Impenji / Events

2006

 
  "What Will You Do When the Night is Over?" in CounterPunch, USA (December)  
  Malta letteraria, una lettura antropologica - Virginia Monteforte (dicembre)  
  "Bħal Vuċi Oħra ġo Dil-Konfużjoni" f'Il-Malti (Diċembru)  
  "Caught in a Dirty Business" on Babelmed (December)  
  Dialoghi Mediterranei in Roma - Adrian Grima and Valerio Cruciani (November)  
  Medlink - Mediterranean Civil Society Meets in Rome (November)  
  "A Place in the Mediterranean" (November)  
  Taħdita fil-Kulleġġ Stella Maris (Novembru)  
  Maltese Literature Beyond (November)  
  "New Women" on Babelmed (October)  
  "Il-Linja l-Ħadra: Xogħol Straordinarju" f'Il-Ġensillum (Ottubru)  
  Writing in Derry (September)  
  Turġien fil-Belt Valletta (Ottubru)  
  Festival tal-Mediterran f'Arezzo (Settembru)  
  Safrattant... (Settembru)  
  Poems published in the USA (August - September)  
  Forget the 50 Civilians (August)  
  Hands off Lebanon! (Awwissu)  
  Public Reading by Moira Egan and Maltese Poets (August)  
  Inkontru Letterarju ma' John P. Portelli (Awwissu)  
  Ippubblikat l-artiklu "Mamo dwar Mamo" (Lulju)  
  Oltre la Pace - Poeżija ppubblikata l-Italja (Lulju)  
  Qari waqt "Poeżija Gardjola" u l-Università (Lulju)  
  Don't Worry, Don't George (Ġunju)  
  Daħla għall-ktieb Il-Linja l-Ħadra u kumment waqt it-tnedija (Lulju)  
  Intervista mill-Prof. John P. Portelli - f'Malta u l-Kanada  
  Qari ta' Poeżiji f'Perugia - All'Ombra del Mediterraneo  
  "Fashioning" the Maltese Family (Ġunju)  
  Poeżiji fuq il-websajt ta' Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (April)  
  Sealines Meeting in Galway (April)  
     
  Rakkmu fil-ħwienet (Marzu)  
  Tnedija tal-ktieb Rakkmu (Poeżiji 1995-2005) (Marzu)  
  Adrian Grima Launches Rakkmu (March)  
  Rakkmu - Stqarrija għall-Mezzi tax-Xandir (Marzu)  
  Singing of Dark Times - A Review of Rakkmu - Gillian Bartolo (TMIS)  
  Long-Distance Yearning - A Review of Rakkmu - Stanley Borg (Weekender, The Times)  
  John Xerri, op and Lilia Azevedo about the launching of Rakkmu  
  Khaled Katamish dwar it-tnedija ta' Rakkmu  
  Karsten Xuereb about Rakkmu (The Sunday Times, 26 Feb.)  
  Rakkmu - Writing Poetry to Tell Stories - Karsten Xuereb (Babelmed, 20 March)  
  Antoine Cassar - Triq il-Maqluba (27.3.06)  
  Immanuel Mifsud dwar it-tnedija ta' Rakkmu  
  Il-Ġensillum dwar Rakkmu (25 ta' Frar)  
  Il-Loġika tal-Vjolenza - Sergio Grech jintervista lil Adrian Grima dwar Rakkmu  
     
  Lejla ta' Poeżija bl-Għarbi u bil-Malti (Frar)  
  Adrian Grima on Maltese Poetry at PoeżijaPlus "Voices of China" Event (January)  
  Taħdita dwar Juan Mamo fit-18 ta' Marzu għall-Akkademja tal-Malti (Marzu)  
     
 
 
 

"What Will You Do When the Night is Over?"
 

CounterPunch (USA) has published a translation by Maria Grech Ganado of my poem, "X'se Tagħmel Meta l-Lejl Jintemm?" in its Weekend Edition of December 30 / 31, 2006. The poem was written in August 2006, at the time when Israel was waging its war on Lebanon (picture shows mass grave in Lebanon). It is also partly inspired by the tragic end of the daughter of Ratko Mladić, Ana, who is said to have committed suicide when she learnt what her father was doing in Bosnia. This is the third poem of mine published by Counterpunch in 2006. To read "What Will You Do When the Night is Over?" click here.

 

"CounterPunch is the bi-weekly muckraking newsletter edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. Twice a month we bring our readers the stories that the corporate press never prints. We aren't side-line journalists here at CounterPunch. Ours is muckraking with a radical attitude and nothing makes us happier than when CounterPunch readers write in to say how useful they've found our newsletter in their battles against the war machine, big business and the rapers of nature."
 

 
 
 
 

"Bħal Vuċi Oħra ġo Dil-Konfużjoni" f'Il-Malti
 

Fl-iktar ħarġa riċenti tar-rivista ta' l-Akkademja tal-Malti li jisimha Il-Malti (LXXVIII, Diċ. 2006, Ħarġa Letterarja) hemm xogħlijiet oriġinali u traduzzjonijiet letterarji ta' għadd ta' kittieba, fosthom il-poeżija tiegħi, "Bħal Vuċi Oħra ġo Dil-Konfużjoni." L-editur ta' din il-ħarġa huwa Dr. Marco Galea, President ta' l-Akkademja tal-Malti.

 

Poeżija oħra tiegħi, "Joseph Quddiem ir-Ritratt ta' Sieħbu Jitfarrak," kienet dehret fil-ħarġa letterarja ta' Settembru 2005 ta' Il-Malti - Rivista ta' l-Akkademja tal-Malti, (LXXVI). L-editur ta' din il-ħarġa kien Dr. Bernard Micallef, li dak iż-żmien kien President ta' l-Akkademja tal-Malti.

 

Jien ili membru tal-Bord Editorjali ta' Il-Malti mill-2005. L-għażla tax-xogħlijiet letterarji u akkademiċi li jidhru f'Il-Malti ssir mill-Bord Editorjali kollu u ħadd mill-kittieba ma jkollu iktar minn xogħol wieħed f'ħarġa.

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Malta letteraria, una lettura antropologica

 

Nel caso di Malta il restare legati a una visione particolare di letteratura, quella connessa alla figura di grandi e noti scrittori, alla pubblicazione, all'ampia diffusione e ai programmi scolastici, avrebbe potuto infatti portare automaticamente a restringere il campo d'azione alla produzione di stampo romantico delle origini e a figure di una certa età che avevano avuto il loro exploit "ribelle" negli anni settanta, relativamente silenziosi nel periodo successivo e oggi perfettamente inseriti nell'establishment (con conseguente interruzione dell'attività di scrittura e composizione da parte di molti di loro), o al massimo contemplare, in un secondo tempo, solo una parte delle pratiche scrittorie correnti. [leggi Malta letteraria, una lettura antropologica di Virginia Monteforte (Amnesia Vivace, dic. 06]

 
 
 
 

Dialoghi Mediterranei a Roma - Adrian Grima e Valerio Cruciani
 

While I was in Rome for the Medlink meeting, I was invited to read my poetry with writer Valerio Cruciani and antropologist Virginia Monteforte at the Griot Emporio Culturale in Trastevere. It was a great evening. My poems were read in Maltese but also in Italian and English translation: "L'amore è come un petardo," "Kieku Kelli Lanċa Żgħira," "Moon," "Distanze," and Ramallaħ,"

Virginia Monteforte, who wrote her thesis about contemporary Maltese literature, had this to say:

 

Dialoghi Mediterranei

Griot Emporio Culturale

 

Via di S. Cecilia 1/A - 00153 Roma

Domenica 26 Novembre 2006

h. 19.00

 

Tra isole e città, sud centro e profondo sud, Adrian Grima, poeta maltese, e Valerio Cruciani (nella foto), scrittore romano, negoziano suggestioni e frammenti, rintracciano memorie e accostano percorsi nel tentativo di modellare, attraverso il racconto e il verso, il labile schizzo di un’identità condivisa. Perché, in certi casi, essere scrittori non è semplice. E mediterranei ancora meno.

 

Al centro di Roma, in pieno Trastevere, una serata di ascolto e discussione sul mestiere di scrivere e sulle peculiari oscillazioni identitarie che caratterizzano alcuni luoghi, un colloquio costruttivo a cui tutti sono invitati a partecipare.

 

L’incontro, che si terrà all’Emporio Culturale Griot, domenica 26 novembre, alle 19.00, sarà preceduto da una breve introduzione sulla letteratura maltese contemporanea a cura dell’antropologa Virginia Monteforte.

 

Al termine, aperitivo costo fisso 8 euro

 

Contatti

Griot Emporio Culturale

Via di S. Cecilia 1/A - 00153 Roma

Tel/Fax 06 58 33 41 16

 

Note biografiche

 

Adrian Grima (1968) insegna letteratura maltese all’Università di Malta. Ha presentato conferenze sulla letteratura locale e sul Mediterraneo a Malta, Reggio Calabria, Palermo, Roma, in Grecia, presso la Yale University e presso la Colorado University negli Usa.  Nel ’99 pubblica It-Trumbettier (Il Trombettista), un libro di poesia maltese, che vince il secondo premio del Premio Tivoli Europa Giovani ’99 e nel 2006 Rakkmu, la sua seconda collezione di componimenti scritti tra il 1995 e il 2005 mentre The Tragedy of the Elephant, uscito l’anno prima, raccoglie una selezione di poesie tradotte in inglese ed è parte di un progetto più ampio, Contemporary Maltese Literature in Translation, che comprende testi di altri autori maltesi contemporanei. Le sue poesie sono apparse anche su diverse antologie in Italia, Germania, Cipro, Olanda, Israele, Austria, Francia e Corsica. Dal 1998 coordina l’associazione letteraria e culturale Inizjamed (www.inizjamed.org/) protagonista di una serie di intensi e interessanti progetti a livello locale e internazionale (tra cui Klandestini, nel 2004) e attraverso cui sono state pubblicate alcune antologie di poesia e narrativa contemporanea. Dal 2005 è a capo della Commissione per la Letteratura all’interno del  National Council for the Maltese Language. Nello stesso anno realizza, assieme ad altri scrittori, il primo Malta International Short Story(letteraturamaltija.com) e assieme alla poetessa Maria Grech Ganado, un Simposio Internazionale per la promozione della letteratura in Europa.

 

Valerio Cruciani (1977). Dopo alcune esperienze di scrittura, nel 2003 partecipa come poeta alla 11° Biennale dei giovani artisti d'Europa e del Mediterraneo, svoltasi ad Atene, e nello stesso anno collabora alla realizzazione del documentario "Per non morire – Rifugiati a Roma", selezionato al Roma Doc Festival, Med Film Festival, La città in corto e mandato in onda su Rai Tre. Tra il 2000 e il 2003 allestisce tre mostre fotografiche presso la libreria Odradek di Roma, e inizia la sua attività di fotografo di scena per il teatro.

 

Dal 2004 legge i suoi lavori in pubblico collaborando con diversi musicisti, presso teatri, librerie, locali a Roma, Venezia, Bologna e Padova, e collabora (come organizzatore e scrittore) alla realizzazione del festival internazionale di letteratura Klandestini, svoltosi a Malta col sostegno del British Council. Attualmente collabora con le riviste “Naked Punch” (edizione di Londra) e “Amnesia Vivace” (di cui è fondatore), dopo aver pubblicato articoli e racconti su “Carta”, “Daemon”, “Next Exit”, “Accattone dei Piccoli” e "Sagarana".Nel 2006 ha presentato la sua prima raccolta di prose e poesie, intitolata le città hanno gli occhi sempre aperti, per il progetto indipendente St. Louis and Lawrence Books. Ha recentemente collaborato con il festival Ice-Z, El-Ghibli e Cortoitaliacinema (Siena).

 

Virginia Monteforte è nata a Roma il 16/3/1978. Nel 2002 ha conseguito all’Università La Sapienza una laurea di primo livello in Teorie e Pratiche dell’Antropologia con una tesi sull’Educazione Interculturale e nel 2005 una laurea specialistica in Discipline Etnoantropologiche con un lavoro sui giovani scrittori di Malta, in seguito a una prolungata ricerca sul campo. Nel 2006 ha collaborato con la rivista letteraria Storie. Attualmente è impegnata nel migliorare il suo francese e in alcuni progetti, universitari e non, con altri giovani e speranzosi antropologi…  

 
 
 
 

Medlink ‒ Mediterranean Civil Society Meets in Rome

 

In November I was invited to Rome to take part in a meeting of civil society organized by a number of Italian NGOs. It was another great opportunity to meet activists from all shores of the Mediterranean and beyond. I spoke in the session on Saturday evening about "Best practices, actions, proposals to build open, free, fair and sustainable societies."

 

MEDITERRANEAN LINKS, a meeting of Mediterranean Civil Societies for Peace, Justice, Rights, Democracy, was held in ROME on 24/25/26 NOVEMBER 2006 with the support of the Region of Lazio. The Organising Committee was made up of: Un ponte per..., Arci, Attac-Italia, Beati i costruttori di pace, Fiom-CGIL, Guerre&pace, ICS, Libera, Lunaria, Rete del Nuovo Municipio. The organisers published this statement:
 

The Mediterranean region can and must be a region built on dialogue, cooperation, solidarity. It can and must become the crossroads for new forms of relations between peoples, communities and societies. The Mediterranean must become the workshop for a new kind of citizenship based on rights, democracy, sovereignty, capable of nurturing a peaceful coexistence in peace, founded on social justice, on the free circulation of people, on the exchange and contamination of cultures, on socially and ecologically sustainable economies.

We are organizations and networks of Italian civil society. Our commitment is against war and colonialism. We work towards peace, democracy, human and civil rights, justice, peaceful coexistence, freedom.

We feel the need to foster exchange and to work together on the many contradictions and challenges that the Mediterranean presents us with today.

The Mediterranean is a crossroads between Africa, Europe, Asia. It is the cradle of civilization, the birthplace of monotheistic religions, a place where cultures can come together and benefit from each other’s influence. But it is also a battlefield, the scene of brutal wars fought for control over the region.

Still today, the Mediterranean runs the risk of becoming the fault line where civilizations clash. The earthquake caused by those clashes could shake the foundations of the entire planet. But the Mediterranean may also become the region where we experiment in the construction of "another" history of mankind, rejecting old and new forms of colonialism, promoting the rights and security of all.

The North of the Mediterranean basin is suffering contradictory tensions. On the one hand, massive popular opposition to war, and yet a growing trend towards rearmament and the establishment of a closed fortress. Clear messages in favour of intercultural dialogue, but also an increasing spread of the culture of racism and exclusion. The re-affirmation of universal human rights, but also the temptation to revoke historically consolidated civil rights. The perception and vision of a common future for all peoples living on the shores of this sea, but also the perpetuation of neo-liberal economic policies causing progressive impoverishment for all.

The South, on the other hand, is characterized by lack of freedom, the denial of rights and scarce development. By trends towards religious radicalism, but at the same time towards social and political reform. It is attracted by the challenge of democracy, but it is also ravaged by wars, occupations and growing militarism. Its peoples are impoverished by neo-liberal policies, forced to migrate by poverty and war, attracted by the mirage of Western prosperity, but rejected at the borders of Europe. The Mediterranean Sea is crisscrossed by mafias, corruption, organized crime, human trafficking, arms, drugs, noxious waste smuggling.
In recent years "another Mediterranean" has emerged. Waves and currents made up of movements of organized civil society, local government administrations, intellectuals, journalists, artists and intellectuals, representatives of religions, trade unions, womens’ groups. All together, these networks are building a new scenario, one in which an alternative is possible.
 

Egyptian activist Nawal el-Saadawi (left)

The Mediterranean region can and must be a region built on dialogue, cooperation, solidarity. It can and must become the crossroads for new forms of relations between peoples, communities and societies. The Mediterranean must become the workshop for a new kind of citizenship based on rights, democracy, sovereignty, capable of nurturing a peaceful coexistence in peace, founded on social justice, on the free circulation of people, on the exchange and contamination of cultures, on socially and ecologically sustainable economies.

We are committed to extending the spaces available for meeting and exchange, for common analysis and discussion. We believe that we must strengthen the networks between all those who feel that they belong to the processes set in motion by the Social Forum movements or who feel the need to work together. We believe that this will be useful.
 

www.medlinknet.org

 
 
 
 

Caught in a Dirty Business

 

Babelmed has published my article on this year’s edition of the Taste the World fair trade festival to be held on Saturday, 9th December at St. James Cavalier in Valletta. This event will focus on the injustices that plague the cotton and textile industry in general and urge consumers in Malta to voice their concern and choose those products that respect workers and the natural environment. The picture shows harvesting in a cotton field in India. Read the article here.

 
 
 
 

Maltese Literature Beyond

 
 

The Malta Independent on Sunday (12.11.06) has published my article on promoting Maltese literature abroad called "Maltese Literature Beyond" (the paper changed the title to "Maltese Literature and Beyond"). The full article is available here.

