This lab actively challenges conventional notions of a singular African aesthetic and identity, and encourages Maltese artists to further explore the African continent through collaborative artistic projects.
Cultures never existed in isolation—there was always movement, trade, and the exchange of ideas. For example, several Modern Art movements in the early 20th century, such as Cubism, Fauvism, and Expressionism were heavily influenced by African art. In the 21st century, and specifically during a pandemic and beyond, how can Maltese artists collaborate with African artists?
Participation in an artist train residency across Africa, and a digital art collaboration between Maltese artists and African artists have recently taken place with the support of Arts Council Malta.
Chakib is a contemporary dancer and choreographer. He is also a Queer Activist. He trained and performed in his native Tunisia as well as in European countries such as Belgium and France. He performed and worked as dance instructor and choreographer in many different countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria,France,Belgium,Malta . Chakib worked as a Professor at the prestigious university of art in Tunisia' the higher institute for dramatic art'. Chakib is interested in creating dance that is preoccupied with the notion of personal expression and collective freedom. Identity, Borders and Fluid gender.
Faye Kabali-Kagwa works as an arts coordinator, critic, culture writer, and a Salzburg Global Seminar Young Cultural Innovators’ fellow. She is an interdisciplinary practitioner with a strong focus on public engagement, identity, and accessibility with a growing interest in curation and producing.
In 2020 she began exploring WhatsApp as a medium for storytelling and debuted her first WhatsApp production, The Shopping Dead, at the virtual National Arts Festival 2020. The Shopping Dead was incredibly popular and broke new ground for theatre. Her second WhatsApp project was a digital art exhibition, Dear Us, Matric 2020, that she curated for the Fak’ugesi Festival in October 2020.
She currently works as a project manager and coordinator for ASSITEJ South Africa, an international theatre organisation that specialises in professional theatre work for children and young people. One of the projects that she is currently managing is the In the Works writing mentorship programme for 10 African playwrights. Through her work with ASSITEJ SA she has managed and marketed both local and international platforms such as Cradle of Creativity, the National Arts Festival, Obz Family Festival, and the Vrygrond Family Festival.
She is passionate about cultural criticism, how art engages with its audiences, and creating strategies for artist and audience to cocreate work. In 2019, Faye alongside Sarah Summers showcased their project Film Me In at the SHNIT short film festival and the Institute for Creative Art’s Infective the City festival. Film Me In was an interdisciplinary film and public art intervention that screened a curated list of five South African short films and then invited the audience to dub the films live.
Working as an arts and culture writer she has had her work published in the Mail & Guardian, New Frame, Culture Review, and the BASA website. She is a trusted cultural observer and critic and have served on the judging panel for the Cape Town Fringe Festival 2016 & 2017, and the SHNIT selection panel for South African short films 2019.
Faye holds an honours degree in Sociology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and the Dramatic Arts from Rhodes University. Photo by Kenyaa Mzee.
Christine Xuereb Seidu
Christine Xuereb Seidu, an art gallerist in Malta since 2004, has been particularly interested in African art especially since living in Ghana for a duration of one and a half years. Whilst living in Ghana she has made contact with Ghanaian artists and was involved in a couple of art related projects happening in her Ghanaian home (rural) town. One was a photographic research exhibition and book project based on Northern Ghana which attracted the participation of top photographers from the US, Europe and Ghana. This was organised by Ghanaian based Nuku Photo Festival and the Dutch photographic institution Noorderlicht. The other was the Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA) which was founded by the Ghanaian contemporary artist Ibrahim Mahama and opened just before I left to Malta. She does some research about African art and writes about African art for the Artpaper (Malta).
Ronald Micallef is Malta’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union. He has lived and worked across Africa having pursued a 25 year career spanning education, creativity and cultural relations.
Following an overseas career in education, Ronald’s passion for the arts and creative industries started in Malta where he occupied the post of British Council Director from 2000 to 2005- Malta’s EU Accession years and a critical time for the arts in Malta. Under his stewardship, the British Council focused on the training of young cultural leaders and showcased the UK’s arts and creative industries to a younger generation keen to embrace wide-ranging changes brought about by EU accession.
Ronald subsequently took up the post of British Council Director in Namibia where he similarly engaged with Namibian arts communities and academic institutions to support policy-making, creative industries, showcasing and the training of young leaders in the arts as well as regional education programmes in Mozambique, South Africa and Angola. In 2010 he was posted to Ethiopia where he combined his characteristic passion for the arts and education through innovative rural radio programmes combined with creative activity in Ethiopia, Somalia and East Africa.
