A panto held in pitch darkness to re-create the experience of blindness, a theatre project with women caught in exploitative circumstances and performances by young people with a disability.
These are some of the projects which will benefit from the support of the 2018 edition of Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività.
Other projects include a visual arts project with mental health patients, a theatre project which brings together sexual orientation and spirituality and a project with domestic violence survivors.
A total of 10 projects will receive around €62,000 through the 2018 edition of Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività, an arts fund with a strong social and community emphasis. The beneficiaries were announced during an awards ceremony held at San Anton Palace.
The potential of art and creativity in fostering social and cultural change and regeneration has been shown and proven in a number of contexts, including those characterised by social challenging environments, poverty and exclusion. This understanding is the basis for Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività.
The Award provides recognition and support at the highest level of the State to organisations, especially those working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, to engage those groups in creativity and arts-driven projects and thereby increase their level of integration and engagement in society.
Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività is linked to the implementation of Arts Council Malta’s goals outlined in the Council’s Create 2020 strategy, with a particular focus on providing more opportunities for people to engage in creativity.
“Currently, a research project is underway – evaluating the outcomes of the the Award with the support of all involved in the development of the Award, focussing particularly on the past three years” said Arts Council Malta Director of Funding and Strategy.
The President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said that the Award brings together creativity, innovation, culture and eagerness for solidarity, support and inclusion. She reiterated that, through these projects in the social field, “we have witnessed the value of culture as a means to educate, empower and restore human dignity, particularly to those among us who have become somewhat invisible in society.” President Coleiro Preca looks forward to the continuation of the project in the coming years, so that it may continue to provide empowerment and resilience.
In his address, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici said that “the Award has helped organisations to be formed and to continue to grow and become stronger. The Award continues to embrace the continuous dedication of these organisations and accompany them in the development of ethical and professional practices. This has been done in recognition of the importance of widening cultural participation, and with a determination – through art and creativity – to foster greater awareness, solidarity and active citizenship, reshape dialogue and increase social wellbeing. Tonight, this award at the highest level of the State, is investing over €60,000 in creative projects with the community: supporting 10 new projects to come to life.”
Therese Comodini Cachia, Shadow Minister for Culture, said that an award of this nature is in order, not only recognises the creativity of the artists involved, but also fosters greater creative freedom and wider participation of social interest groups or sectors that feel alienated of are alienated.
Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività is managed jointly by the Office of the President and Arts Council Malta.
Malta Council for Science and Technology (ESPLORA)
Gawgaw – A Panto in the Dark
The project consisted of a collaboration between ESPLORA Interactive Science Centre and Teatru Malta, with the aim of creating an inclusive and accessible experience of cultural participation.
The creative team included established artists from various fields. Throughout the creative journey, these worked with blind and partially sighted persons and, together, explored a world of creative possibilites when playing in pitch darkness. And that was how a magical pantomime was created around the Maltese mythical figure of the Gawgaw: the monstrous ghost that wanders about frightening people on Christmas eve.
This theatre project is a reflection on the local situation regarding prostitution, poverty, drug abuse, and suicide. Through direct discussion with women caught up in exploitative circumstances, this project aims to lend an ear to those who are overlooked and side-lined by society, in order to help them come out of their predicament. One does not easily come out from situations that have been present for generations. This project aims to give dignity and a platform for the needs of people, especially women and children who are trapped in their world and cannot see a way out.
Down Syndrome Association Malta
Step up on Equality in Music
Step up on Equality in Music is set to make a difference in the life of young people with Down Syndrome, through music. The project builds on a previous project supported by Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività where students were introduced to figure notes. This system opens new possibilities for the development of goal-oriented music education for students with intellectual disability.
The project now offers students the opportunity to further their studies and reach their potential, exploring new possibilities along the way – including the hope of forming a music ensemble in due time.
The project is being implemented in consultation with the Finnish Resonaari music centre. Resonaari is a unique music school and a centre of expertise working with persons with intellectual disability. It has promoted the equality of music education for the past 20 years. The principal aim of Resonaari Centre is that all learn to play. The project is being carried out under the direct mentorship of the director of the Resonaari Centre who co-created the annotation system himself.
Opening Doors Association
Opening Doors Association Performance 2019
Opening Doors Association is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation that provides opportunities for adults with learning disabilities in the artistic sector. In 2019, the Organisation has 2 Theatre groups, 2 Dance groups and 3 Music groups which meet for performing arts training sessions once or twice a week.
In May 2019, approximately 60 Opening Doors performers from the Opening Doors groups will be presenting their artistic works to the public, in the two evening performances to be held at Teatru Salesjan in Tas-Sliema. These performances will follow months of rehearsals and production preparations in which the performers are supported by the Opening Doors artistic director, production team, trainers and volunteers.
