Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2017

Thursday 24 | Friday 25 | Saturday 26 August 2017 | Fort St Elmo, Valletta. 8.00pm

John Aquilina (UK/Malta) | Asja Bakić (Bosnia Herzegovina) | Mourid  Barghouti (Palestine) | Lilia Ben Romdhane (Tunisia) | Mark Camilleri (Malta) | Immanuel Mifsud (Malta) | Jean Portante (Luxembourg) | Alfred Sant (Malta) | Zoë Skoulding (Wales)| Ma Thida (Myanmar) | Arvis Viguls (Latvia) | Gjoko Zdraveski (Republic of Macedonia)

The XIIth edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival organized by Inizjamed will be held on Thursday 24th, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August, at Fort St Elmo, in Valletta, at 8.00pm. Twelve writers from eight countries are reading in the festival, which also features Maltese and foreign poetry films, Maltese jazz bands, a book stall, a book binding stand, drinks and food. Entrance to all events is free. The pre-Festival events start on Sunday 20 August 2017.

Ma Thida

The authors participating in this XIIth edition are Asja Bakić (Bosnia Herzegovina), Mourid  Barghouti (Palestine), Lilia Ben Romdhane (Tunisia), Jean Portante (Luxembourg), Zoë Skoulding (Wales), Ma Thida (Myanmar), Arvis Viguls (Latvia), Gjoko Zdraveski (Republic of Macedonia), and John Aquilina, Mark Camilleri, Immanuel Mifsud, and Alfred Sant from Malta.

Readings will be mostly in Maltese and English, but some works will also be read in their original language.

The Festival Programme (Provisional)

malta-arts-fundThe XIIth edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival organized by Inizjamed will be held on Thursday 24th, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August, at Fort St Elmo, in Valletta, at 8.00pm. Twelve writers from eight countries are reading in the festival, which also features Maltese and foreign poetry films, Maltese jazz bands, a book stall, a book binding stand, drinks and food. Entrance to all events is free. The pre-Festival events start on Sunday 20 August 2017.

The writers reading on Thursday 24th August are the Maltese poet based in London, John Aquilina, whose debut book of poetry won the National Book Prize; Tunisian poet and performer Lilia Ben Romdhane who writes in the Tunisian dialect; poet Gjoko Zdraveski from the Republic of Macedonia; and Maltese novelist Alfred Sant, who will be interviewed by writer Mark Vella.

This first evening features the premiere of one of two Maltese poetry films commissioned by Valletta 2018 Foundation and Inizjamed and presented by film director and lecturer Kenneth Scicluna. Emerging film makers Nicky Aquilina and Lyanne Mifsud are working on a poetry film which presents Maria Grech Ganado’s work “Relazzjoni”, while artist and academic Trevor Borg is producing a poetry film of Victor Fenech’s work “Fuq Għoljiet Dingli”.. Live music will be provided by the internationally renowned jazz guitarist and artistic director of the Malta Jazz Festival, Sandro Zerafa, accompanied on the bass by Oliver Degabriele.

mourid barghouti
Mourid Barghouti (http://www.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/books/mourid-barghouti-brings-his-poetry-to-the-emirates-airline-festival-of-literature)

On Friday 25th August, the writers invited to read are Maltese crime novelist Mark Camilleri; the French-language poet and novelist from Luxembourg Jean Portante; the Bosnian poet and short story writer Asja Bakić; and the celebrated Palestinian writer Mourid Barghouti, author of poetry and prose, including the memoir I Saw Ramallah, who will be interviewed by Norbert Bugeja.

v18This second night features the premiere of the second of two Maltese poetry films commissioned for this year’s festival by Valletta 2018 Foundation and Inizjamed and presented by Kenneth Scicluna. Live music on Friday will be provided by the duo made up of John Bartolo on drums and Jimmy Bartolo, who plays on Brikkuni’s latest album, on guitar.