 

Towards the end of October, I was by Sergio Grech, public relations officer of the National Book Council, to write an article about literature and books in Malta to coincide with the National Book Fair organized by the Council in mid-November 2006. I had already started writing this article so I proposed it as my contribution to the Council's efforts to create a debate about books and literature in Malta. The published article is an edited version of my long article.

 

"Malta’s new wave writers are successfully introducing Maltese literature to new audiences in Europe and the Mediterranean, and there is a slow but steady increase in the number of works of literature in Maltese that have been translated into English and other languages. But while most new EU member states (and non-EU European countries) have established centres for the promotion of their literatures abroad and have allocated the necessary human resources and funds, Malta still lacks a strategy, let alone a Maltese Literature Centre, and voluntary organizations and institutions have to struggle to find the funds and other resources to participate in EU-sponsored literary projects."

 

14.12.06

 

 
 
 
 

Taħdita fil-Kulleġġ Stella Maris

 
 

Nhar il-Ġimgħa, 10 ta' Novembru, mort inkellem lill-istudenti tal-ħames klassi tal-Kulleġġ Stella Maris fil-Gżira dwar is-sehem tal-letteratura f'ħajjithna u r-rilevanza ta' wħud mill-kitbiet fit-taqsima tas-sillabu tagħhom tal-Malti. Din it-taħdita saret fuq stedina ta' l-għalliema tal-Malti fil-ħames klassi, is-sinjuri Paul Abdilla u Samuel Gauci, u bl-għajnuna tas-Sinj. Anna Ignacak Mifsud.

 

Fit-taħdita rreferejt għall-preżenza tal-letteratura fil-films u fil-mużika, żewġ forom ta' l-arti li huma popolari ħafna u li jlaqqgħu lin-nies li mhumiex midħla tal-letteratura mal-lingwa letterarja. Matul it-taħdita wrejt ukoll biċċiet qosra mill-films La Tigre e la Neve (2005), b'direzzjoni ta' Roberto Benigni u kitba ta' Vincenzo Cerami u Roberto Benigni, u Europa Europa (1990) tad-direttriċi Agnieszka Holland. Il-protagonista tal-film ta' Benigni huwa poeta, Attilio di Giovanni, li f'mumenti differenti tal-film jirrifletti fuq il-ħila tal-poeżija li tirrakkonta tajjeb dak li tħoss, li ġġiegħel lil min qed jisimgħek iħoss dak li ħassejt inti. Jinsisti fuq il-ħtieġa li kull kelma tingħażel bir-reqqa għax l-effett jiddependi għal kollox minn dik l-għażla. Lill-istudenti, però, urejthom xena oħra, tipika ta' Benigni, li fiha naraw l-isterjotip tal-poeta mitluf fid-dinja tiegħu u jagħmel l-affarijiet strambi.

 

Europa Europa jitqies bħala wieħed mill-films Ġermaniżi li l-aktar għamel suċċess fl-Istati Uniti u rebaħ Golden Globe u kien innominat għal Oscar għall-Aħjar Screenplay Addattat. Agnieszka Holland għandha storja interessanti. Twieldet fit-28 ta' Novembru ta' l-1948 f'Varsavja u marret iċ-Ċekoslovakkja biex tistudja ċ-ċinema fi Praga. Bdiet il-karriera tagħha fiċ-ċinema fil-Polonja u rebħet għadd ta' premjijiet prestiġjużi f'Cannes (1980), Gdansk u Berlin (1981), u Montreal (1985, 1987). Fis-silta li għażilt minn Europa Europa tispikka l-ironija ta' karattru li jinsisti b'vuċi mqanqla fuq il-pożizzjoni tiegħu imma jinftiehem eżatt bil-maqlub. Bħal f'"Malta Ġenna ta' l-Art" ta' Ġużè Ellul Mercer, hemm element qawwi ta' ironija, ton li ma jinħassx fil-patrijottiżmu mqanqal ta' Dun Karm u r-romantiċi l-oħra li għenu biex jissawwar l-immaġinarju nazzjonali Malti.

 

L-14 ta' Novembru 2006

 

 
 

Adrian Grima’s Visit to Stella Maris College Gzira

Thomas Farrugia

 

       On the 10th of November, which was a Friday, a talk with Adrian Grima took place at Stella Maris College.

 

        Adrian Grima is a Maltese contemporary poet and teaches Maltese at the Junior College and University. He has recently published a collection of his poems (translated from Maltese to English) called The Tragedy of the Elephant.

 

        On that day, Adrian Grima talked to us, the 120 or so students who form the Fifth Form, about Literature and how it is present around us in various forms.

 

        He explained to us how literature can be used in diverse situations and how it can be more powerful than wars or fighting.

 

        Adrian then used two films to outline his ideas on literature. One featured a stereotypical poet, the man who lives in his own world (from La Tigre e la Neve by Roberto Benigni), whilst the other was an example of irony (from the film called Europa Europa set during the Second World War).

 

        After the talk Adrian then signed copies of his collection of poems The Tragedy of the Elephant for the students and teachers who had bought them.

 

        Adrian’s talk was very interesting and the way he used both films to explain his ideas was refreshing as well, since what he had told us was being repeated and explained in a different manner, therefore making it easier to understand.

 
     

 


 

 

"Il-Linja l-Ħadra: Xogħol Straordinarju" f'Il-Ġensillum

 

Nhar is-Sibt 21 ta' Ottubru, il-gazzetta Il-Ġens Illum ippubblikat it-taħdita li għamilt waqt it-tnedija tal-ktieb Il-Linja l-Ħadra ta' Clare Azzopardi f'Lulju ta' l-2006. Biex tara l-artiklu, agħfas hawnhekk. Ħajr lil Il-Ġens Illum għal din il-kopja elettronika.

 

"Clare Azzopardi qed tikteb il-lingwa letterarja bil-Malti
mill-ġdid. U proprju għaliex il-letteratura Maltija tafha
sew, u tirrispettaha u tħobbha, ix-xogħlijiet tagħha
mhumiex riproduzzjoni ta' l-aħjar kitbiet li għandna, jew
ritorn lejn letteratura li għadda żmienha mitt sena ilu, imma
kontribut intelliġenti u frisk, minkejja li jista' jidher
irreverenti"

 

 
 
 

Writing in Derry

 

The Verbal Arts Centre on Derry city walls 

© Adrian Grima 

In September I was invited to Derry in Northern Ireland to spend a number of weeks writing at the Verbal Arts Centre. It was an extraordinary residency during which I worked on a number of poems in Maltese inspired by Derry and parts of the eastern coast of Ireland which I visited in August. The residency was part of an exchange programme funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and supported in Malta by the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity and the British Council. Special thanks to all the staff at the Verbal Arts Centre and the many writers and artists who made me feel so welcome and inspired me throughout my residency. This is only the beginning. 

 

 
 
 
 

"New Women" on Babelmed.net

 

Babelmed.net have just published my article "New Women" about new perspectives offered by female characters in Maltese literature. This article is the result of research done within the framework of the Civil Society Project that focused on “The Family in Malta, Europe and the Mediterranean” and was coordinated by Prof. Peter G. Xuereb of the European Documentation and Research Centre at the University of Malta.
 

"Maltese literature has traditionally failed to “tell” the stories of “real” Maltese women. This is a serious lacuna because it is the vision of the writer which defamiliarizes habitualized sight and allows us to ‘know’ a community which is unable to know itself. Adrian Grima writes about how new Maltese prose is slowly but surely making amends." Read the article here

 
     
 
 
 

"Turġien" fil-Belt Valletta

 

Bħalissa qed nikkoordina x-xogħol fuq proġett artistiku mmexxi minn Inizjamed bl-isem ta' Turġien, proġett li fih għadd ta' kittieba u artisti qed "jirrakkontaw" il-Belt Valletta mill-perspettiva ta' dawk li jgħixu fiha. Fil-lejla bl-isem ta' "Turġien" li organizzajna fil-Bitħa tat-Teatru Manoel fl-14 ta' Ottubru bħala parti mill-attivitajiet tal-Lejl Imdawwal, bis-sehem ta' l-arpista Esmeralda Galea Camilleri u kittieba minn Malta u tliet pajjiżi Ewropej oħra li jinsabu Malta għal mawra ta' kitba fi ħdan il-proġett Sealines ta' Literature Across Frontiers, qrajt silta żgħira minn rakkont li ktibt ispirat mill-Belt Valletta u l-istejjer li smajt.

 

It-titlu provviżorju ta' dan ix-xogħol huwa "Fuq il-Palma." Bħal ħafna mix-xogħlijiet f'dan il-proġett ta' sena u nofs, ir-rakkont tiegħi, għalkemm fil-qofol tiegħu huwa lest, nixtieq inkompli naħdem ftit iktar fuqu qabel ma nippubblikah.  Barra minn hekk, dan ir-rakkont huwa parti mix-xogħol tiegħi fil-proġett internazzjonali Sealines immexxi minn Inizjamed u Literature Across Frontiers fil-Belt Valletta u ħames bliet Ewropej oħra. (Ritratt lemin ta' Adrian Grima)

 

 
 
 
 

Safrattant...

 

Naħseb li ma naf lil ħadd li jgħid li l-ambjent f'pajjiżna ma jinsabx f'qagħda ħażina.

 

In-Nordiċi jħobbu jitkellmu fuq it-temp meta ma jkollhomx xi jgħidu; aħna nimlew l-ispazju imbarazzanti bejn żewġ persuni li ma jafux x'se jaqbdu jgħidu lil xulxin bi stqarrijiet dwar l-ambjent u l-politika li għal min ma jafx il-Maltin jinstemgħu tassew radikali u forsi anki rivoluzzjonarji. Timmaġina li dak li jkun se joħroġ mil-lift, jew jitlaq mit-tieġ lest għall-ġlied, sa l-aħħar nifs, favur il-fidwa ta' l-ambjent naturali u l-wirt arkitettoniku Malti. Timmaġina li dan il-poplu ta' opinjonisti kapaċi jaqleb Malta ta' taħt fuq.

 

Niftakar qisu lbieraħ iż-żmien meta kont illudejt ruħi li dawk li jitkellmu b'passjoni dwar l-ambjent Malti se jkunu lesti jagħmlu xi ħaġa konkreta biex iħarsuh u jsaħħuħ. B'xorti ħażina, fuq l-ambjent il-biċċa l-kbira tal-Maltin jitkellmu ħafna bla ma jagħmlu xejn; kieku l-Maltin huma verament attivi, kieku Malta mhix is-sit tal-kostruzzjoni permanenti li hi. Kieku dawk li jmexxu l-pajjiż, u dawk li jaspiraw li jmexxuh fil-ġejjieni, ma jippreżentawx proġetti assurdi bħal dak ta' żewġ korsi tal-golf jew il-bini ta' aktar lukandi u appartamenti fuq il-ftit art mhux maħduma li fadlilna f'dan il-pajjiż maħnuq bin-nies u bil-paroli.

 

Kieku dawk kollha li jitbaqbqu bil-patrijottiżmu u l-imħabba lejn pajjiżhom jitfaċċaw għall-protesti li jsiru jew iqattgħu l-iljieli jeżaminaw proposti u jiktbu rapporti bħalma jagħmlu l-ftit ambjentalisti kompetenti u ta' fibra morali, kieku aħna l-Maltin inkunu kapaċi mmexxu pajjiżna ħafna aħjar milli mexxejnieh mill-Indipendenza 'l hawn. 

 

Meta nipponta sebgħi lejn il-maġġoranza li titkellem u ma tagħmel xejn, qed inqis in-nuqqas ta' impenn tiegħi wkoll. Mhux għax qatt ma impenjajt ruħi, imma għax dejjem inħoss li nista’ nagħmel aktar; għax inħares lejn nies tassew dedikati u nara kemm kollox jaqa’ fuq ftit nies.

 

Huwa minnu li l-klassi politika Maltija, b'mod ġenerali, ma kinitx kapaċi, jew ma kellhiex ir-rieda li tieħu d-deċiżjonijiet kuraġġużi li kien jeħtieġ li jittieħdu f'pajjiż ċkejken u ambjentalment "sensittiv" bħal tagħna, imma huwa minnu wkoll li l-elettorat Malti, jiġifieri aħna lkoll, ħalla kollox kif kien u baqa' jagħti l-fiduċja lil nies li ma poġġewx il-ġid komuni fuq quddiem. Forsi l-elettorat Malti, minkejja l-paroli, ma riedx, u għadu ma jridx, iwaqqaf id-distruzzjoni.

 

Meta konna qed naħdmu fil-Front Kontra l-Korsa tal-Golf f'Tal-Virtu' niftakar ċar kemm kien hemm individwi li qaluli - forsi biex iserrħu l-kuxjenza tagħhom - li dak li konna qegħdin nagħmlu kien għalxejn għax meta n-nies fil-poter, huma min huma, jieħdu d-deċiżjoni, ħadd ma jista' jdawwarha, anki jekk ikollu mitt elf raġun. Safrattant, il-korsa tal-golf f'Tal-Virtu', ma saritx...

 

Adrian Grima

Is-26 ta' Settembru 2006

 

Dan il-kumment qasir talbithuli Astrid Vella u deher għall-ewwel darba fil-website tal-kampanja FLIMKIEN GĦAL AMBJENT AĦJAR. Ara l-kumment hawnhekk.

 
     
 
 
 

Festival tal-Mediterran f'Arezzo

 

Mix-Xellug: Tahar Lamri, Laura Barile, Adrian Grima

Dan l-aħħar stednuni biex naqra l-poeżiji tiegħi u nitkellem dwar il-Mediterran waqt festival li sar fil-belt medjevali ta' Arezzo, fir-reġjun tat-Toscana fl-Italja. Il festiva kie jismu "Incontri e Conflitti Mediterranei. Religioni, colonialismi, conflitti, accoglienze: l’esperienza europea (Arezzo 28-30 settembre) u jien ħadt sehem fis-sessjoni bit-titlu "Viaggio nella Letteratura Passata e Presente," flimkien ma' l-istudjuża u kittieba Laura Barile u l-kittieb Alġerin-Taljan Tahar Lamri.
 

 

Il-festival kien suċċess kbir, mhux biss minħabba l-personalitajiet ewlenin mid-dinja tal-letteratura, tal-mużika, tal-kultura u tal-ġurnaliżmu li ħadu sehem fih, imma wkoll minħabba s-sehem kbir tal-pubbliku u mijiet ta' studenti 'il fuq minn sittax-il sena li attendew bi ħġarhom għall-attivitajiet kollha. Minbarra taħdita qasira dwar dak li jfisser għalija l-Mediterran bħala kittieb Malti, qrajt għadd ta' poeżija bil-Malti, uħud minnhom tradotti għat-Taljan mill-poeta Mimmo Grasso, fosthom "Kieku Kelli Lanċa Żgħira," żewġ siltiet minn "Ramallaħ," "It-Traġedja ta' l-Iljunfant Li Ried Jidħol f'Gaġġa ta' l-Għasafar," "Dil-Qawsalla" (tradotta ma' Sandro Caruana), u "Is-Sale Grandjuż" (tradotta ma' Patrick Sammut).

 

 
 
 
 

Poems published in the USA

The August 26 / 27, 2006 Weekend Edition of Counterpunch published an English translation by Maria Grech Ganado of my poem "The Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia." This was written originally in Maltese (like all my poems) and published in my my second collection Rakkmu which was launched on March 1, 2006.

Counterpunch has also published an English translation by Antoine Cassar of my poem "The Tragedy of the Elephant Who Dreamed of Entering a Bird's Cage" in its Weekend Edtion of September 2 / 3, 2006. This translation appeared for the first time in my book The Tragedy of the Elephant, but this poem was published in Maltese in my first collection of poetry called It-Trumbettier which I launched in February 1999.

My other contributions on Counterpunch are the articles "Forget the 50 Civilians" and "An Alternative Bridging Project: Re-Thinking the Mediterranean," with Omar Barghouti.

 
 
 
 

"Don't George, Don't Worry"

 

Dawk li segwew il-kontroversja fil-gazzetti dwar il-poster li nġarr waqt il-protesta organizzata minn Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar ("Vote George, Get Lorry") jafu jitħajru jaqraw din il-poeżija. Ħadd m'għandu għalfejn jieħu għalih. Din kulm'hi poeżija, mhux hekk? [aqraha]

 
     
 
 
 

Forget the 50 Civilians

 

CounterPunch have publishd my article about the war on Lebanon and Palestine. It's called "Forget the 50 Civilians." I analyse the month-long war on Lebanon in particular in the larger context of the Occupation of Palestine. The article argues that there is a way, albeit controversial, to end the Occupation through non-violent means. As Gush Shalom and so many other peace activists in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon have stubbornly argued, "there is no military solution." Also on PACBI and Babelmed.

 

CounterPunch is a bi-weekly "muckraking" newsletter edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. It prides itself on publishing stories that the "corporate press never prints." "We aren't side-line journalists here at CounterPunch. Ours is muckraking with a radical attitude and nothing makes us happier than when CounterPunch readers write in to say how useful they've found our newsletter in their battles against the war machine, big business and the rapers of nature." It's certainly worth a visit.

