Published on Friday 28 October 2022

Now in its fourth edition, Artivisti is a youth-focused collaborative project run by Arts Council Malta and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ. The initiative enrols a group of emerging artists in a mentored programme wherein each participant is assigned a mentor to develop an artistic project with an activist ethos.

Included in the programme are a series of workshops and an interdisciplinary residency during which the participants explored their ideas and thoughts on art and activism.

The 2022 Artivisti are: Marilyn Aquilina, Mariah Borg, Matteo Pullicino, Nicole Vassallo, and Sam Vassallo.

They have all shared their views on the residency which took place between the 13th and 15th of September at Villa Psaigon in Dingli:

Marilyn Aquilina

The Artivist Residency was a very insightful and thought provoking experience. It gave me the opportunity to escape my daily work routine and solely dedicate my time to learn about art, activism and critical thought through listening to different speakers, and engaging in discussions and activities. It gave me the space to not only reflect on my project, but also to reflect on my artistic career and to get to know the other participants better. It feels good to know that there are other people who feel the same passion, desire and struggles in pursuing their art.

Mariah Borg

The Artivisti Residential Program took place in the therapeutic surroundings of Dingli, where the surroundings alone heightened my artistic passion to draw everything and everyone I witnessed in those days. The sessions were inspirational and stimulating as they gave me the opportunity to listen to activists that challenged issues through their artistic expression. This program gave me a broader sense of self, as it permitted an escape from my day-to-day life to a place of ease and inspiration, allowing me the realization that art is my language, method of protest, and way to make a difference.

Matteo Pullicino

"First and foremost, the three-day residency gave us - this year's Artivisti participants - the space and time to connect not only as fellow artivists, but as people with our personal histories, passions and perspectives which we rather quickly felt safe enough to share and bond over, so that by the end of this experience, we became a small community, ready to support one another along this year-long journey. At the heart of it, this residency begged us to question the fundamentals: what it means to be an artivist, what it entails to create change in a particular community, and how to do this responsibly so that the mark we wish to leave lasts long after our project ends. The latter question has particularly preoccupied me and will undoubtedly deeply inform how I choose to reshape my project."

Nicole Vassallo

The Artivisti residential programme not only helped me explore my artistic roots, but also helped me understand and altered my perspective on activism. I had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of the power that art holds, and all the uncountable things we can do with it. Throughout this residency, I got to know the other Artivisti and their passions. I’d like to think that it created a special bond between us.

Sam Vassallo

The three-day residency in Dingli kicked off the Artivisti journey - it was intense and enriching. I got to learn from different art practitioners about the power of art and activism which helped get the creative cogs in my head flowing for the project I'll plunge into. It was also great to experience it with other young artists working in different disciplines.