The writers reading on Saturday 27th August are Welsh poet Zoë Skoulding; renowned Maltese poet and novelist Immanuel Mifsud; Latvian poet Arvis Viguls; and Burmese prose writer and political activist Ma Thida, who will be interviewed by writer Clare Azzopardi. Her most recent book, the English translation of her prison memoir Sanchaung, Insein, Harvard was published worldwide with the title of Prisoner of Conscience: My Steps through Insein in 2016 (Silkworm, Thailand).  This third and final evening also features a foreign poetry film and live music by John Bartolo on drums and Jimmy Bartolo on guitar.

Some of the literature read during the festival might require an adult audience.


Five pre-Festival events

As part of the run-up to the Festival, Inizjamed is presenting five special events. These events are free and everyone is welcome to attend.

The first pre-Festival event is a round table discussion on literature on Sunday 21st August at 8.00pm with the participation of four of the writers reading at this year’s festival.

On Tuesday 22nd August at 8.00pm, two of the invited writers will be interviewed.

On Wednesday 23rd August, Inizjamed presents a special Festival edition of its open mic poetry sessions, with the participation of writers based in Malta and abroad.  This will be held at the Maori bar, Triq il-Lanċa, on the Valletta sea front (below Marsamxett Street).

On Friday 25th August at 7.00pm, before the start of the second night of the Festival at Fort St Elmo, as part of the Literary Europe Live project co-funded by the EU’s Creatve Europe programme, Inizjamed and Literature Across Frontiers present “The Maltese double agent”, a special session on promoting literature to non-Maltese audiences.

On Saturday 26th August at 7.00pm, before the start of the third night of the Festival at Fort St Elmo, as part of the Literary Europe Live project, Inizjamed and Literature Across Frontiers present “Iġri u Ġerri”, an unusual interactive session in which readers, writers, festival organizers, publishers, and literary agents meet briefly to talk about the ever-changing world of literature and publishing.

In the weeks leading up to the Festival, other literary events involving the invited Maltese writers are being held on Gozo, in a retirement home and at a summer school.


Translating Each Other’s Work

The writers will be in Malta throughout the week of the festival to take part in the Malta LAF Literary Translation Workshop led by Keith Borg and Nadia Mifsud. They will be translating each other’s works, and reading some of these translations during the festival.

The festival and literary translation workshop are part of the Literary Europe Live platform co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the EU. This project is being coordinated by Literature Across Frontiers, which has played a crucial role in the setting up and development of this annual literary event. A number of festival organisers and partners with Inizjamed in Literary Europe Live are coming to Malta to attend this year’s edition of the Festival.

For the first time, this year’s edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival is part of a three-year Cultural Agreement Partnership betweeen Inizjamed and Arts Council Malta. This is an important agreement because it offers concrete support in terms of training and financial resources to three editions of this independent festival and allows Inizjamed to plan ahead with peace of mind.

fortress buildersghmu

The 2017 edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival and the Malta LAF translation workshop are being held with the support of Arts Council Malta, Heritage Malta, Valletta 2018 Foundation, Għaqda tal-Malti – Università, and The Fortress Builders – Fortifications Interpretation Centre. The MMLF is the recipient of the EFFE Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe label.

The Festival is on Facebook and at inizjamedmalta.wordpress.com.


Continue reading “Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2017”

Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta’ Malta 2017

John Aquilina (Ir-Renju Unit/Malta) | Asja Bakić (il-Bosnja Ħerżegovina) | Mourid  Barghouti (il-Palestina) | Lilia Ben Romdhane (it-Tuneżija) | Mark Camilleri (Malta) | Immanuel Mifsud (Malta) | Jean Portante (il-Lussemburgu) | Alfred Sant (Malta) | Zoë Skoulding (Wales)| Ma Thida (Myanmar) | Arvis Viguls (il-Latvja) | Gjoko Zdraveski (ir-Repubblika tal-Maċedonja)

Il-Ħamis 24 | Il-Ġimgħa 25 | Is-Sibt 26 ta’ Awwissu 2017, il-Forti Sant’Iermu, il-Belt Valletta, fit-8.00pm

Gjoko Zdraveski (ir-Repubblika tal-Maċedonja). Ritratt meħud minn Goran Petrov.