The project has 4 main aims:
1. To develop the performers’ artistic talents and improve their technical/creative skills
2. To create high quality artistic works
3. To showcase the performers’ talents and strengths by engaging a wider audience
4. To provide a platform in the artistic industry for further awareness about the creative talents of persons with disability
Darbtejn Insiru Tfal
Darbtejn Insiru Tfal addresses the reality of an ageing population in Birgu. The project is set to foster greater intergenerational awareness, integration and solidarity, wider cultural participation.
The project brings together children and older residents – to tell their stories and lend an ear to each other, in a series of interviews on childhood yesterday and today. The series delves into everyday elements – including games and food – from the eyes of people like you and me, rather than the academic side.
This narratives will be documented through an audiovisual production.
Mental Health Malta
Song and Art in Mental Health Recovery
With the support of Il-Premju tal-President, a number of patients from various wards will be involved in a creative expression process, under the direction of a visual artist.
The process involves the creation of individual sketches, for the co-designing of a large collective mural – inspired by the lyrics of songs chosen by the patients themselves, which give them hope and courage in the journey of recovery.
The process is set to help participants, in terms of self-esteem, teamwork skills and a sens of fulfilment, while improving the environment of Mount Carmel Hospital and the experience for patients, staff and visitors. The area where the mural will be mounted is currently bare.
The artwork created will also feature on mental health promotion pamphlets, aimed at decreasing existing stigma in the community.
Il-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Birkirkara
The Ilwien Nostalġiċi project creates an opportunity for active ageing and greater wellbeing, on individual and community levels, through an exchange of life stories which are then transformed into a visual and colourful expression, that the project will be sharing with the community.
The team will create a Stained Glass Replica that will embellish the facade and foyer of the Birkirkara Civic Centre.
The creative process of the project is, above all, aimed at:
1. Bringing together older residents – within their own community, and celebrating them
2. Lending an ear and foster an exchange of narratives, experiences and ideas
3. Increasing awareness and solidarity
4. Imparting creative skills, as environmental and economic practices
5. Inspiring a sense of achievement, confidence, and fulfilment, through cultural participation
Flourish through Oppression
Flourish through Oppression has two main aims:
1. To offer a space of empowerment for LGBTI persons – through the interactive methodology of Image and Forum Theatre – fostering better integration in the community and greater wellbeing
2. To help provide greater visibility for Drachma LGBT organisation to enable it to further support persons marginalised because of their orientation
The project is inspired by the relationship between sexual orientation and identity on one hand, and religious faith and spirituality on the other hand.
Through physicality, the participants will create images of oppression that reflect the personal and social tension experienced by LGBTI persons in struggling to integrate their sexuality with their faith. These images will serve as a catalyst to create acted out scenes of oppression that will be explored further in the Forum Theatre sessions. The participants will experiment with a variety of different alternatives and approaches to transform these scenes of oppression into scenes of empowerment. The engagement will allow the community to re-create the scenes in such a way that these can then be realistically transported into their everyday lives, or else provide them with interpersonal and intrapersonal skills which can be used in their lives to address the oppression. For legacy purposes the narrative of empowerment created by the participants will then be used as a basis for a theatrical script.
St Jeanne Antide Foundation
With the support of Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività, St Jeanne Antide foundation is creating a programme that will engage a number of survivors of domestic violence, in cultural participation – particularly focusing on dance, movement, voice, music instruments, lyric writing and music composition. The programme is designed specifically for the survivors to be able to express themselves and tell their story of courage and resilience. Participants will have the opportunity to perform live for an audience of their choosing.
The project will culminate in the making of a video to be used as an awareness-raising tool. This video will be co-created with the survivors so that it expresses the message they would like it to express.
The groups that the project is looking at are:
1. Young people and hard-to-reach groups
2. Persons with particular emotional, social or behavioural challenges (including particular difficulties relating to abuse and proceedings – also in the juvenile court)
3. Persons with particular challenges relating to mental health, disability or chronic conditions
4. Families with very low income, dependent on social benefits or with special social integration needs
Down Syndrome Association Malta
Radio Valo Malta Plus
The project focuses on the continuation of the invaluable collaboration with the Finnish Resonaari Centre with regard to the Radio Valo initiative.
This initiative helps persons with intellectual disabilities to work on creative expression and exchange skills, and encourages them to keep themselves updated with what is happening around them, voice their views and engage in self-advocacy in the community – making use of appropriate tools for effective collaboration.
Press Release by The Office of the President and Arts Council Malta