malta: March 2005
Crowne Plaza, Tigne, Sliema, Malta

Conference Chair: Dr. Stella Borg Barthet, Department of English,
Faculty of Arts, University of Malta

 

Go to the conference website

 

 
 

 

Adrian Grima read a paper at the Triennial Conference of the European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies held in Malta between 21-26 March 2005, at the Crowne Plaza, Tigne, Sliema. (In picture with Dr. Ben Lebdai)

 

He also read his poetry on Tuesday, 22 March, together with Norbert Bugeja, Immanuel Mifsud, Australian poet Andrew Sant, and the world-renowned poet and activist, Dennis Brutus (in picture below). Poems by Maria Grech Ganado were read by Marcelle Teuma.

 

The invited guest speakers were Leila Abouzeid,
Karen King-Aribisala, Hoda Barakat, Dennis Brutus, Osman Conteh, George Elliott Clarke, Caryl Phillips, Andrew Sant, and
Robert Young.

 

The conference was chaired by Dr. Stella Borg Barthet of the Department of English at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Malta. Adrian Grima's paper dealt with "Savage Boys and the Predatory Woman. Contested Spaces in Henry Holland's 'Garden'."

 

The 2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize was judged in Malta during the Conference.

A distinguished pan-Commonwealth panel chaired by Professor Daniel Massa (University of Malta) and including Professor Mary E. Kolawole (Ile-Ife, Nigeria), Professor Marjorie Thorpe (St Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago), Dr Sanjukta Dasgupta (Kolkata, India) and Professor Vijay Mishra (Perth, Australia) awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for 2005 to acclaimed British author
Andrea Levy (in picture) for her fourth novel Small Island. Nigerian Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the category for First Best Book with Purple Hibiscus.

President Emeritus Professor Guido de Marco, chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation, announced the winners at the conference gala dinner.
 

***

Abstract

Savage Boys and the Predatory Woman

Contested Spaces in Henry Holland's “Garden”

 

Adrian Grima, University of Malta

                                                 

In a poem called “Il-Ġnien” (The Garden), the Maltese poet and short story writer Henry Holland revisits the public garden where he spent much of his childhood. He is aware that his personal memories of “savage boys hunting” like the “Indios of the Amazon” are conditioned by the formal and informal education he received as a boy before and after Malta became independent in 1964. Like Fanon’s “Negro of the Antilles,” Holland knows that he “will be proportionately whiter – that is, he will be closer to being a real human being – in direct ratio to his mastery of the [English] language.”

 

These “loaded” childhood memories are also conditioned by his uneasy relationship with “the woman” whom the gardener identifies with the male-eating “praying mantis” or “mantis religiosa” in the last line of the poem. In a way, Holland’s memories are not really his memories: his perception or understanding of “the woman” (a “praying mantis”) and of himself (like the “savage” Indios) is a perpetuation of the stereotypes of the dominant [not indigeneous] culture. In the poem, he attempts to distance himself from these stereotypes: he can smile at the titles of the books from his childhood education, 'Look & Learn', 'Untamed World' – and his conscious mastery of his [Maltese/poetic] language gives him a flattering sense of power -  but when it comes to dealing with the “predatory” woman he is in no mood to poke fun. The association of the public garden of his childhood with the Garden of Eden where the male was betrayed by the female reminds us that in Malta, both culture and memory are heavily influenced by the Catholic religion and by an education that taught Henry Holland and continues to teach us that, as Fanon puts it, “the colonized is elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country’s cultural standards.”