 

 
 
 
     
 

 

 

Tnedija ta' Rakkmu, l-Erbgħa, l-1 ta' Marzu
Teatru tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu, 7.30pm

 

[English Version]
 

Nhar l-Erbgħa. l-1 ta' Marzu, 2006, fis-7.30pm, fit-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu, il-Belt Valletta, il-Klabb Kotba Maltin se jniedi l-ktieb tal-poeżiji tiegħi Rakkmu li jiġbor fih 62 poeżija miktubin bejn l-1995 u l-2005. Dakinhar il-ktieb ikun għall-bejgħ bi prezz speċjali.

 

Din hija t-tieni ġabra tiegħi wara l-pubblikazzjoni ta' It-Trumbettier fl-1999 b'41 xogħol miktub bejn l-1989 u l-1995. Id-disinn tal-qoxra huwa f'idejn l-artist magħruf Pierre Portelli, li diġà ħa ħsieb il-ktejjeb The Tragedy of the Elephant li ħareġ f'Diċembru ta' l-2005 u li jinkludi għadd ta' traduzzjonijiet għall-Ingliż ta' poeżiji li se jidhru fil-verżjoni oriġinali tagħhom f'Rakkmu.

 

L-isem Rakkmu huwa mnebbaħ minn parti mill-poeżija tiegħi "Ramallaħ" li dehret għall-ewwel darba fi Ktieb għall-Ħruq ippubblikat minn Inizjamed (2005).

 

Int tgħidli l-istorja

ta’ l-omm qed tirrakkma

quddiem id-dar tagħha;

u t-tiri li tawha,

bla qatt ma spjegawlha,

u ż-żifna sfrattata

ta’ bintha skantata

fejn ommha rrakkmata.

minn "Ramallaħ"

Ir-rakkmu jirrappreżenta wkoll is-seħer ta' l-arti; it-tlaqqigħ ta' ħjut u lwien differenti li flimkien isawru xogħol b'identità waħda; ir-reżistenza sikwit siekta imma determinata ta' l-arti kontra l-prepotenza tas-saħħa militari; il-mara li ssawwar l-istorja tagħha hi fid-disinji rrakkmati... 

Fil-preżentazzjoni tal-ktieb se jieħdu sehem l-atturi Ray Calleja u Marcelle Teuma, il-perkussjonista Renzo Spiteri u kantant mill-Eritrea. Pierre Portelli se jintervjeni artistikament fuq għadd ġmielu ta' ritratti li ħadt jien. Dwar il-poeżiji se jitkellmu s-soċjologa Dr. Josann Cutajar u l-attivisti kulturali Noora Baker u Khaled Katamish.

Ir-riċerkatur indipendenti Palestinjan Omar Barghouti jikteb hekk dwar dawn il-poeżiji:

 

Adrian Grima has mastered the power of intense brevity, of reducing a complex space to a cage, a crutch, a dance, a boat, only to blow it up in the reader's imagination in its full colors, nuances and textures. Adrian extracts hope from the dark abyss of despair, to inspire, to protest ... to rekindle our dreams.
 

L-attivist kulturali Iżraeljan Jack Arbib jikteb li:

 

Firmly rooted in the soil and soul of Malta, Adrian Grima is a lighthouse casting a beacon of compassionate despair over the troubled water of the Mediterranean, this mare nostrum turned into mare monstrum.

                                       

Adrian Grima will not attempt to emulate the folly of Odysseus and glance beyond the Pillars of Hercules at Gebel El Tarik. A contemporary troubadour singing words of an ancient and magic vernacular, he painfully tries to unroll the mystery of the brotherly hate of us Cains and Abels, here and now.

Il-Professur Stephanos Stephanides, Dekan tal-Fakultà ta' l-Arti fl-Università ta' Ċipru, jgħid hekk:

Adrian Grima speaks with a contemplative voice crossing a fragmented Mediterranean - north south, half here half there - he hears and feels the cadences and contours of its ambiguous faces, touches the scars of failed promises and the violence of its cultures inner borders, seeks poetic salvage in the pungency of its life, the largesse of its heart, in the swell of the sea or the dream of a child in its tremulous waters usurping the slyness of the moon.

Il-ktieb jinkludi wkoll kummenti ta' Dr. Marco Galea, lecturer fl-Università ta' Malta u president ta' l-Akkademja tal-Malti; iż-żeffiena Noora Baker ta' El-Funoun fil-Palestina, u Dr. Maria Aristomedou, lecturer f'Birkbeck College ta' l-Università ta' Londra.
 

 
 
 
 

Adrian Grima jniedi l-ktieb il-ġdid tiegħu Rakkmu

L-Erbgħa, l-1 ta' Marzu, fit-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu, 7.30pm
 

Adrian Grima se jniedi t-tieni ktieb tiegħu ta’ poeżiji bil-Malti bl-isem ta’ Rakkmu nhar l-Erbgħa, l-1 ta' Marzu, 2006, fis-7.30pm, fit-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu, il-Belt Valletta. Kulħadd huwa mistieden.

 

Fit-tnedija se jieħdu sehem l-atturi Ray Calleja u Marcelle Teuma, il-perkussjonista Renzo Spiteri u kantant mill-Eritrea. L-artist Pierre Portelli, li ddisinja l-qoxra tal-ktieb, se jintervjeni artistikament fuq għadd ta' ritratti meħudin mill-awtur. Dwar il-poeżiji se jitkellmu s-soċjologa Dr. Josann Cutajar u l-attivisti kulturali Noora Baker u Khaled Katamish.

 

Fl-1999 Adrian Grima ħareġ il-ktieb It-Trumbettier li ħa t-tieni post fi premju internazzjonali importanti għal kotba tal-poeżija ppubblikati minn kittieba żgħażagħ fl-Ewropa matul dik is-sena. L-artist Pierre Portelli diġà ħa ħsieb il-ktejjeb The Tragedy of the Elephant li ħareġ f'Diċembru ta' l-2005 u li jinkludi għadd ta' traduzzjonijiet għall-Ingliż ta' poeżiji li se jidhru fil-verżjoni oriġinali tagħhom f'Rakkmu. Waqt it-tnedija kemm Rakkmu, li fih 62 poeżija bil-Malti miktubin bejn l-1995 u l-2005, kif ukoll The Tragedy of the Elephant, se jkunu għall-bejgħ bi prezz speċjali.

 

Dr. Maria Aristomedou, li tgħallem Birkbeck College, fl-Università ta’ Londra

tikteb hekk dwar dawn il-poeżiji ta’ Adrian Grima: "It is rare to come across a collection that lightly, bravely and with humour, touches the parts that hurt us most: that remind us of our inability to understand the other person, be they our closest friend or lover. That suggest, always gently, that we can never catch up with the past - always fifteen (more) minutes away. That evoke, in words, the poverty of words. Adrian Grima's poems, some provoked and inspired by political conflicts and impasses, reach out to the pain of the individual, to the Abder or Samir that we all have encountered at some point in our lives. This collection is a reminder, in short, to all of us, that we are never more imprisoned than by our own dreams"

 

L-isem Rakkmu huwa mnebbaħ minn parti mill-poeżija "Ramallaħ" li fiha l-poeta jirrakkonta l-qtil ta’ omm żeffiena Palestinjana mill-grupp El-Funoun waqt li kienet qed tirrakkma quddiem id-dar tagħha. Ħames żeffiena tal-grupp ta’ żfin popolari Palestinjan El-Funoun kienu żaru Malta fuq stedina ta’ Inizjamed f’Novembru ta’ l-2004 u mexxew sensiela ta’ workshops għall-pubbliku in ġenerali u għall-istudenti ta’ l-iskejjel sekondarji. Fil-fatt parti minn “Ramallaħ” tirreferi wkoll għal wieħed minn dawn il-workshops li kien sar fl-iskola sekondarja tal-bniet Sir Luigi Preziosi ġewwa St. Andrews. Ftit xhur wara Adrian Grima żar il-grupp ta’ El-Funoun ġewwa Al-Bireh u Ramallaħ u tlieta mill-poeżiji fil-ktieb Rakkmu huma mnebbħin minn dik iż-żjara.

 

Grima jgħid li “r-rakkmu jirrappreżenta wkoll is-seħer ta' l-arti; it-tlaqqigħ ta' ħjut u lwien differenti li flimkien isawru xogħol b'identità partikulari u varjata; jirrappreżenta r-reżistenza sikwit siekta imma determinata ta' l-arti kontra l-prepotenza u l-arroganza tas-saħħa militari; u l-mara li ssawwar l-istorja tagħha hi fid-disinji rrakkmati...” 

 

Fil-fatt l-isem Rakkmu għandu konnotazzjonijiet femministi u dawn jirreferi għalihom il-kritiku Dr. Marco Galea f’kumment li kiteb għall-qoxra tal-ktieb. “Kull żmien għandu bżonn artisti differenti, u żmienna għandu bżonn artisti li jagħtu forma lil did-dinja li tinbidel il-ħin kollu. Irid ikollhom il-preċiżjoni tal-ġurnalisti imma wkoll il-komprensjoni u l-impenn ta’ l-ommijiet. Adrian Grima juri li huwa dan it-tip t’artist, lest li jitkellem ċar dwar dak li mhux f’postu f’ħajjitna bħala Maltin u ċittadini ta’ dinja inġusta, u b’ħila ta’ poeta li jaf li hu sempliċiment poeta.”

 

Adrian Grima jipprova jirrakkonta l-esperjenzi u l-emozzjonijiet tan-nies li jiltaqa’ magħhom. “Inħobb nirrakkonta sitwazzjonijiet partikulari li jidhirli li jistgħu jfissru xi ħaġa għal dawk li jaqraw ukoll. Waħda mill-poeżiji riċenti li hemm fil-ktieb hija “Missieri Jistenna s-Sema Blu”: hija poeżija għal qalbi għax tipprova tesprimi l-mistennija, il-biża’ mill-mard, is-seħer tas-sema blu...”

 

Għalih il-poeżija hija rilevanti meta jirnexxilha titkellem dwar l-esperjenzi tal-ħajja ta’ kuljum, anki dawk l-aktar misturin u profondi, permezz ta’ lingwa ħajja u dinamika li kontinwament tfittex li tiġġedded. “Għalkemm l-iskop tagħha mhuwiex li ssolvi imma l-iktar l-iktar li tqanqal, il-poeżija kapaċi wkoll titkellem dwar strutturi soċjali u globali li jmissu lill-bnedmin u lill-ambjent fil-laħam il-ħaj.” U f’Rakkmu hemm għadd ta’ poeżiji li jippruvaw jirrakkuntaw strutturi morda u inġusti billi jiffukaw fuq l-individwi li jsofru minħabba dawk in-nuqqasijiet strutturali.

 

Dr Adrian Grima jgħallem il-letteratura Maltija fl-Università ta’ Malta. Kiseb id-Dottorat b’teżi dwar ħames metafori li sawru l-immaġinarju nazzjonali fil-letteratura Maltija. Uħud mill-poeżiji tiegħu dehru f’pubblikazzjonijiet fl-Italja, Franza, Ċipru, l-Iżrael, l-Olanda, l-Awstrija, il-Ġermanja, u Korsika, u qara x-xogħlijiet tiegħu f’Malta, Belfast, Ċipru, Delfi, Katanja, Ruma u The Hague.

 

Dr. Adrian Grima tkellem dwar il-letteratura, il-kultura u l-Mediterran f'konferenzi f'Malta, Reggio Calabria, Palermo, Ruma, Ċipru, Delfi, Londra, Pariġi, u Puerto Rico, u fl-universitajiet ta' Yale u Colorado at Boulder fl-Istati Uniti ta' l-Amerika. Xandar artikli kulturali u ta’ riċerka f’Malta, l-Italja, Franza u l-Istati Uniti ta' l-Amerika.

 

F’Mejju ta’ l-2005, Dr. Grima nħatar Kap tal-Kumitat Tekniku għal-Letteratura mill-Kunsill Nazzjonali ta’ l-Ilsien Malti u jieħu ħsieb il-websajt www.letteraturamaltija.com li tagħti tagħrif, fost l-oħrajn, dwar l-avvenimenti u l-inizjattivi ewlenin marbutin mal-letteratura Maltija.

 

Fl-1999 ippubblika It-Trumbettier, ktieb ta' poeziji bil-Malti, bi tpinġijiet ta’ Adrian Mamo u Raphael Vella u traduzzjonijiet għall-Ingliż magħmulin mal-Professur Peter Serracino Inglott. Dan il-ktieb ġie t-tieni fil-Premio Tivoli Europa Giovani għal kotba ta’ poeżija ppubblikati fl-Ewropa fl-1999.

 

Adrian Grima huwa l-koordinatur ta' l-inizjattiva kulturali Mediterranja Inizjamed, organizzazzjoni li waqqaf flimkien ma' oħrajn fl-1998, u l-korrispondent Malti ta’ Babelmed, websajt dwar il-kultura fil-Mediterran (www.babelmed.net).

 

Għal aktar tagħrif dwar Rakkmu ara l-websajt www.adriangrima.com. Rakkmu huwa pubblikazzjoni tal-Klabb Kotba Maltin.

 


 
  John Xerri, op and Lilia Azevedo about the launching of Rakkmu

 

 

Rome, 28 February 2006

 

Għażiż Adrian,

 

I was delighted by the news that your new book Rakkmu will be launched to-morrow, and even more by the invitation to participate in this event.

I’m truly sorry not to be there, but here are a few thoughts I wish to share…

 

In his usual circular letter for the beginning of the year, Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga wrote: “Poesia e utopia rimam bem e ambos nos são totalmente indispensáveis para atravessarmos o túnel.”  – “Poetry and utopia rhyme well and both are indispensable for us to go through the tunnel.”

You are both a poet and a utopian…

Thomas More, who wrote Utopia was martyred: utopians are subversive!

 

A poet is part of the prophetic dimension of a people as are other artists, journalists, politicians, priests... hopefully not false prophets who reassure the powerful: “Peace! Peace! But there is no peace” (Jr. 6,14)…

In the movie North Country the lawyer who defends the women workers says: “What are you supposed to do when those with all the power hurt those who have none? Stand up! Stand up to tell the truth!”

I am humbled by people like you! To stand up to tell the truth in Brazil demands a certain dose of courage, to do it in Rome, demands another dose, but in our small and claustrophobic Malta it demands an enormous amount of courage, since this is to really ‘stand up and be counted’!

Your poetry combines truth with beauty: it is a symbol – in the original Greek sense of a sign of recognition, something that brings us close to God. This is how you “rekindle our dreams” in the words of Omar Barghouti, and truly become a “beacon of compassionate despair” as Jack Arbib intriguingly says. I confess I never imagined one could combine compassion and despair: it is incredibly stimulating!

 

Thank you for sharing your passion for truth, your quest to overcome despair through compassion, inciting us to dream anew!

 

Yours in fraternura = fraternal tenderness,

 

John Xerri, op

 

with the collaboration of Lilia Azevedo in São Paulo, Brazil.

 
 
 
  Khaled Katamish dwar it-tnedija ta' Rakkmu

 

Għażiż Adrian,

 

Xewqat sbieħ mimlijin bil-fragranza tar-rebbiegħa tal-Palestina.

 

Wara li qrajt il-poeżija tiegħek bil-Għarbi bqajt milqut bil-livell uman kbir tagħha. Din l- umanita hija l-unika soluzzjoni għall-problemi kollha tad-dinja.

 

Nixtieq nitkellem fuq il-poeżija "Ramallaħ" li ġiet ispirata mir-relazzjoni relattivament qasira ta' bejnietna (wara rappreżentazzjoni li għamlu El-Funoun f’Malta fl-aħħar ta’ l-2004). Li kieku ridna niktbu proża jew letteratura effettiva fuq il-kundizzjoniet diffiċli tagħna taħt l-okkupazzjoni ma konniex nesprimu ruħna bl-istess mod kif għamilt int f’"Ramallaħ" li fiha wrejt 57 sena ta’ sofferenza u ġlieda ta’ poplu sħiħ biex jikseb il-ħelsien tiegħu mill-ħakma ta’ l-aħħar okkupazzjoni fid-dinja moderna.

 

Kif irnexxielek turi iktar minn 50 sena f’ inqas minn 3 paġni? Kif stajt tmiss u tħoss dak li qatt ma għedna? Kif stajt tgħix fl-azzjonijiet mingħajr ma għexthom? Kif u kif u kif?

 

Bniedem mimli sensittività, sensibilità... bniedem kreattiv u tturmentat bin-nuqqas ta’ ġustizzja umana Hu biss kapaċi jagħmel hekk. U dan il-bniedem huwa int.

 

Inħobbuk u kburin bik.

 

Khaled Katamish  

Traduzzjoni mill-Għarbi ta' Walid Nabhan

Dan il-messaġġ inqara waqt it-tnedija ta' Rakkmu nhar l-1 ta' Marzu, 2006

 
 
 
 

Adrian Grima Launches Rakkmu (Poems 1995-2005)

 

On Wednesday 1 March, at 7.30pm, Adrian Grima will be launching his second collection of poetry in Maltese called Rakkmu, published by Klabb Kotba Maltin, at the St James Cavalier Theatre. Everyone is welcome to attend.

