The Maltese abroad: this exhibition shines a spotlight on the Maltese migrant experience
In Latitude 36, artist and filmmaker Charlie Cauchi is placing the Maltese diaspora at the heart of an upcoming exhibition, experiential performances and a film!
“There are more Maltese abroad than in Malta,” artist and filmmaker Charlie Cauchi says and, indeed, it is no secret that the islanders from this small rock in the Mediterranean have travelled and made roots far from these shores. Over the next few months, Charlie will be shining a spotlight on their lives, loves and losses in Latitude 36, a project made in collaboration with Valletta 2018 and consisting of an exhibition, various experiential performances and even a film, which will be premiering at this year’s Valletta Film Festival. In her work, she examines: what does it mean to be a migrant? And, fundamentally, what does it mean to be a Maltese migrant?
Ali Tollervey / Charlie Cauchi
The exhibition, which kicks off at the end of next month and will run from 29 June to 14 July at Blitz in Valletta, will seek to reflect upon Malta’s migration history, through an assortment of artworks in various media, ranging from photography, soundscapes, built structures and moving images. The physical architecture of Blitz – housed in a traditional Maltese townhouse – will be integral to the work, with each room in the gallery telling a different story of migration.
Ali Tollervey / Charlie Cauchi
And, the migratory experience is also at the centre of experiential work, which is open to the public and which will take place at the beginning of July. A call of participants has recently been made by Valletta 2018 for all those who want to get involved in Walking:Holding, a performance where one audience member at a time walks through a town taking the hands of people along the way, with the aim of breaking down barriers of difference and prejudice.
Walking:Holding / Charlie Cauchi
But there’s so much more in store in this wide-ranging and thoughtful set of performances and artistic work. Over the next few weeks, head to the Pub in Valletta to experience the award-winning performance art duo Sh!t Theatre – aka Becca and Louise – who will be talking about home and what that means; in July, watch out for Bubble Schmesis, consisting of intimate and personal true stories about identity and belonging. And, in two weeks’ time, on Friday 15 June, Charlie’s film, From Malta to Motor City, filmed in Detroit, will premiere at the Valletta Film Festival and will let us into the lives of Eleno ‘Leno’ Sammut and the heart and soul of the Maltese migrants in this former manufacturing hub.
The Latitude 36 exhibition will take place from 29 June to 14 July at Blitz; Walking:Holding will run on 6 July, from 6.30–9.30pm and on Saturday 7 July, from 3–9pm; Bubble Schmesis takes place on Monday 9 July & Tuesday 10 July, from 7–9pm; the performance begins 7.30pm. The premier from Malta to Motor City will take place on 15 February as part of the Valletta Film Festival.