 

 
 
 
 

 

Fortress Europe and Its "Others"

Cultural Representations in Film, Media and the Arts

 

SCHOOL OF ADVANCED STUDY: UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies

April 2005 at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies

Conference website

 

 

FORTRESS EUROPE
AND ITS “OTHERS”

Cultural Representations in Film, Media

and the Arts


4 - 6 APRIL 2005
 

While Europe, as a geopolitical entity and as an ideological concept, rests on an historical process of hybridizing, and assimilating people from diverse ethnic, religious and national groups, European countries have tended to view migration as threatening their territory, identity and ways of imagining themselves and others. The conference will explore the way the public debate about Fortress Europe has been negotiated in cultural spheres: from the media to film, photography, literature, theatre, and the arts. It will also assess the impact of such representations on public opinion surrounding immigration and asylum.

This conference is generously supported by Third Text, the British Academy, the University of East London and the Italian Cultural Institute.


***

Abstract

Shoring Up Confidence on the Southern Flank:

Negotiating Europe and the Immigrant Other in Maltese Literature  

 

Adrian Grima, University of Malta

 

In recent years, Malta, one of the outposts of Fortress Europe as the stereotype would have it, has experienced an “unprecedented” influx of so-called illegal immigrants, mainly from North and sub-Saharan Africa. It has been described as an invasion, or deluge, but it has been nothing of the sort. For a number of Maltese, the arrival of these immigrants stands in opposition to Malta’s entry into the EU, because membership is the ultimate acknowledgement of the fact that we are Christian Europeans not Muslims and/or Africans.

This situation will be read against the backdrop of the canon of Maltese literature, with its stereotypes of Europe and the Other, and that of contemporary Maltese literature by emerging writers who have taken part in the multilateral Mediterranean creative writing project dealing with the image / theme of the clandestine called "Klandestini." Although for centuries the Maltese were the Other for the dominant, foreign power on the island, in their own literature they saw themselves almost as the ideal antidote to the Muslim and/or African Other. This complex seems to have survived in the way many Maltese view the clandestine immigrants who are now being shipwrecked, like St. Paul before them, on Maltese shores.

 

(In picture above, from left: Enrica Capussotti, Haim Bersheeth [chair], Ross Forman, and Ashwani Sharma addressing the final session)

 
     
 

Adrian Grima qara paper f'konferenza bit-tema Fortress Europe and Its "Others": Cultural Representations in Film, Media and the Arts li saret f'Londra f'April 2005. Il-konferenza kienet organizzata mill-Istitut ta' l-Istudji Ġermaniċi fi ħdan l-Iskola ta' l-Istudji Avvanzati ta' l-Università ta' Londra (fir-ritratt).

It-taħdita ta' Adrian Grima kien jisimha "Shoring Up Confidence on the Southern Flank: Negotiating Europe and the Immigrant Other in Maltese Literature" u ffukat fuq il-post ta' Malta bħala parti mill-Fortizza Ewropea, b'riferiment speċjali għas-sitwazzjoni ta' l-immigrazzjoni klandestina f'Malta u l-Mediterran, u n-novella "/No adjective describe story/" ta' Clare Azzopardi.

Fil-konferenza, ħadu sehem ukoll awturi minn Exiled Writers Ink! fosthom Ziba Karbassi mill-Iran megħjuna minn Stephen Watts, Choman Hardi mill-Kurdistan Iraqi, il-poetessa, kantanta u mużiċista (oud) mill-Iraq Sahira Hussain, u Yang Lian miċ-Ċina, li qraw uħud mix-xogħlijiet tagħhom. Waqt li kien Londra, Adrian Grima qara poeżija fil-Poetry Café ta' Covent Garden waqt attività organizzata minn Exiled Writers Ink! Il-koordinatriċi ta' din l-organizzazzjoni hija Jennifer Langer.

 
 
 
 

Between the Lines Literary Festival

Belfast, April 2005

 
 

On Friday 9 April 2005, Adrian Grima read his poetry at the Crescent Arts Centre as part of the weeklong activities of the Between the Lines International Literary Festival organized by poet John Brown. He performed two of his poems, "Distanzi" and "Il-Forma ta' Mħabbtek,"  translated into English by Maria Grech Ganado, together with the Maltese percussionist Renzo Spiteri who also gave a well-received solo performance.

