Events
Welcome to Malta! The world’s first museum boat to dock in Valletta for The Art Explora Festival
The festival will take place over the course of 10 days!

Emma Galea

In collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv, the Art Explora Foundation will be organising a festival in Malta through its museum boat.

This festival will take place from March 21st to March 31st, 2024 and will be held at Xatt Pinto at the Valletta Waterfront. It will offer 10 days of free artistic and cultural programming on board and on the quayside.

The Art Explora Festival is a travelling festival on the world’s first museum boat, sailing across the Mediterranean Sea to bring visitors innovative artistic and cultural experiences free of charge.

This event marks the beginning of an extraordinary maritime journey across the Mediterranean the Art Explora Foundation, with Malta being the first of a series of captivating stops.

The foundation is a non-profit organisation set up to ensure widespread and international access to the arts. It is founded by its arts and culture patron Frédéric Jousset.

The Art Explora Festival will provide artists, exhibition curators, institutions, non-profit organisations and NGOs with the opportunity to reach out to all audiences around a festival whose content is rooted in the heritage of each country visited.

From spring 2024 to autumn 2026, the museum boat will travel to 15 countries around the Mediterranean.

President of the Art Explora Foundation, Frédéric Jousset, stated that “mobility and artistic creation are powerful tools for shifting perspectives, sharing images, and creating narratives. Boarding a boat is an experience in itself; it will be even more unique with the discovery on board and ashore of a unique artistic and cultural programme”.

art explora festival

Elisa von Brockdorff

The Chairperson of Fondazzjoni Kreattività, Rupert Cefai expressed that “by inviting participants to actively contribute to the artistic dialogue, the project empowers communities to express their unique perspectives and encourages a sense of ownership in the creation of shared cultural narratives”.

“As the museum boat travels from port to port and festival events are developed, it intricately threads together a diverse fabric of human experiences, showcasing the diversity of artistic expression while reinforcing the idea that, through art, we can find common ground that transcends differences”, he continues.

Daniel Azzopardi, the artistic director of Spazju Kreattiv, stated that the inaugural stopover of this festival in Malta aims to champion arts and culture across different communities.

“Utilising the Mediterranean as a platform for cultural exchange, this venture allows audiences to embrace the region's heritage while indulging in the richness of contemporary arts”, he explained.  

Designed by architects Axel de Beaufort and Guillaume Verdier and constructed at the Perini Navi shipyard in Italy, the museum boat measures 46.5 metres long and 55 metres high.

It can welcome up to 2,000 people on board each day and will host the immersive exhibition “Present” with the Louvre’s outstanding collaboration, highlighting female figures in Mediterranean civilisations.

The experience includes a film to be viewed on the aft deck and an immersive experience in the main gallery. On the upper deck, the visitors will embark on a Mediterranean soundscape designed by Centre Pompidou’s x Ircam.

The museum boat will be accompanied by a festival village on the quayside area presenting a programme of cultural events, which in the case of Malta is being developed by Spazju Kreattiv under the curation of Daniel Azzopardi. The programme is focused on the local and international art scene, featuring more than 30 initiatives and 55 activities addressing various topics relevant to the Mediterranean region.

As part of this festival, from March 22nd to 24th, a programme named ‘Ocean Weekends’ will be organised, whereby the audience is invited to a series of round tables, film screenings, and inspiring talks, gathering key speakers from the art and science worlds around the issue of ocean climate emergencies. Ocean Weekend will be co-curated with the Malta Biennale.

As part of its commitment to supporting contemporary creation, the festival also offers a programme of cross-residencies. The curators associated with the project invite artists, scientists, and researchers to participate in month-long residencies on board the boat and in another Mediterranean city.

The public is invited to attend this festival, which features a diverse array of events for the whole family. For more information, visit www.kreattivita.org.

19th February 2024


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as many films as she possibly can!

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