Ronald now occupies the post of Head of Africa at Trade Malta where he supports Maltese companies and entrepreneurs in their efforts to enter new emerging markets in Africa. He remains a passionate believer in the power of the arts and education to create a platform for trade and investment with and within Africa.
Sarah is passionate about producing visual arts projects that explore contemporary issues around identity, histories, exile, home and community. She is the co-founder of Freehand Studios, a visual arts company based in Nairobi that creates transformative educational content and experiences.
Sarah is currently the impact producer for the Kenyan feature-length documentary The Letter. Previously, she worked as an Arts & Culture Programme Manager at PAWA254, an arts and activism hub based in Nairobi, as the contemporary arts production and communications coordinator at Valletta - The European Capital of Culture, and most recently as an External Communications Manager at FilmAid Kenya, were she ran the organisation’s communications campaigns and events.
Sarah holds a Masters degree in Migration, Mobility and Development for the University of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is also an analogue film photography and darkroom enthusiast.
A believer of radical collaboration, she curates spaces that bring together artists, thinkers and the public to discuss important social issues, imagine alternatives, and rewrite outmoded narratives.
Chief Nyamweya is an author and visual artist whose work fuses storytelling, Illustration and animation to explore history, technology and creativity. He is currently the co-founder and creative director of Freehand Studios, an African visual arts and education company that creates socially impactful content. In 2018, Chief graduated from the University of Nairobi with an LLB(Hons) degree and fully qualified as a chartered accountant before taking the unlikely decision to pursue a career as an artist.
In 2016, he was awarded a scholarship by Google to attend Singularity University in San Francisco and in 2019, was listed on Business Daily Africa’s top 40 under 40 Men. The 35 year old father of one has since published the celebrated graphic novel Art of Unlearning (2019), subtitled how to discover your passion and share it as well as directed several animations such as Big Brother is Coming to the Farm which explores the dark side of the digitization of food production. He is currently developing a trans media story Trust (2021) set in a near future fictional African nation known as Wahengaland, in which a young woman struggles against the corruption of her homeland with the help of a secret weapon from her grandmother.
Julienne is a freelance creative with a strong belief that ‘embodied’ knowledge can provide a rich and powerful source for self and social transformation. She is currently the Community Coordinator for Teatru Salesjan, Dance Tutor for Opening Doors Malta and as co-creative artist in dance initiative Dance Beyond Borders. She hopes to steer her professional projects towards connecting dance and community, as a means of sharing creativity and bodily awareness as well as facilitating spaces for connection. In pursuit of this, she is working towards gaining a diploma in Laban Bartenieff Movement System, through the EMOVE institute based out of CODARTS in Rotterdam, to be completed in 2022.
She has performed extensively on stage, most notably on the West End with Wicked, but also in independent projects in the UK working with artists like Rosemary Lee, Amit Lahav, Anthony Van Laast and Sacha Miles Davis. As an independent dance artist, Julienne has worked in community projects for Akademi, DashDotDance and Laban with Dance Ability. Julienne is thrilled to carry out the role of Community Coordinator at Teatru Salesjan and is enjoying the opportunity to have a direct connection to the area she is so committed to.
Fabrizio Ellul is the founder of Filfla Studio - an independent creative art house studio based in Malta specialising in storytelling through the medium of 2D animation and graphic art. Filfla Studio’s first story ‘Filfla’ – a self funded short animation (2019) – won the Kinemastik International Short Film Festival Audience Award and was an Official Selection in various International Film Festivals. The animation was followed up by The Sarangu’s World (a research project – 2020) exploring further the world of Filfla and ‘Mr Teddy is Angry’ a short animation (to be released in 2021). ‘Sarangu - A Maltese Folktale’ a graphic novel will be published in 2022 and has received support from Arts Council Malta.
Fabrizio Ellul has over 12 years of experience working in the visual arts, communication and education. He has worked as a Public Information Associate with the UNHCR Office in Malta covering the roles of media officer and spokesperson. As an educator delivered he lectured and taught art, art history, media and methodology at various levels. He also held personal and collective exhibitions. Fabrizio has a Bachelor and a Master degree in Art History from the University of Malta and is currently a PHD student within the Department of International Relations with interests in advertising and myths. www.filfla.studio
Join us on Thursday 11 March 2021 at 6:30pm at Valletta Campus Theatre.
Kindly note that due to Covid-19 restrictions this event is limited to 30 people.
Book your place here*.
*Upon attendance, patrons will be refunded the €5 within a maximum of 15 working days.