 

Actors Ray Calleja and Marcelle Teuma, percussionist Renzo Spiteri, artist Pierre Portelli, cultural activists Noora Baker and Khaled Katamish, sociologist Dr. Josann Cutajar, and a singer from Eritrea, will be taking part in the launch. The book cover was designed by Pierre Portelli.

 

Adrian Grima teaches Maltese Literature at the University of Malta. He is the coordinator of Inizjamed, the Maltese correspondent of the Babelmed.net website about culture in the Mediterranean, and head of the Technical Committee for Literature within the National Council for the Maltese Language. He is the prize-winning author of the book of poetry It-Trumbettier (1999), and his poetry has appeared in anthologies in Italy, Germany, Cyprus, The Netherlands, Israel, Austria, France, and Corsica, and he has read his works in Belfast, Catania, Cyprus, Delphi, Israel, Rome, and The Netherlands.

 

The name Rakkmu is inspired by a poem in the book which tells the true story of a Palestinian mother who was killed by an Israeli soldier who shot her repeatedly while she was embroidering on her front porch in Nablus. But the name also symbolizes the richness of different cultures, the vitality of colour and texture, the variety of threads that together form a single design. In this book, Adrian Grima sees embroidery as the struggle between, and perhaps the triumph of art and understanding over the logic of fear and hatred.

 

The 62 poems in the book are divided into seven sections that deal with love; the ambiguities and magic of childhood; our inability to understand and come to terms with life and its absurdities; politics and the environment in Malta; immigration and Europe; the January 2005 incidents at Ħal Safi; and true stories from different parts of the world. Although Adrian Grima is not afraid to take a position on various, often controversial issues, he does so by telling the stories of people who are the real protagonists of these big, seemingly impersonal issues.

 

The Mediterranean features prominently in Rakkmu. Prof. Stephanos Stephanides, Dean of Humanities at the University of Cyprus and a well-known poet and academic, says that “Adrian Grima speaks with a contemplative voice crossing a fragmented Mediterranean - north south, half here half there. He hears and feels the cadences and contours of its ambiguous faces, touches the scars of failed promises and the violence of its cultures inner borders, seeks poetic salvage in the pungency of its life, the largesse of its heart, in the swell of the sea or the dream of a child in its tremulous waters usurping the slyness of the moon.”

 

The Israeli translator and cultural activist Jack Arbib, sees Adrian Grima as “a lighthouse casting a beacon of compassionate despair over the troubled water of the Mediterranean, this mare nostrum turned into mare monstrum.” Arbib describes him as a “contemporary troubadour singing words of an ancient and magic vernacular, he painfully tries to unroll the mystery of the brotherly hate of us Cains and Abels, here and now.”

 

The independent Palestinian researcher Omar Barghouti argues that “Adrian Grima has mastered the power of intense brevity, of reducing a complex space to a cage, a crutch, a dance, a boat, only to blow it up in the reader's imagination in its full colors, nuances and textures. Adrian extracts hope from the dark abyss of despair, to inspire, to protest ... to rekindle our dreams.”

 

While commenting on Adrian Grima’s recent poetry, Dr. Maria Aristomedou, a lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London, notes that "it is rare to come across a collection that lightly, bravely and with humour, touches the parts that hurt us most: that remind us of our inability to understand the other person, be they our closest friend or lover. That suggest, always gently, that we can never catch up with the past - always fifteen (more) minutes away. That evoke, in words, the poverty of words.”

 

Adrian Grima's poems, writes Dr. Aristomedou, some of which were provoked and inspired by political conflicts and impasses, “reach out to the pain of the individual, to the Abder or Samir that we all have encountered at some point in our lives. This collection is a reminder, in short, to all of us, that we are never more imprisoned than by our own dreams"

 

During the book launch at St. James Cavalier, both Rakkmu and The Tragedy of the Elephant, a collection of poems by Adrian Grima translated into English and published in 2005, will be on sale at a discounted price.

 

More information about Rakkmu and Adrian Grima is available at www.adriangrima.com

 
 
 
 

Adrian Grima jniedi l-ktieb il-ġdid tiegħu Rakkmu

L-Erbgħa, l-1 ta' Marzu, fit-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu, 7.30pm
 

Adrian Grima se jniedi t-tieni ktieb tiegħu ta’ poeżiji bil-Malti bl-isem ta’ Rakkmu nhar l-Erbgħa, l-1 ta' Marzu, 2006, fis-7.30pm, fit-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu, il-Belt Valletta. Kulħadd huwa mistieden.

 

Fit-tnedija se jieħdu sehem l-atturi Ray Calleja u Marcelle Teuma, il-perkussjonista Renzo Spiteri u kantant mill-Eritrea. L-artist Pierre Portelli, li ddisinja l-qoxra tal-ktieb, se jintervjeni artistikament fuq għadd ta' ritratti meħudin mill-awtur. Dwar il-poeżiji se jitkellmu s-soċjologa Dr. Josann Cutajar u l-attivisti kulturali Noora Baker u Khaled Katamish.

 

Fl-1999 Adrian Grima ħareġ il-ktieb It-Trumbettier li ħa t-tieni post fi premju internazzjonali importanti għal kotba tal-poeżija ppubblikati minn kittieba żgħażagħ fl-Ewropa matul dik is-sena. L-artist Pierre Portelli diġà ħa ħsieb il-ktejjeb The Tragedy of the Elephant li ħareġ f'Diċembru ta' l-2005 u li jinkludi għadd ta' traduzzjonijiet għall-Ingliż ta' poeżiji li se jidhru fil-verżjoni oriġinali tagħhom f'Rakkmu. Waqt it-tnedija kemm Rakkmu, li fih 62 poeżija bil-Malti miktubin bejn l-1995 u l-2005, kif ukoll The Tragedy of the Elephant, se jkunu għall-bejgħ bi prezz speċjali.

 

Disinn u Frammentazzjoni

 

Il-Professur Stephanos Stephanides, poeta u akkademiku magħruf internazzjonalment u dekan tal-Fakultà ta' l-Arti fl-Università ta' Ċipru, jgħid li l-poeżija ta’ Adrian Grima titkellem b’leħen kontemplattiv li jivvjaġġa minn naħa għal oħra ta’ Mediterran frammentat. Huwa leħen li jinsab bejn in-naħa ta’ Fuq u n-naħa t’isfel, nofsu hawn nofsu hemm. Adrian Grima “hears and feels the cadences and contours of its ambiguous faces, touches the scars of failed promises and the violence of its cultures inner borders, seeks poetic salvage in the pungency of its life, the largesse of its heart, in the swell of the sea or the dream of a child in its tremulous waters usurping the slyness of the moon.”

 

L-isem Rakkmu huwa mnebbaħ minn parti mill-poeżija "Ramallaħ" li fiha l-poeta jirrakkonta l-qtil ta’ omm żeffiena Palestinjana mill-grupp El-Funoun waqt li kienet qed tirrakkma quddiem id-dar tagħha. Ħames żeffiena tal-grupp ta’ żfin popolari Palestinjan El-Funoun kienu żaru Malta fuq stedina ta’ Inizjamed f’Novembru ta’ l-2004 u mexxew sensiela ta’ workshops għall-pubbliku in ġenerali u għall-istudenti ta’ l-iskejjel sekondarji. Fil-fatt parti minn “Ramallaħ” tirreferi wkoll għal wieħed minn dawn il-workshops li kien sar fl-iskola sekondarja tal-bniet Sir Luigi Preziosi ġewwa St. Andrews. Ftit xhur wara Adrian Grima żar il-grupp ta’ El-Funoun ġewwa Al-Bireh u Ramallaħ u tlieta mill-poeżiji fil-ktieb Rakkmu huma mnebbħin minn dik iż-żjara.

 

 

Int tgħidli l-istorja

ta’ l-omm qed tirrakkma

quddiem id-dar tagħha;

u t-tiri li tawha,

bla qatt ma spjegawlha,

u ż-żifna sfrattata

ta’ bintha skantata

fejn ommha rrakkmata.

 

Silta minn "Ramallaħ"

 

 

Grima jgħid li “r-rakkmu jirrappreżenta wkoll is-seħer ta' l-arti; it-tlaqqigħ ta' ħjut u lwien differenti li flimkien isawru xogħol b'identità partikulari u varjata; jirrappreżenta r-reżistenza sikwit siekta imma determinata ta' l-arti kontra l-prepotenza u l-arroganza tas-saħħa militari; u l-mara li ssawwar l-istorja tagħha hi fid-disinji rrakkmati...” 

 

Fil-fatt l-isem Rakkmu għandu konnotazzjonijiet femministi u dawn jirreferi għalihom il-kritiku Dr. Marco Galea f’kumment li kiteb għall-qoxra tal-ktieb. “Kull żmien għandu bżonn artisti differenti, u żmienna għandu bżonn artisti li jagħtu forma lil did-dinja li tinbidel il-ħin kollu. Irid ikollhom il-preċiżjoni tal-ġurnalisti imma wkoll il-komprensjoni u l-impenn ta’ l-ommijiet. Adrian Grima juri li huwa dan it-tip t’artist, lest li jitkellem ċar dwar dak li mhux f’postu f’ħajjitna bħala Maltin u ċittadini ta’ dinja inġusta, u b’ħila ta’ poeta li jaf li hu sempliċiment poeta.”

 

Konċiżjoni Intensa

 

Ir-riċerkatur indipendenti Palestinjan Omar Barghouti, li kkollabora ma’ Dr. Grima fil-kitba ta’ artiklu dwar proġett progressiv għall-Mediterran, "An Alternative Bridging Project: Re-Thinking the Mediterranean" li ġie ppubblikat fuq websajts progressivi ewlenin bħal CounterPunch u Znet, u fir-rivista elettronika Sephardic Heritage Update, jgħid li Adrian Grima kapaċi jikteb poeżija li fiha hemm dik li hu jsejħilha “konċiżjoni intensa;” b’riferenza għal għadd ta’ poeżiji fil-kollezzjoni Rakkmu, Omar Barghouti jgħid li spazju kumpless Grima kapaċi jirriduċih għal gaġġa, krozza, żifna, dgħajsa, iżda mbagħad jixgħel dak l-ispazju fl-immaġinazzjoni tal-qarrejja tiegħu bil-kuluri, l-isfumaturi u l-materjali tiegħu kollha. “Adrian extracts hope from the dark abyss of despair, to inspire, to protest ... to rekindle our dreams.”
 

L-attivist kulturali u traduttur letterarju Iżraeljan Jack Arbib jiddeskrivi lil Adrian Grima bħala poeta “b’għeruq fondi fil-ħamrija u r-ruħ ta’ Malta,” iżda jinnota wkoll l-interess kbir tiegħu fil-Mediterran: “Adrian Grima is a lighthouse casting a beacon of compassionate despair over the troubled water of the Mediterranean, this mare nostrum turned into mare monstrum.” Jack Arbib, Lhudi li trabba l-Libja u kien imur l-iskola ma’ tfal (u għalliema) Maltin, jgħid li fil-poeżija tiegħu Grima jipprova, bi tbatija, iħoll il-misteru tal-mibegħda ta’ bejn l-aħwa li teżisti fil-Mediterran.”

 

Adrian Grima jistqarr li jipprova jirrakkonta l-esperjenzi u l-emozzjonijiet tan-nies li jiltaqa’ magħhom. “Inħobb nirrakkonta sitwazzjonijiet partikulari li jidhirli li jistgħu jfissru xi ħaġa għal dawk li jaqraw ukoll. Waħda mill-poeżiji riċenti li hemm fil-ktieb hija “Missieri Jistenna s-Sema Blu”: hija poeżija għal qalbi għax tipprova tesprimi l-mistennija, il-biża’ mill-mard, is-seħer tas-sema blu...”

 

Għalih il-poeżija hija rilevanti meta jirnexxilha titkellem dwar l-esperjenzi tal-ħajja ta’ kuljum, anki dawk l-aktar misturin u profondi, permezz ta’ lingwa ħajja u dinamika li kontinwament tfittex li tiġġedded. “Għalkemm l-iskop tagħha mhuwiex li ssolvi imma l-iktar l-iktar li tqanqal, il-poeżija kapaċi wkoll titkellem dwar strutturi soċjali u globali li jmissu lill-bnedmin u lill-ambjent fil-laħam il-ħaj.” U f’Rakkmu hemm għadd ta’ poeżiji li jippruvaw jirrakkuntaw strutturi morda u inġusti billi jiffukaw fuq l-individwi li jsofru minħabba dawk in-nuqqasijiet strutturali.

 

Għal aktar tagħrif dwar Rakkmu ara l-websajt www.adriangrima.com. Rakkmu huwa pubblikazzjoni tal-Klabb Kotba Maltin.

 

 

Adrian Grima jgħallem il-letteratura Maltija fil-Kulleġġ Ġan Franġisk Abela ta’ l-Università ta’ Malta. Speċjalizza fil-metafora u l-preżenza tal-Mediterran fil-letteratura Maltija, żewġ suġġetti li jgħallem fil-Fakultà ta’ l-Arti. Kiseb id-Dottorat b’teżi dwar ħames metafori li sawru l-immaġinarju nazzjonali fil-letteratura Maltija.

 

Uħud mill-poeżiji tiegħu dehru f’pubblikazzjonijiet fl-Italja, Franza, Ċipru, l-Iżrael, l-Olanda, l-Awstrija, il-Ġermanja, u Korsika, u qara x-xogħlijiet tiegħu f’Malta, Belfast, Ċipru, Delfi, Katanja, Ruma u The Hague.

 

F’Diċembru ta’ l-2005 Midsea Books u Inizjamed ippubblikaw The Tragedy of the Elephant, ġabra ta’ poeżiji tradotti għall-Ingliż, fis-sensiela Contemporary Maltese Literature in Translation. Għadd ta’ poeżiji tiegħu ġew tradotti għall-Għarbi direttament mill-Malti minn Walid Nabhan u t-tnejn li huma jittamaw li jsibu l-appoġġ finanzjarju biex dawn it-traduzzjonijiet jiġu ppubblikati fi ktieb bilingwi fix-xhur li ġejjin.

 

Dr. Adrian Grima tkellem dwar il-letteratura, il-kultura u l-Mediterran f'konferenzi f'Malta, Reggio Calabria, Palermo, Ruma, Ċipru, Delfi, Londra, Pariġi, u Puerto Rico, u fl-universitajiet ta' Yale u Colorado at Boulder fl-Istati Uniti ta' l-Amerika. Xandar artikli kulturali u ta’ riċerka f’Malta, l-Italja, Franza u l-Istati Uniti ta' l-Amerika.

 

F’Mejju ta’ l-2005, Dr. Grima nħatar Kap tal-Kumitat Tekniku għal-Letteratura mill-Kunsill Nazzjonali ta’ l-Ilsien Malti u jieħu ħsieb il-websajt www.letteraturamaltija.com li tagħti tagħrif, fost l-oħrajn, dwar l-avvenimenti u l-inizjattivi ewlenin marbutin mal-letteratura Maltija.

 

Fl-1999 ippubblika It-Trumbettier, ktieb ta' poeziji bil-Malti, bi tpinġijiet ta’ Adrian Mamo u Raphael Vella u traduzzjonijiet għall-Ingliż magħmulin mal-Professur Peter Serracino Inglott. Dan il-ktieb ġie t-tieni fil-Premio Tivoli Europa Giovani għal kotba ta’ poeżija ppubblikati fl-Ewropa fl-1999.

 

Adrian Grima huwa l-koordinatur ta' l-inizjattiva kulturali Mediterranja Inizjamed, organizzazzjoni li waqqaf flimkien ma' oħrajn fl-1998, u l-korrispondent Malti ta’ Babelmed, websajt dwar il-kultura fil-Mediterran (www.babelmed.net).

 

 

 
 
 
 

Il-Loġika tal-Vjolenza

Sergio Grech jintervista lil Adrian Grima dwar Rakkmu

 

Rakkmu, poeżiji (1995-2005) ta’ Adrian Grima

Pubblikazzjoni tal-Klabb Kotba Maltin

Disinn tal-qoxra ta’ Pierre Portelli

ISBN: 99932-7-072-5

 

  1. Il-kelma “Rakkmu” tfakkrek mill-ewwel fil-ħjata. Għaliex għażilt dan l-isem għat-tieni ġabra tiegħek ta’ poeżiji?

 

L-isem Rakkmu għażiltu l-ewwel u qabel kollox minħabba l-ħoss tal-kelma. Għalija l-ħoss huwa element fundamentali fil-poeżija. Trid tinstema’ sabiħa, jew almenu mhux tas-soltu, b’xi mod memorabbli...