The other writers on the night were Nora Nadjarian (Cyprus), Frederico Zanatta (Italy) and Pavlina Ferfelli (Greece). All four Mediterranean writers were invited to the Belfast festival after their participation in the Klandestini festival held in Malta in November 2004.

The Between the Lines Literary Festival featured a range of readings, talks, workshops, debates, music and more, from a host of local, national and international writers and performers in an eclectic, electric and challenging week. The writers included, amongst others, the incorrigible DBC Pierre of Vernon God Little fame, and Northern Irish poets Sinéad Morrissey, and Ciaron Carson.

 

Between the Lines is a popular literature festival that takes place at the Crescent Arts Centre and other local venues. The 2005 edition of the festival featured a range of readings, talks, workshops, debates, music and more, from a host of local, national and international writers and performers in what was an eclectic, electric and challenging week.

 

Adrian Grima's participation in the Between the Lines Festival was supported by The British Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

 
 
 
 

Between the Lines Literary Festival 2005

 

Between the Lines, Belfast’s popular literature festival takes place at the Crescent from Monday April 4th 2005 until Sunday April 10th 2005. This year the festival links music and literature. There are performances by leading poets, novelists, singers and musicians who have known and played with 'the singing line".
 

After the launch on Monday the mesmeric poet, Paul Durcan and virtuoso guitarist, Colin Reid, are on the same platform. There's song, sonnet, fiddle and flute, from the multi-talents of Ciaran Carson, Deirdre Carson, Len Graham and Padraigin Ni Uallachain. There's the musically acclaimed Brian Irvine ensemble and the critically acclaimed poet Gearoid MacLochlainn on stage together for the first time. DBC Pierre, who won the Booker Prize with Vernon God Little, will feature alongside the Derry band Oblon Jazz. New writers from Malta, Cyprus, Greece and Italy will read. Writers from Shetland (Robert Alan Jamieson), Dundalk (Conor O'Callaghan) and Belfast (Deirdre Cartmill, Alan Gillis and Sinéad Morrisey) bring their own musical accents. Nick Laird, poet and novelist from the North, now living in London, will read from his new poetry book published by Faber.

 

Come in, sit down round the fire of song. BTL 2005 will have something for everyone, young and old, who love the written word.
 

FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
Monday 4 April - Sunday 10 April 2005

 

Monday 04/04/05

6.30pm Festival Launch
A-Freeka-a, 23 young people on African drums. Free event

7.30pm Not for Nothing: That Tune, This Poem
Colin Reid on guitar & reading by Paul Durcan

 

Tuesday 05/04/05

7.30pm Varied Refrain: Song, Sonnet, Fiddle, Flute
Ciaran Carson, Deirdre Carson, Len Graham & Paidraigin Ni Uallachain

 

Wednesday 06/04/05

8.00pm Letting Loose with Crazy Horse
Music by Brian Irvine Ensemble & Poetry by Geraoid Mac lochlainn

 

Thursday 07/04/05

8.00pm DBC Pierre & Oblong Jazz
Reading by D.B.C. Pierre & Music by Oblong Jazz

 

Friday 08/04/05

8.00pm Klandestini: Mediterranean Music
Readings by Adrian Grima, Pavlina Ferfelli, Nora Nadjarian & Frederico Zanatta; Music by Renzo Spiteri (Percussionist)

 

Saturday 09/04/05

8.00pm 3 Voices: Calibrating a New Scale
Reading by Robert Alan Jamieson, Nick Laird & Conor O'Callaghan

 

Sunday 10/04/05

8.00pm 1 City, 3 Voices
Poetry Reading by Deirdre Cartmill, Alan Gillis & Sinéad Morrisey & Launch of Magnetic North

 

http://www.crescentarts.org/btl.html

 
 
 
 

Contemporary Maltese Literature

in London, Belfast and Israel

 