It-tnax-il edizzjoni tal-Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta’ Malta organizzat minn Inizjamed se tittella’ l-Ħamis 24, il-Ġimgħa 25, u s-Sibt 26 ta’ Awwissu, fil-Forti Sant’Iermu, il-Belt Valletta, fit-8.00pm, bis-sehem ta’ awturi ewlenin minn tmien pajjiżi, fosthom ir-rumanziera minn Myanmar Ma Thida u l-awturi ewlenin Maltin Immanuel Mifsud u Alfred Sant.

Minbarra l-qari ta’ novelli u poeżiji minn 12-il awtur u awtriċi differenti minn tmien pajjiżi, se jkun hemm mużika, kotba għall-bejgħ, films tal-poeżija Maltin u barranin, illegar artiġjanali tal-kotba, xorb u ikel magħmul mill-ħanut Ġugar.

L-awturi kollha mistiedna għall-edizzjoni ta’ din is-sena tal-Festival huma John Aquilina (Ir-Renju Unit/Malta), Asja Bakić (il-Bosnja Ħerżegovina), Mourid  Barghouti (il-Palestina), Lilia Ben Romdhane (it-Tuneżija), Mark Camilleri (Malta), Immanuel Mifsud (Malta), Jean Portante (il-Lussemburgu), Alfred Sant (Malta), Zoë Skoulding (Wales), Ma Thida (Myanmar), Arvis Viguls (il-Latvja), u Gjoko Zdraveski (ir-Repubblika tal-Maċedonja).

Lili Benromdhane
Lilia Ben Romdhane (it-Tuneżija)

Il-poeta ewlieni Victor Fenech jiddeskrivi dan il-festival internazzjonali bħala t-tlaqqigħa ta’ “vuċijiet” ta’ kittieba Maltin u barranin li “flimkien joħolqu bħal panorama ta’ temi u stili.”

Id-dħul huwa b’xejn u kulħadd jista’ jattendi. Xi kitbiet jistgħu jkunu maħsuba għal udjenza matura. Il-qari se jkun l-aktar bil-Malti u bl-Ingliż, imma jinqraw ukoll xi xogħlijiet bil-lingwa oriġinali

Laqgħat mill-qrib mal-awturi 

Din is-sena hemm ukoll erba’ avvenimenti pubbliċi speċjali li se jsiru qabel il-festival u li għalihom ukoll id-dħul huwa b’xejn u miftuħ għal kulħadd. Barra minn hekk, matul il-ġimgħa tal-festival, l-awturi mistiedna jieħdu sehem f’laboratorju tat-traduzzjoni mmexxi minn Keith Borg u Nadia Mifsud li fih jittraduċu x-xogħlijiet ta’ xulxin biex imbagħad jaqraw uħud minnhom waqt il-Festival.

L-ewwel avveniment pubbliku ta’ qabel il-Festival b’intervisti mal-awturi dwar temi kurrenti se jsir il-Ħadd, 21 ta’ Awwissu, fit-8,00pm fi Spazju Kreattiv, fi Pjazza Kastilja, il-Belt. F’din il-laqgħa mal-pubbliku, “Leaning against the Edge,” il-poeta Rodolfo Häsler minn Kuba li jgħix Barċellona se jitkellem ma’ Jean Paul Borg dwar art twelidu u l-bidliet li għaddejja minnu, u dwar Spanja u r-reġjun tal-Katalonja.

It-tieni avveniment pubbliku se jkun laqgħa mill-qrib mal-awtur eklettiku minn Singapore Marc Nair, “Busy Telling Stories”, it-Tlieta 23 ta’ Awwissu fi Spazju Kreattiv ukoll. L-awtur se jiġi intervistat mis-soċjologa Anna Zammit dwar l-isfidi li tgħix fi gżira bħal Singapore u l-mudell ta’ żvilupp li sikwit huwa assoċjat magħha.