 

Imma Rakkmu huwa wkoll referenza għal silta mill-poeżija “Ramallaħ” li hija għal qalbi ħafna. Fiha, permezz ta’ versi qosra u rima (li nħobb nużaha ħafna), nirrakkonta l-istorja ta’ omm żeffiena tal-grupp Palestinjan ta’ El-Funoun li nqatlet kiesaħ u biered minn suldat Iżraeljan hi u tirrakkma quddiem id-dar tagħha... F’dik ix-xena hemm it-traġedja kollha ta’ poplu okkupat u mċaħħad mid-drittijiet l-aktar bażiċi ta’ kull poplu; poplu ieħor li daħal f’loġika ta’ vjolenza u abbuż ta’ poter li għad jiddispjaċih li daħal fiha; ta’ dinja ipokrita li tiġi taqa’ u tqum; ta’ mezzi tax-xandir li jdoqqu biss il-qanpiena li togħġob lilhom. Fl-Iżrael diġà saru ħafna studji serji dwar l-effett ħażin li l-poter ta’ l-azzarin iħalli fuq żgħażagħ ta’ tmintax-il sena li jiftħu u jagħlqu t-toroq qishom allat.

 

Pero’ l-isem Rakkmu għażiltu wkoll minħabba li jfakkrek fl-artiġjanat, fl-uniċità tax-xogħol bl-idejn; fil-ħjut u l-ilwien differenti f’disinn wieħed, fis-skiet (u l-ħoss) tal-poeżija. Ir-rakkmu għandu wkoll konnotazzjonijiet femministi...

 

  1. F’Rakkmu, li fih ġbart il-poeżiji li ktibt bejn l-1995 u l-2005, inti donnok tleħħen il-kawżi ta’ min hu minsi u bla leħen.

 

Hemm min iqis il-poeżija tiegħi bħala poeżija politika, fis-sens li tirrakkonta stejjer mill-ħajja ta’ kuljum li jirriflettu realtajiet politiċi. Iżda ħafna jargumentaw li kull kitba mxandra hija b’xi mod jew ieħor “politika,” fost l-oħrajn għax hija att pubbliku. Anki min jikteb dwar il-fjuri bla ma jikkummenta dwar il-massakru ambjentali li għadu jseħħ f’pajjiżna u l-istrutturi li wasslu għal dan il-massakru qed ikun politiku – qed jagħżel, għar-raġunijiet tiegħu, li ma jitkellimx fuq realtà politika – anki dik hija għażla politika.

 

Jien nipprova nirrakkonta l-esperjenzi u l-emozzjonijiet tan-nies li niltaqa’ magħhom; inħobb nirrakkonta sitwazzjonijiet partikulari li jidhirli li jistgħu jfissru xi ħaġa għal dawk li jaqraw ukoll. Waħda mill-poeżiji riċenti li hemm fil-ktieb hija “Missieri Jistenna s-Sema Blu”: hija poeżija għal qalbi għax tipprova tesprimi l-mistennija, il-biża’ mill-mard, is-seħer tas-sema blu...

 

F’”Ramallaħ” nipprova nirrakkonta l-istejjer individwali taż-żeffiena Palestinjani li ġibna Malta f’Novembru ta’ l-2004. Noora qed tistenna li jittimbrawlha l-passaport u tirvilla kull darba li jagħmlu minn kollox biex jumiljawha; Najeh ma jistax ikun fejn martu, li se jkollha twelled id-dar għax fiċ-checkpoint ma ħallewx l-ambulanza tgħaddi, minħabba t-toroq magħluqin mis-suldati Iżraeljani u l-kerfju; Maher imexxi l-wheelchair ta’ studenta Maltija mar-ritmu tal-mużika hu u jiżfen waqt workshop li sar fi skola sekondarja f’Malta.

 

Nipprova nirrakkonta l-frustrazzjoni, id-dubji, ir-rabja, ir-reżistenza, il-prepotenza, l-imħabba, is-sbuħija, id-determinazzjoni. Dawn huma l-istejjer li nixtieq nirrakkonta jien. Bħas-skiet tal-Palestinjan li farrkulu wiċċu, u nofs ġismu, waqt il-protesta paċifiku li saret f’Ħal Safi sena ilu u issa ma jistax jitkellem, jew jimxi sewwa.

 

  1. Laqtitni ħafna l-poeżija “Il-Vot;” qasira imma tħossha tinfaqa’ f’wiċċek.

 

 

Il-Vot

 

XOGĦOL ĠUSTIZZJA IMPENN

Tuhuli f’ġieħ kemm hemm.

 

 

Kemm hi sabiħa l-metafora li użajt int! “Tħossha tinfaqa’ f’wiċċek.”

 

Għandi taqsima dwar Malta u hemm għadd ta’ poeżiji qosra li jitkellmu dwar il-politika f’pajjiżna; id-diżastru ambjentali, l-interessi kummerċjali tal-partiti; il-ġurnalisti “politiċi” li iktar ħsiebhom biex jagħmlu propaganda partiġġjana milli li jagħmluha ta’ ġurnalisti; ir-razziżmu li jekk ma niqfulux jikolna minn ġewwa; ir-rebbiegħa li tibda u tispiċċa bit-tisbit tas-snieter minflok bl-għasafar; il-poplu li minkejja dak li jgħid huwa kuntent b’din is-sitwazzjoni...

 

“Il-Vot” hija l-iqsar poeżija li hemm fil-ktieb, żewġ versi kollox. Tikkummenta dwar ideoloġija finta maħkuma għal kollox mill-kilba għall-poter.

 

  1. L-istess il-poeżija “Id-Djalogu.” Donnok inti ma tħossokx komdu ma’ l-Istabbiliment.

 

Le, ma nħossnix komdu ma’ Istabbiliment. Il-formazzjoni vera tiegħi ħadtha fl-għaqdiet soċjali u fl-attiviżmu u għaldaqstant inħossni ftit ‘il bogħod mil-loġika tal-poter ta’ l-Istabbiliment. Qatt ma ninsa kemm ħassejtna komdu meta ħadt sehem fl-ewwel Forum Soċjali Ewropew li kien sar f’Firenze meta Oriana Fallaci riedet tbeżżagħna bil-preġudizzji tagħha u minflok ħriġna miljun ruħ mid-dinja kollha nipprotestaw kontra l-gwerra fuq il-poplu Iraqin. Iż-żmien, sfortunatament, ta raġun lil min issuspetta li din ma kienet xejn għajr kolonizzazzjoni ġdida.

 

Fuq l-Istabbilment: Dan l-aħħar ħabib tiegħi li nirrispetta ħafna kkonfrontani fuq din il-ħaġa. Qalli li jekk irrid naħdem biex inbiddel l-affarijiet li nemmen li għandhom jinbidlu ma nistax nibqa’ nieħu pożizzjoni kontra s-sistema; irrid inħabrek biex inbiddel “minn ġewwa” mingħajr ma nippretendi li jien biss naf kif għandhom isiru l-affarijiet. Naqbel miegħu mija fil-mija. Forsi l-iktar tibdil li jtul iseħħ “minn ġewwa,” bil-persważjoni mhux bil-konfrontazzjoni.

 

Min-naħa l-oħra, però, kultant it-tibdil ma jistax iseħħ minn ġewwa, għax dawk li qegħdin ġewwa m’għandhom ebda intenzjoni jitilqu “l-poter” li għandhom minn idejhom; u dawk li qegħdin barra mis-sistema ma jifilħux jistennew aktar, u sakemm jibdew jiċċaqalqu l-affarijiet bil-mod il-mod, ikunu laħqu tilfu l-interess u l-fiduċja. U jsiefru, jew jimpenjaw ruħhom f’oqsma oħra, jew jiġu jitmejlu.

 

Jien nemmen ħafna fis-sehem ta’ l-għaqdiet mhux governattivi li huma liberi u dinamiċi. Kultant elementi progressivi u impenjati fl-Istabbiliment jistgħu jagħtu l-appoġġ lill-għaqdiet u jgħinuhom biex jaslu iktar malajr fejn l-Istabbiliment, minħabba n-natura konservattiva tiegħu, ma jistax jasal, jew ma jistax jasal malajr kemm hemm bżonn.

 

Qed naħseb l-aktar fl-oqsma li fihom l-għaqdiet mhux governattivi diġà taw sehem straordinarju: il-kultura, l-ambjent, il-qasam soċjali, l-informazzjoni.

 

  1. Uliedek ukoll huma protagonisti f’dan il-ħodon poetiku.

 

Il-poeżiji mnebbħa minn uliedi huma fost l-aktar li jintlaqgħu tajjeb. Tnejn minnhom, siltiet ta’ poeproża fil-fatt, ktibthom waqt kors tal-kitba kreattiva għall-ġenituri (u t-tfal tagħhom) immexxi mill-Fondazzjoni għal Servizzi Edukattivi li hija l-unika organizzazzjoni li tagħmel korsijiet tal-kitba fuq bażi regolari f’pajjiżna. Għamiltu biex ikolli iktar ħin biex nikteb, biex nagħmel kors flimkien mat-tifel il-kbir tiegħi, biex nirrakkonta l-ħafna mumenti li fihom jispirawni b’għemilhom u bi kliemhom.

 

It-taqsima mnebbħa mit-tfal, “Baħar Jgħum f’Għajnejk,” hija verament għal qalbi. Dawn il-poeżiji jappellaw għal ħafna nies għax fihom naħseb li toħroġ perspettiva differenti minn tal-kbar, mod ieħor ta’ kif tgħix u tħares lejn l-għajxien. U allura l-kliem, is-sintassi u r-ritmu, aktarx li huma differenti minn ta’ poeżiji oħra.

 

  1. Rakkmu jirrakkonta wkoll l-esperjenzi ta’ xi refuġjati f’Malta.

 

Forsi l-iktar poeżija rappreżentattiva ta’ din it-taqsima hija “Distanzi.” Ktibtha waqt li kont qed naħdem fuq il-proġett internazzjonali “Klandestini” mmexxi minn Inizjamed u l-British Council. Hija ispirata minn ħabib tiegħi Kongoliż, Joseph, li sab ruħu Malta waqt li kien qiegħed jaħrab mill-gwerra f’pajjiżu man-neputi tiegħu Jean ta’ għaxar snin. Għalija hija poeżija (bħal għadd ta’ xogħlijiet oħra) dwar in-nuqqas ta’ ħila tal-kliem li jesprimi ċerti emozzjonijiet, li jirrakkonta ċerti stejjer. Joseph kien joqgħod jirrakkontali dak li kien għadda minnu u dak li kien qed jgħaddu minnu hawn Malta. Uħud mill-esperjenzi kienu marbutin mal-fatt li kien refuġjat, bniedem li qed jaħrab minn sitwazzjoni ta’ periklu għal ħajtu. Oħrajn kienu affarijiet li jgħaddi minnhom kulmin għandu familja, kulmin jaħdem ma’ ħaddieħor, kulmin jibża’; kulmin jipprova jħobb. Sfortunatament m’għadux Malta. Tlifna bniedem verament kapaċi u ta’ qalb kbira.

 

Teknikament, “Distanzi” hija poeżija li jien kuntent ħafna biha. Il-parti tal-projector lejn l-aħħar kapaċi tagħti ħjiel ta’ l-impossibbiltà li titkellem fuq ċerti esperjenzi; il-waqfa tissuġġerixxi tkompli, traġika, tal-biża’.

 

  1. Il-ktieb sab pubblikatur. Ngħiduha li mhux faċli li l-poeżija ssib pubblikatur Malta. Naħseb li taqbel miegħi li dan hu żmien eċitanti għal-letteratura tagħna u xi jfisser għalik li sibt dar tal-kotba?

 

Niftakar meta ħriġt It-Trumbettier fl-1999, erba’ snin wara li lestejtu, l-ikbar diżappunt tiegħi ma kienx li ma sibtx pubblikatur imma li ħassejt li l-pubblikaturi ma kinux sinċieri miegħi. Jekk xi ħadd huwa deċiż li ma jippubblikax poeżija m’għandux jitolbok il-manuskritt u jagħmel ix-xhur jitmejjel bik. L-uniċi pubblikaturi li ammirajt kienu dawk li qaluli, mill-ewwel, li ma kinux interessati għax il-poeżija ma timxix.

 

Jien konvint li jekk tingħata l-ispazju tagħha, il-poeżija tista’ timxi. In-nies iridu jaqraw, speċjalment bil-Malti. Meta tqis kemm hawn ftit kotba ta’ letteratura bil-lingwa tagħna li jirrakkontaw il-ħajja tagħna (naturalment mill-perspettiva tal-kittieba), tirrealizza kemm hawn potenzjal li l-udjenza tikber.

 

Malta żgħira, veru, u s-suq żgħir, imma ċ-ċokon jagħmilha iktar faċli li tilħaq lin-nies, bil-fomm, bil-posta elettronika, bil-gazzetti, bir-radju u t-televiżjoni. U l-internet sar punt ta’ riferiment importanti għal min irid ikun jaf aktar. Jekk tbigħ mitejn u ħamsin kopja kapaċi ġġib il-flus li tkun ħriġt għall-istampar. Imma kulħadd irid jiġbed ħabel wieħed u jagħmel xogħlu b’aktar konvinzjoni u b’mod aktar professjonali, mill-kittieba, id-disinjaturi u l-pubblikaturi, sad-distributuri u x-xandara.

 

F’Malta l-pubblikazzjoni ta’ ktieb tal-letteratura qisha l-waqgħa ta’ munita f’bir għammieq: ma teżistix infrastruttura serja li tilqgħu, li tressqu għand il-pubbliku, li tapprezzah u tanalizzah. U ma jistax ikun li l-kittieba jagħmluha ta’ kollox: ta’ kittieba, qarrejja tal-provi, disinjaturi, pubblikaturi, promoturi, reċensuri...

 

 

Il-websajt ta’ Adrian Grima tinsab hawnhekk: www.adriangrima.com

 

18.2.06

Parti minn din l-intervista dehret f'In-Nazzjon f'Marzu 2006

 
 
 
 

Writing Poetry to Tell Stories

Adrian Grima launches Rakkmu

 

Karsten Xuereb (The Sunday Times, Malta, 26. Feb. 2006)

 

This Wednesday, 1st March, Dr Adrian Grima, who lectures in Maltese Literature at the University of Malta, will be launching his third collection of poetry, Rakkmu, published by Klabb Kotba Maltin, to an audience of readers, writers and friends at the St James Cavalier theatre-in-the-round at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. Actors Ray Calleja and Marcelle Teuma, percussionist Renzo Spiteri, artist Pierre Portelli, a singer from Eritrea, cultural activists Noora Baker and Khaled Katamish, and sociologist Dr. Josann Cutajar will be taking part in the launch.

 

Many will bring along expectations of what they will be listening to and reading, each mental image based on their various perceptions of Adrian as a public figure in the fields of cultural activism (he is the coordinator of the Mediterranean cultural organization Inizjamed) and critical writing. In the absence of enjoying a recognizable public profile as a poet, like most other young and active poets locally, Adrian finds his poetry is too often seen in the light of his socially engaged commitments, at the cost of not being read for the words and images and emotions it recalls and conjures up anew.

 

Pitching politics in poetry

 

It is not difficult to realize why many who think they know his poetry and the author himself are primarily influenced by this socially committed side. Adrian readily admits that he is irritated by people who shy away from taking a clear position on political issues, be they the unsustainable development of Maltese landscapes, such as the fixation with golf courses by the local political class, or rule by intimidation such as is the case with the Israelis in Palestine.

 

These are views he makes clear both in person and in articles he regularly publishes both in the local and foreign media and websites such as www.babelmed.net, the website about culture in the Mediterranean for which he acts as the local correspondent.

 

However, Adrian feels that many readers who think they know his poetry associate his work too heavily, and sometimes exclusively, with politically-charged work. He feels this is unfair because such a narrow reading limits and ignores dimensions of his writing that go beyond politics and ideology.

 

‘Good poetry should not be a political tract’ Adrian tells me. ‘It’s not meant to convince readers, or to try to get them to embrace a particular version of the truth. Rather, it should offer a range of emotions and interpretations of the truth it finds in those emotions.’ He says that while art can take sides, ‘sometimes it is beautiful and meaningful in itself, like the dancing referred to “Ramallaħ”; sometimes art reflects a joie de vivre. While art can be seen as a means of ‘creative resistance’, Adrian believes that ‘it’s not always only a matter of doing something to resist another’s aggression. The motivation behind artistic creation is far richer and more complex than that.’

 

Interestingly, Adrian goes a bit deeper into his way of seeing things, albeit simply and sensitively, and just enough to stay outside the oppositional framework he himself abhors. Not doing so would entail ‘sliding into the logic of counterpoint’ and ‘using art to participate in the bi-polarity of “us” vs “them”’. Creative people like the dancers of El-Fanoun, the Palestinian troupe which Adrian invited to Malta in 2004 and then visited in 2005, go beyond this oppositional logic and do not subject themselves to it. ‘Why should I live in a constructed reality that constantly pits one against the other? This logic is contraposition is often imposed by those who refuse to let go of their power – take the Israelis in Palestine and elements within the political parties and clergy in Malta. Those who construct (and demonize) an enemy are presenting themselves as saviours of the people; they establish a logic of confrontation and expect everyone to see them as the only ones who are able to resolve that impasse on their own terms.