Adrian Grima was recently invited to Belfast and Israel to read his poetry at international literary events. He also read an academic paper at the University of London about Fortress Europe and Its "Others": Cultural Representations in Film, Media and the Arts. (In picture with Khaled Katamish, director, El-Funoun, Ramallah)

 

Fortress Europe

 

Dr. Grima’s paper at the London conference, “Shoring Up Confidence on the Southern Flank: Negotiating Europe and the Immigrant Other in Maltese Literature,” focused on the issue of clandestine immigration in Malta and in the Mediterranean, with special reference to a short story in Maltese by Clare Azzopardi called “/No adjective describe story/” that was presented at the Klandestini Festival of Emerging Mediterranean Writers in November 2004.

 

He argued that for a number of Maltese, the arrival of these immigrants stands in opposition to Malta’s entry into what they perceive as an essentially “closed,” exclusivist EU, and membership is the ultimate acknowledgement of the fact that we are Christian Europeans, not Muslims and/or Africans.

 

Adrian Grima had the opportunity to join writers from Exiled Writers Ink! for an evening of poetry during which he read his poem “Qamar?” in Maltese and in English (translated by Maria Grech Ganado) at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden.

 

Between the Lines Literary Festival

 

On Friday 9 April 2005, Adrian Grima read his poetry at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast as part of the weeklong activities of the Between the Lines International Literary Festival organized by poet John Brown. He performed two of his poems, “Distanzi” and “Il-Forma ta' Mħabbtek,” translated into English by Maria Grech Ganado, together with the Maltese percussionist Renzo Spiteri who also gave a well-received solo performance.

 

The other writers on the night were Nora Nadjarian (Cyprus), Frederico Zanatta (Italy) and Pavlina Ferfelli (Greece). All four Mediterranean writers were invited to the Belfast festival after their participation in the Klandestini festival held in Malta in November 2004.

 

The festival featured a range of readings, talks, workshops, debates, music and more, from a host of local, national and international writers and performers in an eclectic, electric and challenging week. The other writers included, amongst others, the incorrigible DBC Pierre of Vernon God Little fame, and Northern Irish poets Sinéad Morrissey, and Ciaron Carson.

 

Adrian Grima's participation in the Between the Lines Festival was supported by The British Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.                                                                            

 

Maghar International Poetry Festival in Galilee

 

After Belfast, Adrian Grima read his poetry in Maltese, with English, Arabic and Hebrew translations, at the Maghar International Poetry Festival held in April in Galilee coordinated by the Druze poet and academic, Dr. Naim Araidi.

 

On the first night, Adrian Grima read his poem “It-Traġedja ta' l-Iljunfant Li Ried Jidħol f'Gaġġa ta' l-Għasafar” in Maltese, while the acclaimed Israeli poet Ronny Someck read the translation in Hebrew. (With members of El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe in Ramallah, (from left) Najeh Masalma, Husain Aamar, Noora Baker, and Maher Shawamra.)

 

“Il-Forma ta' Mħabbtek,” which has been translated by Maria Grech Ganado, was read in English. Adrian Grima also read part of his poem “Ramallah,” which is inspired by the Palestinian dance troupe El-Funoun of Ramallah and their struggle against the Israeli occupation through dance and culture. This poem has just appeared in Ktieb għall-Ħruq, a collection of contemporary poetry and short stories by seventeen Maltese writers, edited by Adrian Grima, designed by Pierre Portelli and published by Inizjamed.

 

During a special event for teenager students, Adrian Grima read his poems “Ħallejt Ġenbejk fuq Ruħi” and “Tifel Bla Spirtu” in Maltese while Naim Araidi read the Arabic translations by Malta-based Palestinian Walid Nabhan which were well-received by the mainly Arabic-speaking audience.

 

Youth and Racism

 

On Thursday, 13 May, at 8.30pm, Adrian Grima will be reading his poetry during the weeklong “Youth and Racism” series of events organized by The Arts Collective at the Labyrinth in Valletta. This initiative aims to foster tolerance, social inclusion and respect for diversity.