Fl-24 ta’ Awwissu se tittella’ sessjoni ta’ qari miftuħ għal kulħadd fis-sensiela tal-palk ħieles li fih se jieħdu sehem ukoll xi organizzaturi tal-festivals li huma wkoll awturi stabbiliti u se jkunu Malta għall-Festival. Waħda minn dawk il-kittieba hija Jennifer Williams ta’ Scottish Poetry Library.

Ir-raba’ attività se tkun it-tnedija minn Literature Across Frontiers ta’ sit tal-letteratura Kurda li se ssir fil-kappella li hemm fil-Piazza d’Armi tal-Forti Sant’Iermu l-Ġimgħa 26 ta’ Awwissu fis-7.00pm, qabel ma tibda t-tieni lejla tal-Festival. Dan l-avveniment se jitmexxa minn Alexandra Büchler, direttriċi tal-LAF, u fiha se jieħdu sehem l-awtur Ciwanmerd Kulek (il-Kurdistan/it-Turkija), Ezel Yilmaz (mid-Diyarbakir Arts Centre), u Monique Agius.

It-Tlitt Ijiem tal-Festival

Il-Ħamis 25 ta’ Awwissu se jaqraw ir-rumanziera Mark Vella u Ciwanmerd Kulek, u l-poeta Joe P. Galea, u warajhom, il-poetessa Iranjana Roja Chamankar se taqra x-xogħol tagħha u tiġi intervistata dwaru bl-Ingliż minn Nadia Mifsud. Il-mużika se tkun f’idejn Effie Azzopardi (trumbetta), Rafel Grima (drums), David Grech (kitarra), u Samwel Grima (kuntrabaxx). Il-Ħamis se jkun hemm ukoll il-preżentazzjoni tal-film ġdid “Meta tiġi MariRos” ta’ Martin Bonnici, imnebbaħ minn poeżija ta’ Lillian Sciberras, b’introduzzjoni ta’ Caldon Mercieca. Dan huwa proġett bi sħab bejn Inizjamed u l-Fondazzjoni Valletta 2018.

Il-Ġimgħa 26 ta’ Awwissu, se jieħdu sehem il-poeta u mużiċist Marc Nair, il-poetessa Maltija li tikteb bl-Ingliż Abigail Ardelle Zammit, u l-poeti Rodolfo Häsler u Abderrahim Sail (il-Marokk). Warajhom Daniel Massa se jaqra mix-xogħol tiegħu, l-aktar dak bil-Malti, u mbagħad wara jiġi intervistat bl-Ingliż minn Kenneth Wain.

Il-Ġimgħa se jintwerew tliet films qosra tal-poeżija bi sħab ma’ Highlight Arts u l-Oslo Internasjonale Poesifestival. Dawn huma “Pipene / The Pipes,” film Norveġiż ta’ Kristian Pedersen imsejjes fuq poeżija ta’ Øyvind Rimbereid li se jiġi ppreżentat fuq il-palk minn Birgit Hatlehol of Oslo internasjonale poesifestival, u żewġ films ta’ Yasmin Fedda, li se jippreżentahom Caldon Mercieca: “A Ghazal for the Tethered Goats“, poeżija ta’ Kei Miller, u “A Letter to My Mother in the Year 1980”, poeżija ta’ Miriam al Attar (trad. Nia Davies).

Is-Sibt 27 ta’ Awwissu se ssir il-preżentazzjoni tal-film ġdid i ta’ Gilbert Calleja u Matthew Attard imnebbaħ mill-poeżija “Tibqa’ Int” ta’ Ray Mahoney. Dan ukoll huwa frott tal-proġett bi sħab bejn Inizjamed u l-Fondazzjoni Valletta 2018. L-awturi li se jaqraw huma r-rumanziera Rita Saliba, il-poetessa Samantha Barendson, u r-rumanziera ta’ fama internazzjonali Elias Khoury, li se jiġi wkoll intervistat bl-Ingliż minn Norbert Bugeja. Il-mużika se tkun f’idejn Francesca Galea (vuċi) u Kris Spiteri (pjanu)

Minbarra xorb u ikel magħmul mill-ħanut Ġugar, matul il-Festival ikun hemm għall-bejgħ kotba magħmulin bl-idejn minn Glen Calleja, u kotba tal-awturi mistiedna għall-Festival.