 

Once again in “Ramallaħ”, Adrian’s position-taking is clear, yet the fascination with narration is paramount. The metaphor of embroidery, which gives the collection its name, is used to express such a “free-standing” position while making use of a highly charged image. Palestinian cross-stitch embroidery has acquired the status of an act of identity- and tradition-affirmation, and more recently it has been used as a strong metaphor for feminist movements in their fight against chauvinist violence. “Ramallaħ” refers to the mother of one of El-Funoun’s choreographers who was shot in cold blood by Israeli soldiers while seated outside her doorstep engaged in embroidery, a creative act which both defies cultural oppression and transcends the reductive logic of resistance. However, the way this tragic story unfolded made it easy to interpret the act of embroidery as an assertive act of creativity which stands in defiance against the oppressor’s violence.

 

Values in Malta

 

In a 2002 study of ritual, memory and the public sphere in Malta, the social anthropologist Jon P. Mitchell describes the Maltese as ‘ambivalent Europeans’ who have an awkward relationship with their history and identity’ partly because of ‘a habitual self-essentializing tendency in Maltese public debate.’

 

One element that suffers greatly from this trend is our conception of values, which Adrian targets in the satirical section “Il-Kriżi tal-Valuri”. In “Essenzjalment”, Adrian writes that although the Maltese think of themselves as essentially European and distinguish themselves from those who are not, our geography, language and ways betray more ambiguous realities to our identity (Il-kliem li nitkellem huwa essenzjalment Malti/ u tista’ tgħid illi dejjem joħroġli minn ħalqi,/ u avolja mhux kollu essenzjalment Ewropew,/ meta nkun barra minn Malta/ kulħadd jgħidli xi ħlew/ għax forsi mhux dejjem jinstema’/ appuntu Ewropew).

 

Mitchell says that the fact that the Maltese are prone to essentialize their identity ‘can lead to a kind of self-Orientalism or Mediterraneanism that presents their own difference as inferiority’, which Adrian picks on once again in “B’Idejna”. Here the Maltese population is portrayed as waiting in vain for authoritative approval to assert itself as a nation (poplu qed jistenna wara l-bieb ta’ uffiċjal pubbliku/ biex isir nazzjon,/ mingħajr ma jemmen fil-kredenzjali tiegħu stess,/ jew l-utilità.).

 

Through the poet’s lens

 

The poems in Rakkmu may be seen as a series of photos, taken by Adrian, that rarely focus on the poet himself. In fact, little of Adrian’s poetry is explicitly about himself. However, his ‘filter’ is always evident: the choice of subject matter and the angle from which the subject is treated reveals the thoughts, preoccupations and anxieties related to solitude and loss which are key concerns for Adrian. Contrary to general perceptions others may have of him, Adrian feels he is profoundly apprehensive and negative about life, which he calls ‘an unacceptable absurdity’. Writing can make life more bearable; through literature one can try to come to terms with emotions, especially those related to moments of hardship.

 

Tellingly, the independent Palestinian researcher Omar Barghouti, comments on the impact Adrian’s sensitive treatment of emotions has, and finds a lot of its power lies in the ‘simple’ yet insightful use of words. Barghouti is particularly struck by what Adrian is able to say about those people who are considered ‘relative humans’ by oppressive forces, and how he says this. He goes on to say that ‘Adrian Grima has mastered the power of intense brevity, of reducing a complex space to a cage, a crutch, a dance, a boat, only to blow it up in the reader's imagination in its full colors, nuances and textures. Adrian extracts hope from the dark abyss of despair, to inspire, to protest ... to rekindle our dreams.’

 

For more information on Adrian Grima and Rakkmu see www.adriangrima.com

 

Karsten Xuereb is a cultural manager and researcher.

 
     
 
 
 

Poeżiji bl-Għarbi u bil-Malti

Nhar il-Ġimgħa, 17 ta' Frar, fis-6.30pm fl-Istitut Libjan f'Ta' Giorni, ħadt sehem f'lejla ta' poeżija bl-Għarbi organizzata mid-Dipartiment ta' l-Għarbi u l-Istudji tal-Lvant Qarib ta' l-Università ta' Malta. Il-Professur Anthony J. Frendo introduċa l-poeti u l-mistednin distinti li ħadu sehem f'din l-attività li ġiet ikkoordinata minn Dr. Martin Zammit (fir-ritratt).

 

Il-kittieb u akkademiku Libjan, Dr. Saadun Suayeh, awtur, fost l-oħrajn, ta' Panorama of Arabic and Islamic Culture (Academic Literature, Islamic World Studies Centre, 1994), u traduttur ta' General in Victoria Station and Other Stories ta' Ali-Mustafa Al-Musrati (2001), ġie apposta minn New York, fejn jaħdem mal-Ġnus Magħquda, biex jitkellem dwar il-poeżija tas-Segretarju għall-Affarijiet Barranin tal-Kungress tal-Poplu Libjan, Suliman Sassi al-Shohoumi, li hu ttraduċa għall-Ingliż.

 

Il-Prof. Abdul Mawla Bagdadi ġie apposta Malta mil-Libja biex jaqra poeżiji minn tiegħu. Kemm il-Prof. Abdul Mawla Bagdadi u Dr. Saadun Suayeh għamlu żmien jgħallmu l-Għarbi fl-Università ta' Malta.

 

Il-Prof. Oliver Friggieri qara għadd ta' poeżiji tiegħu bil-Malti filwaqt li Dr. Suayeh qara traduzzjonijiet ta' xogħlijiet tal-Professur Friggieri għall-Għarbi magħmulin minn Dr. Suayeh stess u minn akkademiċi oħrajn.

 

Matul il-lejla, jien qrajt il-poeżiji "Ramallaħ" (minn Rakkmu, 2006) u "It-Traġedja ta' l-Iljunfant Li Ried Jidħol fil-Gaġġa ta' l-Għasafar" (minn It-Trumbettier, 1999) bil-Malti, filwaqt li Walid Nabhan qara t-traduzzjonijiet ta' dawn ix-xogħlijiet għall-Għarbi li għamel hu stess. Dawn huma fost sensiela ta' traduzzjonijiet li nittama li joħorġu fil-ktieb fil-ġejjieni qarib.

 

Iż-żewġ mistednin distinti kienu l-Ambaxxatur Libjan għal Malta, Dr Saad El Shlimani, u l-Ministru ta' l-Affarijiet Barranin Malti, l-Onor. Michael Frendo. Kien preżenti wkoll iċ-Chairman tal-Kumitat Permanenti tal-Kamra tad-Deputati dwar l-Affarijiet Barranin u Ewropej, Dr. Jason Azzopardi. Fi tmiem il-lejla, l-Ambaxxatur Libjan ippreżenta lil Dr. Frendo traduzzjoni ta' l-"Innu Malti" ta' Dun Karm għall-Għarbi magħmula minn Dr. Martin Zammit bħala tifkira ta' l-okkażjoni.

 

Tista' tgħid li l-kelliema kollha saħqu fuq l-importanza ta' inizjattivi kulturali bħal dawn li jgħinu biex il-popli ġirien ta' Malta u l-Libja jsaħħu r-relazzjonijiet ta' bejniethom fuq livell kulturali wiesa' u fuq livell uman. Jien irringrazzjajt lil dawk kollha li ħadu ħsieb l-organizzazzjoni ta' din l-attività, li għaliha attendew madwar mitt ruħ, Maltin u Libjani, u tkellimt dwar kemm hu importanti li f'dan iż-żmien il-poplu tal-Mediterran jikkomunikaw bejniethom u jsiru jafu aħjar lil xulxin.

 

Wara l-qari u d-diskorsi kien hemm riċeviment żgħir.

 

Din l-attività kienet miftuħa għal kulħadd u d-dħul kien b'xejn.

 
 
 
 

Voices of China at Poeżijaplus

 

Poeżijaplus’s monthly appointment with the public has been brought forward to Monday 23rd at 7.30pm at Sala Isouard of Teatru Manoel.

In collaboration with the China Cultural Centre, Voices of China, under the patronage of his Excellency, the Chinese Ambassador, Mr Liu Zhengxiu, will feature a selection of Chinese poetry, music and dance. Dr Li Qingben, Professor of Chinese Literature will explain the fascinating connections that exist between Poetry and the Performing Arts in China.

Traditional costumes and musical instruments from the west regions of China will certainly add colour to this memorable evening.
 

PoeżijaPlus will reciprocate China’s cordiality through Charles Mifsud, Stephanie Farrugia, Adrian Grima [who will be speaking about Maltese poetry], Doreen Sammut and Simone Inguanez who will in turn, provide a brief dazzling introduction to the poetry of these Islands.

Tony Cassar Darien
Artistic Director

11 January 2006

 
     
 

Chinese Poetry, Music and Dance

23rd January, Sala Isouard (Manoel Theatre), 7.30 pm

 

To celebrate the advent of the Chinese New Year, PoeżijaPlus, together with the Chinese Cultural Centre and the Manoel Theatre are organizing a Special Evening of Chinese Poetry  reading, music and dance on Monday, 23rd January, at Sala Isouard of the Manoel Theatre at 7.30 pm. 

 

Chinese poetry owes much to the splendour of China’s  natural beauty. The great wall snaking into the hills, the Heavenly Gardens made to delight and amuse, and the subtle music wafting in the distant corners were all sources of inspiration.

 

However, Chinese poetry has also immortalized the everyday sentiments, sufferings, and joys of the common people and was often a prerequisite for civil service examinations.

 

Through dances in colourful costumes from West and Southwest China, the music of traditional instruments like the Pipa and flute, poetry recitals in both English and Chinese, we live again the unique experiences of an exceptionally old and rich culture heritage. There will be also an opportunity to share two Maltese poems which will be recited both in Maltese and in Chinese.

  

This special evening is being held under the patronage of his Excellency Mr Liu Zhengxiu, Chinese Ambassador to Malta. Refreshments and Chinese delicacies will be served. Note also that the evening will be held on Monday 23rd (and not on the last Monday of the month) to coincide with the Chinese new year.As usual entrance is free. Hope to see you and your friends there. 

 

Charles Mifsud 

 

 

 
   
 
 
     
 

Taħdita dwar Juan Mamo għall-Akkademja tal-Malti

u Pubblikazzjoni

 

 

L-Akkademja tal-Malti stednitni biex nhar is-Sibt 18 ta' Marzu nagħmel taħdita dwar Juan Mamo. Fid-29 ta’ Novembru, tkellimt dwar dan il-kittieb Ħalluqi fil-każin ta' Għaqda Mużikali Sant'Andrija f'Ħal Luqa. It-taħdita li għamilt ġiet ippubblikata fil-programm tal-Festa Titulari ta' Sant'Andrija - 2006 maħruġ mill-Għaqda Mużikali Sant'Andrija ta' Ħal Luqa f'Lulju ta' l-2006 (pp. 151-157).
 

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 għall-Akkademja tal-Malti se tkun kontinwazzjoni tal-proġett ta' riċerka tiegħi dwar dan il-personaġġ straordinarju. Għalkemm se tagħti xi tagħrif dwar ħajtu, anki permezz ta' ritratti u dokumenti oħrajn, it-taħdita tiegħi għall-Akkademja tal-Malti se tiffoka fuq l-istrateġiji letterarji ta' Mamo.

 

Isma' t-taħdita minn fuq Campus FM hawnhekk.

 
     
 

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)

 
 
 
 
 

Singing of Dark Times

A Review of Rakkmu by Adrian Grima

 

by Gillian Bartolo (The Malta Independent on Sunday, 16 April 2006)

 

Adrian Grima’s Maltese poems in his new collection Rakkmu throb with life in all its variety, in its beauty and its ugliness. The startlingly simple love poems at the beginning, don’t prepare you for the tales of ravaged lives to come, but by the time you get to his brilliant poems to his beloved sons Rafel and Samwel, you have already sensed that Grima  is heavy hearted, weighed down by  some “Foreign Burden” - the title of the second section of his poems. In the latter section we are presented with a number of sensitive portraits: an old woman alone at home, afraid of burglars despite her rosary beads and her shadowy holy pictures; the forgotten elderly, waiting patiently and anxiously in long queues for their pills outside the Polyclinic, and even a defenseless warbler, seeking shelter on the side of a cliff, buffeted into oblivion by a strong gust of wind. Already Grima gives us intimations of his own unease: he isn’t simply an observer, he is engaged and committed, and because of this he is “tormented”, a favourite word of his. So, a calm evening prowls about him, enveloping him in a thick blanket of claustrophobia, and the smell of mint – reminiscent of troubled Mediterranean lands – fills him with anxiety.

 

The poems about Rafel and Samwel in the section “Seas Swimming in Your Eyes,” and in particular the title poem, are amongst the best in this collection, in my opinion.

 

You long like it [a sinking stone] to meet the sea’s beginning,

To walk bewitched, seas swimming in your eyes.

 

Translated by Maria Grech Ganado

 

Incidentally the sea - our Mediterranean Sea, of course - is a recurrent image, one that beckons a lover, bewitches a child, threatens a person’s life, separates another from his homeland, and another from his destination. The poems about Rafel and Samwel describe beautifully the magical world of childhood, so full of wonderful things to discover. In this world too there is Adrian, a loving father, but also an older wiser man. He is aware that this world, while certainly tantalizing, is also ‘fragile’ and easily destroyed.  In his poem “Swans” he muses

 

but these fragile wishes floating on the surface

persecute me.

 

Despite himself, in a poem about Rafel’s battling armies of toy soldiers: ‘Mostar’ (historical battleground in the ex-Yugoslav wars), Adrian sees a foreshadowing of grown men killing each other in senseless war games.

 

The mood grows darker in the next section: “The Crisis of Values”, a sardonic reference to a favourite political platitude, to explain away all ills. Grima doesn’t mince his words, as one by one he slams hunters, political leaders, greedy businessmen, corrupt lawyers, hypocritical Catholics, apathetic citizens. Among the most punchy examples are his bitingly humorous: “It had to be Golf”, about the recent political fixation with building golf courses; “With my Hands” about what to do with one’s hands during the National Anthem and “Essentially”, about some Maltese people’s need to deny their Malteseness, for the sake of appearing more European.

 

It had to be Golf

 

There will come a time when it will host big shots,

This jewel of Maltese Business

We will see golf sticks flashing

Balls flying in the heavens like birds,

And plummeting like hunting trophies in search of a home. 

 

All hints of humour are jettisoned in the next section which is a harsh and affronted indictment of Maltese racism in the face of irregular immigrants. I liked best, “Malta Hanina” (Merciful Malta) about the illusions migrants had about Malta’s famed hospitality before they arrived, and “If I had a Motorboat”, about how the poet would help boat people struggling in our waters, to continue on their way to Italy, knowing that they wouldn’t be welcome here.

 

This is followed by three poems about the day the migrants in detention were beaten up by the army during a silent protest last year. The experience is told through the eyes of a migrant and a Maltese volunteer that Grima engages with. As always, Grima personalizes the general so that the experience becomes more palpable and fills us with a greater sense of shame.

 

Joseph before a snapshot of his battered friend

 

“Freeze-framed before him, his mate upon the ground,

Boot-trodden dust on twisted neck,

Brutality’s livid truncheon descent;

His arms outstretched and limp,

His face pillowed by gravel mouthing dust

Whose taste he can’t begin to feel”

 

Translated by Albert Gatt

 

Grima describes with so much passion, people he knows and loves as individuals: migrants, shanty town dwellers, Algerians victims of a civil war, or Palestinians under Israeli occupation, that it is like learning about them for the first time, and it is impossible to remain inured to their suffering. Of all these poems, the one that stands out most and from which the title Rakkmu is taken is “Ramallah”, about the triumph of love and courage over pain and destruction in the occupied territories. A Palestinian, Khaled relates how the Israeli army closes their dance halls to stop them dancing, how it tries to humiliate them in every way it can, but how their spirit survives intact. The reason is simple: he has a wife, children, and a history he carries with him like the taste of olives, the smell of mint, and marjoram….and amazingly through all this suffering, he can still be generous, as he invites the poet to his home, and offers to put him up. Noora corresponds with her friends, despite the fact that she knows all her mail is intercepted by the Israelis. And as the reader lets down her/his guard, and begins to get involved in these people’s lives, and to feel maybe things aren’t so bad after all, s/he is confronted by the senseless murder of a harmless mother who was sitting outside her house – as so many old women still do in Malta and Gozo - doing her embroidery.

 

Ramallah

 

And you tell me a story

Of a mother embroidering

On the porch of her home;

And the way she was shot

Without reason

And the distracted dance

Of her daughter in a trance

And her mother embroidered by guns.

 

Besides being a poet Adrian Grima is a lecturer in Maltese at University, and the coordinator of Inizjamed, an organization dedicated to artistic expression and cultural activity in Malta and the Mediterranean. In an interview Adrian Grima gave me some years ago, he told me that he felt artists should engage with, get involved in, and take positions on migration. He made an interesting comparison between irregular migrants and emerging writers. “they (emerging writers) are themselves clandestine in a way, because they are outsiders and unauthorized.”  In this collection, Grima enters the world of the outsider: the migrant, the Palestinian, the Peruvian, so that they can become real to us, and steps outside his own world to transmit a clearer view of the inner world of values – some very distorted - that we inhabit.