 

4 May 2005

 
 
 
  Tnedija ta' Ftit Mara, Ftit Tifla ta' Simone Inguanez  
 

Fit-12 ta' Diċembru ta' l-2005, Simone Inguanez nidiet il-ktieb tal-poeżiji tagħha Ftit Mara, Ftit Tifla ppubblikat mill-Klabb Kotba Maltin fil-bini taċ-Ċentru tar-Restawr f'Bighi. Il-poetessa talbitni biex nagħmel kumment qasir dwar il-ktieb. Tkellmu wkoll Maria Grech Ganado u l-Professur Peter Serracino Inglott. Din li ġejja hija silta mid-diskors li għamilt jien.

 

Waħda mill-iktar poeżiji li jolqtuni f'din il-ġabra ta' Simone Inguanez hija "Sqaq Nru. 1," xogħol li kien deher għall-ewwel darba fil-proġett Bliet (u Miti) u eventwalmetn fil-ktieb F'Kull Belt Hemm Kantuniera (Inizjamed, 2003). Ambjentata fil-Kalkara, din il-poeżija tirrakkonta tliet stejjer ta' nisa minn tliet ġenerazzjonijiet differenti, ilkoll mitlufa fil-ħolm tagħhom, fix-xewqat li jeħduhom lilhinn mill-preżent temporali u spazjali.

 

Tema importanti f’din il-poeżija partikulari hija s-sehem fundamentali tal-Istorja fl-istejjer individwali li donnhom jagħtu fuq il-Baħar Mediterran. Fl-ispazju strett ta’ ftit versi donnu hemm baħar ta’ stejjer u memorji tax-xiħa li torqod fil-“bokka” tad-dar tagħha, tat-tifla li f’għajnejha hemm l-istejjer ġodda u antiki tal-Kalkara u l-Mediterran, u tal-poetessa li tosserva, tqanqal, donnha tintuwixxi inkonxju kollettiv, memorja kollettiva tar-reġjun u l-Baħar tiegħu. Hemm tliet ġenerazzjonijiet ta’ nisa li mill-immobilità tax-xiħa jiżviluppaw fl-osservazzjoni attiva tal-poetessa li tiffoka fuq il-Kalkara (u Malta) u l-potenzjal u l-enerġija tat-tifla għajnejha donnhom fuq il-lilhinn minn xtut pajjiżha.

 

F’dawn il-poeżiji, is-semantika ta’ Simone Inguanez (fir-ritratt) tinsab fir-ritmi, fil-ħsejjes, fil-vokali u l-konsonanti, fir-ripetizzjonijiet kważi ritwalistiċi li jidhru f’poeżiji bħal “Mara.” Fil-lingwa, jew fil-lingwa letterarja, naħseb li Simone Inguanez tara mezz li jesprimiha, li jartikulaha. L-impressjoni li nieħu jien hi li mal-lingwa m’għandhiex relazzjoni ta’ skontru; forsi hemm taqbida, forsi l-poetessa ġġebbed u tinġibed, tħoll u tinħall, tlibbes u tintlibes, imma mhemmx skontru frontali li jħalli t-tifrik warajh, mhemmx kunflitt etern u wisq inqas kunflitt sterili. F’dan is-sens hemm xebh bejn il-lingwa donnha dejjem ġejja ta’ Inguanez u dik tal-poetessa Torka ta’ nisel Kurd, Bejan Matur. Inguanez tara l-lingwa bħala ħaġa waħda magħha u hi bħallikieku tissara magħha nfisha, mal-lingwa li hemm ġo fiha. Il-lingwa, f’das-sens, hija naħa oħra ta’ Simone Inguanez, faċċata oħra ta’ personalità waħda, kumpless veru, sikwit kontradittorja, konfuża, imbeżżgħa, ħerqana, kreattiva... imma personalità waħda.