Din it-12-il edizzjoni tal-Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta’ Malta, flimkien mal-laboratorju tat-traduzzjoni tal-Literature Across Frontiers, qed jittellgħu minn Inizjamed bħala parti mill-pjattaforma Literary Europe Live, ikkofinanzjat mill-programm Ewropa Kreattiva tal-UE, u kkordinat minn Literature Across Frontiers. Għadd ta’ organizzaturi ta’ festivals li bħal Inizjamed huma msieħba f’Literary Europe Live se jkunu Malta apposta biex jattendi l-edizzjoni ta’ din is-sena tal-Festival.

Minn din is-sena, sal-2019, il-Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta’ Malta qed jittella’ bi sħab mal-Kunsill Malti għall-Arti bħala parti minn ftehim ta’ tliet snin magħruf bħala Cultural Agreement Partnership. Inizjamed tixtieq tirringrazzja lill-Kunsill li qed jagħti l-appoġġ sħiħ tiegħu lil dan il-festival indipendenti.

Il-Festival qed jittella’ bl-għajnuna tal-Kunsill Malti għall-Arti, il-Fondazzjoni Valletta 2018, Heritage Malta, l-Għaqda tal-Malti – Università, Spazju Kreattiv, u Highlight Arts. Dan il-Festival ingħata rikoxximent internazzjonali permezz tat-timbru tal-EFFE Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe.

Id-dħul għall-attivitajiet kollha huwa bla ħlas. Hemm aktar tagħrif dwar il-festival fuq il-paġna ta’ Inizjamed u l-attività “Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2017” fuq Facebook.

It-tim tal-Festival

Il-voluntiera u l-awturi fl-edizzjoni tal-2015

It-tim li jorganizza l-Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta’ Malta huwa magħmul minn: Beverly Agius, Kit Azzopardi, Dorianne Bonello, Keith Borg, Jean Paul Borg, Norbert Bugeja, Elena Cardona, Antoine Cassar, Priscilla Cassar, Leanne Ellul, Claudia Gauci, Elizabeth Grech, Adrian Grima (koordinatur), Caldon Mercieca, John Paul Mifsud, Nadia Mifsud,  Justine Somerville, u Gianluca Spiteri, bl-għajnuna ta’ Alexandra Büchler, Immanuel Mifsud, Walid Nabhan, Pierre Portelli u Victoria Pisani.

Il-voluntiera tal-Għaqda tal-Malti – Università fl-edizzjoni tal-2015

Ħajr lill-voluntiera tal-Għaqda tal-Malti – Università tal-għajnuna imprezzabbli tagħhom waqt it-tlitt ijiem tal-Festival.

How writers are invited

How writers are invited to the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival

We’re often asked how we choose the writers we invite to read at our festival and writers or their agents often approach us to take part. Please bear in mind that it’s a small festival with a very particular format and build up. It’s not just a matter of climbing onto the stage to do your thing.

The crucial thing to keep in mind is that we do not solicit proposals from writers or their representatives to participate in the workshop and festival. We don’t mind being approached because that shows that writers are keen to get involved but we ask people to understand that it is the organizing team that approaches writers rather than the other way round. We’re very happy to meet and discuss the festival with those who attend even though they have not been invited to read themselves. The festival is the main thing we do at Inizjamed but we’re involved in other intiatives too and we’re happy to explore possible forms of collaboration with writers who approach us.

Please also keep in mind that we are (unpaid) volunteers and there is only so much we can do.

We look forward to meeting you at this year’s edition of the festival.

Adrian Grima (Inizjamed coordinator)