 

Rakkmu is published by klabb kotba maltin and is available at all leading bookshops

   
 
 

Rakkmu fil-ħwienet

 

Nhar l-Erbgħa. l-1 ta' Marzu, 2006, fis-7.30pm, fit-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu, il-Belt, 140 ruħ assistew għat-tnedija tal-ktieb tal-poeżiji tiegħi Rakkmu li jiġbor fih 62 poeżija miktubin bejn l-1995 u l-2005. Il-ktieb huwa pubblikazzjoni tal-Klabb Kotba Maltin u jinsab għall-bejgħ fil-ħwienet ewlenin tal-kotba.

 

Din hija t-tieni ġabra tiegħi wara l-pubblikazzjoni ta' It-Trumbettier fl-1999 b'41 xogħol miktub bejn l-1989 u l-1995. Id-disinn tal-qoxra huwa ta' l-artist magħruf Pierre Portelli, li diġà ħa ħsieb il-ktejjeb The Tragedy of the Elephant li ħareġ f'Diċembru ta' l-2005 u li jinkludi għadd ta' traduzzjonijiet għall-Ingliż ta' poeżiji li se jidhru fil-verżjoni oriġinali tagħhom f'Rakkmu.

Fil-preżentazzjoni tal-ktieb ħadu sehem l-atturi Ray Calleja u Marcelle Teuma, il-perkussjonista Renzo Spiteri u kantant u poeta mill-Eritrea. Pierre Portelli intervjeni b'mod artistiku fuq għadd ta' ritratti li ħadt jien. Dwar il-poeżiji tkellmet is-soċjologa Dr. Josann Cutajar. Khaled Katamish, id-direttur ta' El-Funoun ġewwa Ramallaħ, il-Palestina, bagħat messaġġ apposta li ttraduċih u qrah Walid Nabhan.

 
 
 
 

Long-distance yearning

Adrian Grima’s latest collection of poetry, Rakkmu, is an exploration of the self and a preoccupation with the other, says Stanley Borg

 

Weekender, The Times, 20 May 2006

 

In one of his poems, "Ċelel," Adrian Grima writes about a shambles of an old man who shuffles around the prison-cell stack of public phones in Macerata, selling discarded phone cards to scrounge a meagre living. Reactions vary - some callers swerve from his attention, keeping a watchful eye and hand on their pockets. Others, feeling a slight pinch of fear, stare doggedly ahead. Only the few engage a couple of words with the old, bearded man. Adrian Grima, I suspect, is one of the latter.

 

Rakkmu, Adrian Grima’s third collection of poetry, is a series of boundary moments; instances in which the poet is faced with the knowledge that truth is individual, rather than collective, and as a consequence, people remain distant, fragmented selves in isolation. But in the solitary fingerprints callers leave behind on the public phone receiver, Grima manages to traces a pattern because, despite the mystery and unknowability of others, humans are still related by time, space, need, and compassion. Thus, his every poem becomes a fraternal lament.

 

This same pattern lends the title to the book, a title which is also inspired by a poem which tells the true story of a Palestinian mother who was shot at repeatedly and killed by an Israeli soldier, while she was embroidering on her front porch in Nablus. This woman was the mother of one of the dancers from the El-Funoun dance troupe, who were invited to perform in Malta. Adrian Grima also visited El-Funoun in Al-Bireh and Ramallah, which inspired him to write a number of poems collected in Rakkmu.

 

Written between 1995 and 2005, the sixty-two poems in Rakkmu are divided into seven sections. In the first, Grima writes about a love that goes away and beyond rational thought and understanding, leaving a stringy pearl of words which the poet then picks up in the dark and strokes in his hand to transform into poetry. The poems in the second section chatter with overhead voices, but are heavy with the knowledge of isolation at the touch of other people who, like the postman, arrive, then walk away, leaving their smile, or sorrows, behind, and an informed silence drunk on tragedy. In the following section, "Baħar Jgħum f’Għajnejk," a silent father watches the loud canters of his children, fearing a future which, as fragile and contingent as soap bubbles, can preserve so much possibilities, and failures, and knowing that he and the world will break the promises life made to his children.

 

The last four sections are an ironic ode to national injustice. Grima’s words are sharp against the dull thudding of construction work, faces ground in the dust and birds being shot at. Then, Grima takes a wider perspective on global injustice, but at the same time, narrows it down to the harrowing details of individual tragedies of people who cannot tell their stories. Thus, Grima takes the responsibility of telling their stories, but never claims authorship, because he is unable to understand the other. As a poet, he can only commiserate.

 

Rakkmu is beautiful poetry from a beautiful mind and a man who does not trust life, but buoys himself with his talent. Adrian Grima’s words sneak into your thoughts, get into your shoes and rattle about your head when you walk, leaving you with slivers of wounds that cut into your thoughts.

 

Rakkmu is published by Klabb Kotba Maltin. The book cover was designed by Pierre Portelli.

 

Adrian Grima teaches Maltese Literature at the University of Malta. He is the coordinator of Inizjamed, the Maltese correspondent of the Babelmed.net website about culture in the Mediterranean, and head of the Technical Committee for Literature within the National Council for the Maltese Language.

 

 
 
 
 

“Fashioning” the Maltese Family

Iċ-Ċentru Ewropew għad-Dokumentazzjoni u r-Riċerka fl-Università ta' Malta għadu kemm ippubblika studju tiegħi bl-isem ta' “'Fashioning' the Maltese Family" fil-ktieb, The Family, Law, Religion and Society in the European Union and Malta, editjat mill-Professur Peter G. Xuereb, koordinatur tal-proġett. Dan il-ktieb huwa r-riżultat ta' proġett tas-soċjetà ċivili li tmexxa bil-għajuna tal-Proġett Jean Monnet tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea.

Jien dħalt f'dan il-proġett interdixxiplinarju ta' riċerka dwar il-familja f'Malta, fil-Mediterran u l-Ewropa, f'Jannar ta' l-2006. Fil-kontribut tiegħi, ibbażat fost l-oħrajn fuq ir-riċerka li kont għamilt għat-teżi tad-Dottorat dwar "Dominant Metaphors in Maltese Literature," ħarist lejn il-mod kif il-letteratura tagħna tirrappreżenta l-familja.

Din l-analiżi, li tkopri xogħlijiet letterarji minn Dun Karm sa Immanuel Mifsud u Clare Azzopardi, qegħedtha fil-kuntest tar-relazzjoni kumplessa li teżisti bejn il-letteratura u s-soċjetà, li mhumiex, kif jaħsbu ħafna nies, mera ta' xulxin.

Mill-konklużjoni ta' l-istudju tiegħi: Maltese literature has as yet failed to “tell” the stories of “real” Maltese women. This is a serious lacuna, because as Peter Widdowson argues, it is the vision of the writer, “articulated in and as the text, which defamiliarises habitualised sight, and so allows us to ‘know’ a community which is unable to know itself as it gets on busily with living the ‘splendid waste’ of its ‘real social’ life.” The Social Watch 2005 report notest that women in Malta still lag behind in gender empowerment and economic participation. The 32% that are economically active are mainly involved in “traditionally female jobs.” Women are also “poorly represented in the power structure,” but much of our literature that deals with the family reproduces the mutually exclusive roles of the woman as (nurturing) mother and the man as (absent) father. Mary Darmanin writes about the benefits both for the workers themselves and for their families, including the men, when women and mothers have a job outside the house, and she urges the Church hierarchy to listen to what women have to say about their role in the family and in society.

 
 
 
 
 

Għad-Dell tal-Mediterran

Dan l-aħħar stednuni biex naqra wħud mill-poeżiji tiegħi f'Perugia waqt il-laqgħa annwali ta' l-għaqda internazzjonali All'Ombra del Mediterraneo, li saret bl-għajnuna tal-Kunsill Lokali ta' Collazzone. It-tema tal-laqgħa ta' din is-sena kienet, "Il silenzio tra l’olivo e il mare." Kien mument importanti għalija, kemm bħala poeta kif ukoll bħala studjuż b'interess speċjali fil-kultura tal-Mediterran. (Ritratt lemin ta' © Marco Crivellin)

 

Il president ta' l-għaqda, Costanza Ferrini, li hija esperta tal-letteratura tal-Mediterran, kitbet hekk dwari: "Adrian Grima è sicuramente la voce poetica, e non solo. È docente di letteratura all’Università di Malta, animatore di un festival, intellettuale a tutto campo direi, tra i giovani senz’altro il più interessante di Malta. Conscio di essere il frutto di una pluralità di appartenenze come tutti noi mediterranei, fa di questa sua natura un buon esercizio di cittadinanza plurilinguistica, si confronta con i nuovi sabir che si creano a partire dalle nuove cittadinanze, che chiedono di rifugiarsi nella nostra Europa a partire dalle rive mediterranee, porti e porte aperte o chiuse sul resto del mondo?"

 

Qrajt darbtejn: fl-ewwel parti kkonċentrajt fuq poeżiji li jittrattaw kwistjonijiet attwali, fosthom "Bħal Vuċi Oħra ġo dil-Konfużjoni," "It-Traġedja ta' l-Iljunfant Li Ried Jidħol f'Gaġġa ta' l-Għasafar," "L-Ewwel Frejgatina," u "Kieku Kelli Lanċa Żgħira."

 

Fit-tieni parti qrajt poeżiji minn It-Trumbettier:  "Illejla, Jekk Trid...," "L-Imħabba Bħal Murtal," "It-Trumbettier," u "Aħna Li Nċafċfu Saqajna."

 
     
 
 
 

Daħla għal Il-Linja l-Ħadra ta' Clare Azzopardi

Kumment waqt it-Tnedija

 
 

Nhar il-Ħamis, 6 ta' Lulju tkellimt waqt it-tnedija tal-ktieb ta' novelli Il-Linja l-Ħadra ta' Clare Azzopardi (Merlin Library)  fit-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu, li kien mimli nies.

 

Il-ktieb iddisinjah l-artist magħruf Pierre Portelli. L-atturi Marcelle Teuma u Joseph Galea qraw uħud mix-xogħlijiet, waqt li jien għamilt taħdita qasira li kienet differenti mid-daħla tiegħi li hemm fil-ktieb. Pierre Portelli ħa ħsieb id-disinn tat-teatru għal waqt it-tnedija waqt li l-parti teknika kienet f'idejn Claire Zerafa. Kienet produzzjoni artistika mfassla tajjeb ħafna u mxiet ħarir.

 

Uħud min-novelli li hemm f'dan il-ktieb dehru diġà bl-Ingliż (tradotti minn Albert Gatt) f'kotba li ġew ippubblikati f’Ċipru, l-Iskozja, l-Irlanda, l-Ungerija, u Malta. In-novella "Il-Linja l-Ħadra" nqrat minn Marcelle Teuma fil-Festival Internazzjonali tan-Novella li ttella’ mill-Kunsill Nazzjonali ta’ l-Ilsien Malti f’Diċembru ta’ l-2005.

 

Fid-daħla tiegħi għall-ktieb ngħid, fost l-oħrajn hekk: “Minkejja li tirrakkonta stejjer li fihom infushom huma “komuni,” l-istrateġija narrattiva ta’ Azzopardi xejn mhi komuni.” Il-ħila ta’ l-awtriċi “li torganizza l-istejjer tagħha b’mod li qatt ma taf x’inhu ġej jixħet aktar l-attenzjoni tagħna l-qarrejja fuq kull kelma li tikteb, fuq kull taqsima li toħloq, fuq kull djalogu li “tislet” minn fomm il-poplu komuni tal-bidu tas-seklu 21. U minkejja l-organizzazzjoni metikoluża, dawn l-istejjer ma jinħassux stilizzati jew letterarji żżejjed – pjuttost bil-maqlub.”

 

“Kultant, b’dak li tikteb, Azzopardi kapaċi tagħti l-impressjoni li n-narrattiva tagħha hija sempliċi, li hija riproduzzjoni faċli, forsi fidila wisq u għalhekk prożajka żżejjed, tad-diskors tagħna ta’ kuljum, u li ma tridx wisq biex tikteb stejjer bħal tagħha. Imma kif jistgħu jixhdu dawk kollha li jiktbu jew jippruvaw jiktbu dan mhux minnu, għax in-narrattiva tagħha hija r-riżultat mhux biss ta’ talent mitwieled fiha iżda ta’ reviżjoni kontinwa u ħafna qari ta’ xogħlijiet ta’ kittieba ewlenin, minn Angela Carter, Dacia Maraini u Djuna Barnes, sa John Fowles, Julian Barnes, u Irvine Welsh.”

 

Fuq Il-Linja l-Ħadra, l-awtur Immanuel Mifsud jgħid hekk: “Jekk se taqra dan il-ktieb lesti ruħek: f’dawn l-istejjer il-familjari jsir stramb, u l-istramb isir tant familjari. Clare Azzopardi se ddaħħlek fi mkejjen fejn mhux suppost tittawwal.”

 

Skond Dr. Mary Darmanin, “B’ħarsa kuraġġuża lejn il-ħajja Azzopardi tqaxxar kull qoxra li warajha nixtiequ ninħbew. Minn barra kulħadd jidher normali, imma fl-istejjer ta’ Azzopardi kull persuna ssir unika u irrepetibbli.”

 

Kumment Qasir waqt it-tnedija

 

Fit-taħdita qasira tiegħi bdejt billi għedt li "Il-Linja l-Ħadra huwa xogħol straordinarju. Clare Azzopardi qed tikteb il-lingwa letterarja bil-Malti mill-ġdid. U proprju għaliex il-letteratura Maltija tafha sew, u tirrispettaha u tħobbha, ix-xogħlijiet tagħha mhumiex riproduzzjoni ta’ l-aħjar kitbiet li għandna, jew ritorn lejn letteratura li għadda żmienha mitt sena ilu, imma kontribut intelliġenti u frisk, minkejja li jista’ jidher irreverenti. Ma tirrispettax tradizzjoni billi tikkupjaha; tirrispettaha billi tagħniha b’xogħol ġdid li, għax ġdid, jagħti ġieħ ukoll lil dak li nkiteb qabel." (Ritratt meħud minn Alex Azzopardi)

 

Fl-aħħar tkellimt dwar il-produzzjoni tal-ktieb: "Ħafna mill-aspetti tal-produzzjoni mill-aqwa ta’ dan il-ktieb jirriflettu l-ansjetajiet u l-emozzjonijiet li hemm ġo fih: il-passjoni, il-lingwaġġ qawwi, l-ismijiet kważi moħbija, l-irreverenza, is-serjetà tal-ġrajjiet, il-fraġilità tal-karattri u l-mumenti, il-fil tal-memorja li tiżloq minn idejna. Pierre Portelli, Clare Azzopardi, Chris Gruppetta u l-ħaddiema ta’ l-istamperija Gutenberg għamlu xogħol mill-aqwa li jagħmel ġieħ lil dawn l-istejjer u l-karattri li hemm jissaraw ġo fihom, u lil-letteratura Maltija."

 

Il-Ġimgħa 7 ta' Lulju 2006

 
     
 
 
 

Qari waqt "Poeżija Gardjola" u l-Università

It-Tlieta, 25 ta' Lulju, Inizjamed, l-Isla - Il-Ġimgħa, 28 ta' Lulju, l-Università

 
 

Nhar it-Tlieta, 25 ta' Lulju, qrajt żewġ poeżiji tiegħi waqt l-attività bl-isem "Poeżija Gardjola" fl-Isla li fiha ħadu sehem tliet poeti Amerikani minn Detroit u New Jersey u għadd ta' poeti Maltin. Il-kittieba Amerikani li ħadu sehem kienu l-poeta u kantawtur M. L. Liebler, il-kittieba Italo-Amerikana Maria Mazziotti Gillan, u l-poetessa Anca Vlasopolos. Il-poeżiji li qrajt kienu "Click Here" (tradotta minn Antoine Cassar), "Lulju" (I - Noora) u "Bħal Vuċi Oħra ġo dil-Konfużjoni" (tradotta minn Maria Grech Ganado).

Il-Ġimgħa 28 ta' Lulju, il-Prof. Liebler stedinni biex naqra wkoll waqt sessjoni ta' poeżija bħala parti mill-konferenza ta' l-ISSEI li saret fiċ-Entru tal-Konferenzi Mikiel Anton Vassalli fl-Università ta' Malta nhar il-Ġimgħa 28 ta' 2006. Dakinhar qrajt "Kieku Kelli Lanċa Żgħira" (tradotta minn Christine Grixti u Maria Grech Ganado), "Qamar?" u Baħar Jgħum f'Għajnejk" (tradotti minn Maria Grech Ganado). 

 
 
 
 

Inkontru Letterarju ma' John P. Portelli

It-Tlieta, l-1 ta' Awwissu, Inizjamed, il-Kalkara


Nhar it-Tlieta, l-1 ta' Awwissu, fit-8pm, bil-kollaborazzjoni tal-Kunsill Lokali tal-Kalkara, sar inkontru letterarju mal-poeta u l-akkademiku Malti-Kanadiż John P. Portelli, għal dawk kollha involuti fil-proġetti ta' Inizjamed u għall-pubbliku in ġenerali. Din il-laqgħa saret fiċ-Ċentru Dawradurella, li jiġi eżatt fuq il-lift antik ta' Bighi. Qabel saret preżentazzjoni ta' kotba minn Inizjamed u minn uħud mill-kittieba preżenti, fosthom il-Prof. Portelli, lil-Librerija Pubblika tal-Kalkara mmexxija għall-Kunsill Lokali mis-Sur Roderick Mizzi, kunsillier.

 

Minbarra John Portelli, qraw ix-xogħlijiet tagħhom Antoine Cassar, Victor Fenech, Clare Azzopardi, Maria Grech Ganado, Roderick Mallia, Simone Inguanez, u Josette Attard. Waqt il-laqgħa John Portelli tkellem dwar il-ktieb tiegħu Bejn Żewġ Dinjiet: Malta u l-Kanada/In Between: Malta and Canada u qara xi xogħlijiet minnu u minn materjal iktar riċenti. Id-dħul minn dan il-ktieb qed imur għall-fondazzjoni taċ-chair lift għas-sala tal-Maltin fil-knisja ta' San Pawl f'Toronto.

 

Waqt l-inkontru qrajt l-ewwel parti mill-verżjoni bil-Malti ta' "Click Here" u "Lulju" (I - Noora).

 

(Ritratt meħud minn Roderick Mizzi, kunsillier fil-Kunsill Lokali tal-Kalkara) Għal aktar tagħrif dwar John P. Portelli u dwar din l-attività ara din il-paġna mill-websajt ta' Inizjamed.

 

 
 
 
 

Public Reading by Moira Egan and Maltese Poets
Thursday, 3 August, Café Deux Baronnes, Inizjamed

 

On Thursday, 3 August, at 8pm, at Café Deux Baronnes in Valletta (near the Upper Barrakka Gardens), Inizjamed, in collaboration with St. James Cavalier, will be presenting a public reading by Maltese writers and the US poet Moira Egan, who is in Malta for a Writers' Residency organized by the Virginia Arts Centre in the US and St. James Cavalier.

 

Moira Egan will be reading her work together with Clare Azzopardi, Antoine Cassar, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima, and others. The general public is welcome to attend. Entrance is free. More info on this page on the Inizjamed website.

 

 
 
 
 

STOP the WAR on Lebanon

Nhar il-Ġimgħa 4 ta' Awwissu lqajt l-istedina li għamluli biex naqra xi poeżiji marbutin mat-tema tal-gwerra u mal-Palestina, il-Libanu u l-Iżrael, b'mod partikulari f'dan il-perijodu hekk ikrah ta' dmija, inġustizzja u skiet. F'dawn il-mumenti dejjem inġib quddiem għajnejja l-ħbieb tiegħi u l-familji tagħhom f'dawn it-tliet pajjiżi sbieħ, ilkoll mhedda mill-kultura u r-realtà oxxena tal-gwerra.

Dan ma jfissirx li ma niħux pożizzjoni: għax l-invażjoni tal-Libanu u l-qerda ta' mijiet kbar ta' ħajjiet, ta' infrastruttura sħiħa u ta' ambjent soċjali u naturali min-naħa ta' l-Iżrael, minkejja l-provokazzjoni maħsuba, mhijiex aċċettabbli. Jeħtieġ tirbaħ il-kultura tal-ftehim u l-ġid komuni kontra l-industrija tal-poter u ta' l-armanenti u l-interessi tal-ftit, huma min huma.

Waqt l-attività qrajt il-poeżija ġdida tiegħi "X’se Tagħmel Meta l-Lejl Jintemm?" u dikjarazzjoni minn sittin artist u artista mill-Palestina li qed jitolbu bojkot internazzjonali ta' l-istituzzjonijiet Iżraeljani, bojkot simili għal dak li kien sar fl-Afrika t'Isfel ta' żmien l-apartheid.

 


PRESS RELEASE - Hands off Lebanon!

The organisations participating in this vigil raise their voices to call for peace and an end to conflicts in the Middle East, especially with regard to the conflict on the Israel Lebanon border.

Nowhere more than in this region should it be clear that violence gives no longterm solution and that short term gains have always meant longterm losses. Retailiation, demanding an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is a primitive form of justice which can could be easily predicted but has rendered everybody involved blind to the obvious truth and toothless to prevent a perpetuation of violence.

The chain of blame for atrocities and violations of international law and basic humanitarian values stretches almost endlessly giving no justification to any party in recurrent conflicts. It is the worst possible situation in which both sides are right, both demand to live in peace in their own homes with dignity and both demands appear to be mutually exclusive.

It is wholly absurd that Israel inflicts death and damage on the Lebanese because they have failed to control their territory sufficiently. Facing an extremely difficult political situation they have made much more progress towards bringing extremists towards democratic dialogue than Israel itself has managed in its treatment of Palestinians within its own area of control. In fact the events in Gaza have been of no assistance to the Lebanese in making fiurther progress towards disarming the Hizbollah or preventing them from attacking Israel from Lebanese territory.

The particpating organisations recognise that the initiative and the responsibility is in the hands of Israel and demand that it immedately ends hostilities and withdraws in order to allow the installation of an effective UN peacekeeping force with a sufficient mandate to enforce international law. As organisations belonging to an EU Member State we call on the EU to take every opportunity available to it to end the present conflict and to support the demilitarisation of the Israel-Lebanon Border. We also call on the EU to provide emergency assistance to Lebanon and to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that reparations are made by the aggressor as determined by an international tribunal.

The inaction of the United States and Britain with regard to the current conflict is noted and compared to that of Ariel Sharon standing back to allow the massarces of Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila.

In doing so we must also acknowledge that this political stance is not supported by all the people of the United States and Britain where opposition to this war has been clearly expressed.

Finally we take this opportunity to honour those civil society organisations which have acted and continue to act across the lines of conflict to bring the peoples of the Middle East to act together on their common humanitarian values regardless of the overwhelming difficulties they face. It is only people like these who preserve a hope of peaceful coexistence in the region.
 

31 ta' Lulju 2006

 
 
 
  Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel
August 1, 2006

Dear Filmmakers & Artists,

During the past few weeks we have borne witness to the escalation of Israeli aggression into open war on both Palestine and Lebanon. 

With Israel's invasion of Gaza on June 27th, 2006, ministries and educational institutions have been destroyed, as has the plant that supplies nearly 50 percent of Gaza's electricity. Bridges, roads, dozens of homes, and hundreds of dunams of agricultural land have also been destroyed. Sixty-four elected Palestinian legislators, cabinet ministers and officials
have been detained without charge.

On July 12th, Israel brought its campaign of collective punishment and military violence to Lebanon, with "Operation Just Reward". A complete assault, via land, sea, and air, of the Lebanese population and infrastructure has led to total destruction. In just 3 weeks, almost 1
million Lebanese civilians have been displaced and the death toll has reached 900 Lebanese and 160 Palestinians, with a UN count saying one-third of the dead are children.

Additionally, in violation of international law, Israel continues to occupy Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and Syria's Golan Heights. In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel continues to hold 9,600 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers without due process, among them 130 Palestinian women and 388 children, many of them taken from their homes in the middle of the night.

We, the undersigned Palestinian filmmakers and artists, appeal to all artists and filmmakers of good conscience around the world to cancel all exhibitions and other cultural events that are scheduled to occur in Israel, to mobilize immediately and not allow the continuation of the Israeli offensive to breed complacency. Like the boycott of South African art institutions during apartheid, cultural workers must speak out against the current Israeli war crimes and atrocities. 

We call upon the International community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict. 

We call upon you to take a stand in order to appeal to the Israeli people to give up their silence, to abandon their apathy, and to face up to their responsibility in the destruction and killing their elected government is wreaking. To the Lebanese and Palestinians terrorized by this Army's planes, bombs and missiles, this silence, apathy and lack of action from Israelis, are regarded as complicit in the ongoing war crimes, as for those Israeli artists, academics and intellectuals who continue to serve in the Israeli army they are directly implicated in these crimes.  

We call upon you to give way to action that would replace words spoken too often and forgotten too quickly. We call upon you to make your voices heard in calling for an end to this bloodshed and an end to this oppression that has lasted too long.

To endorse or answer this call for a cultural boycott of Israel please send an email with your name, position and country to pal.filmmakers@gmail.com.

Signatures (Alphabetical)

1.     Adila Laidi, Lecturer
2.     Anan Brakat, Filmmaker, Arab Cinema School
3.     Annemarie Jacir, Filmmaker
4.     Azza El-Hassan, Filmmaker
5.     Bahia Munem, Filmmaker
6.     Dahna Abourahme, Filmmaker
7.     Dima Abu Ghoush, Filmmaker
8.     Emily Jacir, Artist
9.     Enas Muthaffar, Filmmaker
10.    Faten Farhat, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
11.    Ghada Terawi, Filmmaker
12.    Hanna Atallah, Filmmaker
13.    Hanna Elias, Filmmaker
14.    Hany Abu-Assad, Filmmaker
15.    Haya Al-Jareedy, Filmmaker
16.    Hayan Charara, Writer
17.    Hazim Bitar, Filmmaker
18.    Iman Aoun, Ishtar Theatre
19.    Iman Hammouri, Popular Art Centre
20.    John Halaka, Artist
21.    Juliano Mer Khamis, Actor & Director
22.    Kais Al-Zubaidi, Filmmaker
23.    Kamal Boullata, Artist
24.    Karma Abu-Sharif, Writer
25.    Khadijeh.H.Abu-Ali, Filmmaker
26.    Khaled Jubran, Musician
27.    Larissa Sansour, Artist
28.    Leila Sansour, Filmmaker
29.    Liana Saleh, Filmmaker
30.    Lina Bokhary, Artist
31.    Mahmoud Massad, Filmmaker
32.    Mai Masri, Filmmaker
33.    Mazen Saade, Filmmaker & Writer
34.    Michel Khleifi, Filmmaker
35.    Miguel Littin, Filmmaker
36.    Nabila Irshaid, Artist
37.    Nahed Awwad, Filmmaker
38.    Najwa Najjar, Filmmaker
39.    Nizar Hassan, Filmmaker
40.    Omar Barghouti, Dance choreographer
41.    Omar Qattan, Filmmaker
42.    Osama Al-Zain, Filmmaker
43.    Rana Bishara, Artist
44.    Rania Elias- Khoury, Yabous Productions
45.    Rashid Masharawi, Filmmaker
46.    Reem Fadda, Palestinian Association of Contemporary Art
47.    Riyad Deis, Filmmaker
48.    Rowan Al Faqih, Filmmaker
49.    Saed Andoni, Filmmaker
50.    Saleh Bakri, Actor
51.    Salim Abu Jabal, Writer
52.    Salwa Mikdadi, Curator
53.    Samia A. Halaby, Artist
54.    Sobhi al-Zobaidi, Filmmaker
55.    Suleiman Mansour, Artist
56.    Suzy Salamy, Filmmaker
57.    Taghreed Mishael, Filmmaker
58.    Ula Tabari, Filmmaker
59.    Vera Tamari, Artist
60.    Wafa Jamil, Filmmaker

 

 
 
 
 

Oltre la Pace - Poeżija Ppubblikata l-Italja

Poeżija oħra tiegħi bil-Malti, bi traduzzjonijiet għall-Ingliż (ta' Maria Grech Ganado) u għat-Taljan, għadha kemm ġiet ippubblikata fi ktieb bl-isem ta' "Oltre la Pace. Dialoghi di amicizia e di amore" (Il Laboratorio/le edizioni, Nola), maħruġ mill-Istituto Scolastico Giulio Rodinò ta' Barra (Napli).

Fost poeżiji ta' kittieba internazzjonali magħrufin u ta' studenti ta' din l-iskola hemm ukoll il-poeżija tiegħi "Fil-Kantina tal-Labyrinth Jisma' 'l Pajjiżu" li dehret għall-ewwel darba fil-ktieb tiegħi Rakkmu (KKM, Marzu 2006). Il-ktieb fih ukoll għadd ta' ritratti u tpinġijiet mill-isbaħ.

Daħla tal-ktieb minn Alessandrio Filia, kap ta' l-iskola:

Non è facile parlare di pace in modo costruttivo. Per molti, troppi e solo uno slogan dietro il quale schierare il proprio punto dl vista. Questo non aiuta la pace né educa alla pace, intesa come convivenza umana serena da praticare.

Forse è necessarlo andare oltre la pace e cominciare a tessere le trame dell'amicizia c dell'amore, come fanno le donne del Mediterraneo quando lavorano la tela mettendo insieme tracce, gesti, colori.

Di questo sono capaci soprattutto i bambini, che con spontanea immediatezza intrecciano rapporti e dialogano anche solo con gli occhi o i gesti.

Questo libro esprime attraverso poesie c grafiche sentimenti di vita che ragazzi napoletani, israeliani c palestinesi hanno cercato di comunicarsi, da periferia a periferia e che hanno manifestato, in occasione del 3o Concorso di poesia Periferie, a cui noi diamo voce.

Sono stati coinvolti artisti, poeti, giornalisti, fotografi, quel mondo dei "grandi" che tante volte è restio al dialogo, ma le cui espressloni costituiscono opportunità di relazione e stimolano nuove comprensioni. Alle Istituzioni, agli Enti, alle Associazioni, agli esperti e a tutti coloro che hanno reso possibile l'iniziativa va un sentito ringraziamento.

Alessandro Filia
Dirigente dell'lstituto Scolastico
Giulio Rodin~ di Napoli

 
 
 
 

La provocazione è la poesia

Oltre la Pace (pp.221-2)

 

L'arma di pace più efficace, e anche piu micidiale perché mira alle coscienze, è il sorriso di un bambino che gioca tra i rifiuti di una periferia del mondo. A Ponticelli, a Pianura, se stiamo a Napoli, ma anche in Kenia, a Korogocho, dove il missionario comboniano Alex Zanotelli fondò una città degli esclusi e affermò il primato dei poveri che è più forte, ma più dolce e assolutamente non dispotico, del primato dei ricchi. Korogocho nella lingua kenyota significa "confusione" ed è il nome giusto per la baraccopoli sorta su un chilometro quadrato di terra inquinata nella quale hanno vissuto, stipate come sardine, centomila persone.

 

Ai margini degli alberghi a cinque stelle di Nairobi dove i ricchi del mondo vanno a giocare al safari e spendono per una settimana una somma che la gente di Korogocho non riuscirà mai a mettere insieme. Anche se campasse duecento anni.

 

Lottare per la pace anche con un sorriso, quindi, è un dovere. E «Oltre la Pace» fa molto di più. Soprattutto perché i suoi sorrisi li «spara» da Napoli, una città che un tempo era generosa ma è diventata indifferente, cinica, perfino odiosa. «Oltre la Pace» tenta di sconfiggere il mostro che si è insinuato nelle coscienze e lo fa con spirito di servizio. Senza esibire medaglie. Questa iniziativa editoriale mette in campo un messaggio forte senza la pretesa di accusare, ma con l'intento di contribuire al miglioramento dei rapporti tra gli uomini. E di ristabilire un minimo di equilibrio in un mondo che ha scelto l'ingiustizia come regola, anche se fa finta di battersi in petto e partecipa compatto a tutte le gare di effimera solidarietà.

 

Ma torniamo all'immagine del bimbo. L'abbiamo scelta come simbolo perché è innocente e perchè aiuta a sperare. Ed è un pugno nello stomaco contro l'indifferenza che convive con la miseria, anzi la sfrutta. Pensiamo alla condizione degli extracomunitari e all'immondo commercio che si fa speculando sulla miseria che obbliga questi diseredati a vivere in venti in un basso dei Quartieri Spagnoli o in caverne lungo il litorale domiziano. Il richiamo a Korogocho non è casuale. Le provocazioni di padre Alex Zanotelli che, ha scelto di proseguire a Napoli la sua missione quando ha concluso l'esperienza in Kenia, scaturiscono dalla scelta radicale di vita che ha fatto: dare voce a chi non ne ha e farsi povero insieme agli altri poveri.

Una sfida che si è rivelata vincente anche a Napoli: Zanotelli ha scelto un buco di casa in un budello della Sanità e si è fatto imnmediatamente sentire cavalcando la protesta che serpeggia nelle períferie ma non trovava, prima di lui, uno sbocco, un momento di coagulo. Nel caso di «Oltre la Pace», e questa è la forza dirompente dell'iniziativa, la provocazione è la poesia dei bambini che sono capaci di sorrídere della loro miseria e chiedono, senza strillare, di essere ascoltati. Per non morire, com'è accaduto a quel ragazzo marocchino, che cercava tra i rifiuti qualcosa da mangiare o da indossare ed ha avuto la testa tranciata dalla lama del coperchio del bidone.

 

Carlo Franco

giornalista napoletano da quaranta anni