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open call Artist Residency at the Oncology Centre in San Gwann

19 Aug

Open Call SAMOC

Very pleased to announce that as part of the 3 year residency programme Deep Shelter Project taking place at the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre (SAMOC), the Valletta 2018 Foundation now launched a call for an immersive Artist-in-Residence experience.

The residency will take place at the centre between January 2018 and February 2018 and will run for 6 weeks.

It will be a unique experience giving you the opportunity to work with passionate professionals.

The successful artist will create a site-specific work for the Oncology Centre and will work closely with project coordinator and artist in residence Pamela Baldacchino, as well as Dr Benna Chase, Principal Psychologist at SAMOc

The call is open until 14 September 2017.

More information on the residency and the way to apply can be found here

At the crossroads of cultures and people. The Valletta 2018 Artist in Residence programme

16 Jun

Interartive an online platform for contemporary art and thought dedicated its latest issues to the cultural scene of  Malta.  I’m now working on the Valletta 2018 residencies for about one year and a half now, so this seemed an excellent opportunity to write about it.  It is work in progress of course, but is an exciting and rich experience.

The article focusses on past residence of the Gozo programme, which Valletta 2018 Foundation together with Spazju Kreattiv. As you can read the ongoing programme of Gozo residencies already resulted in surprising encounters.

But a part from the Gozo residencies we were also able to set up residencies in unexpected places such as the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre and in the new Interactive Science Centre. The first run by Pamela Baldacchino (Deep Shelter) started mid-2016, and connects art with healing and has evolved a lot. The video’s made by Tim Lewis give an impression of what is developed at SAMOC. The second one, Esplora AiR, brings arts and science together and will start in 2018.

Furthermore scholars/creative/activists/designers in residence are connected to the Design4DCity project, where the common and the liveability a city or space are central.

Each of which thrives on collaboration both on an international and national level, thus when Valletta 2018 comes to an end, the relations build in the years towards the cultural capital year will hopefully lead into a sustainable result afterwards, and has added a strong dimension to a creative and dynamic place of encounters in the Mediterranean.

Enjoy also reading the other articles in the issue and have a look at the online exhibition by Deema Shahin 

Malta Land of Sea

27 Feb

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At present the exhibition Malta Land of Sea is taking place at BOZAR in Brussel. This event is part of the Cultural calendar of Malta’s Presidency to the EU. Malta Land of Sea showcases the rich cultural diversity and cultural heritage of the Islands in the middle of the Mediterranean, and illustrates the complex dialogue between land and sea. If you are in Brussels go and see it. The visit might possibly trigger you to visit Malta because of its rich culture and its specific place in the Mediterranean sea.

I was honoured to write with Paul Dujardin a more cultural policy orientated article about Malta for the catalogue. We moved to Malta about 17 months ago and realised that a lot was going on here.  In ‘A Fresh Maltese Breeze‘ I tried to pin down the current cultural dynamics one recognises when visiting the the Maltese Islands today.

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mapping accessibility in the Biccerija area

16 Dec

Last week residents and participants of Design4DCity came together to pilot the “mapping for change” – project run by Wendy Jo Mifsud and Antoine Zammit (Build Environment – University of Malta) and in collaboration with Valletta 2018 Foundation. The project wants to empower residents and visitors to share important information about daily challenges and opportunities in Malta’s capital city. As urban planners/designers one can have a broad idea of these issue, but only the ones living in the area can provide you with the right information. The pilot looked at possibilities/opportunties of how to engage people. The online map is very user-friendly, but we realized that for some the online tool might be a barrier, therefore it is good to have alternatives to proceed the online work, which could be a consultation session or like we did, take time to do a paper mapping first. The paper mapping focussed on pedestrian and vehicular accessibility in the Biccerija area.  I had the honour to guide the paper mapping session for which I used the MAP-it tools developed by my former colleagues of the  Social Spaces research group. This mapping tool can be fine-tuned to every situation. One can mix labels/text and icons to trigger discussion and ideas through simple task/questions.  The results of this session where then later implemented on the online map.  As such the paper session complemented perfectly the online map. But the mapping has just started. All online input is welcome to give planners and designers a beter insight of what a liveable city needs to be.

The GLID method: Moving from design features to underlying values in co-design

23 Sep

This paper where I acted as a co-author is now online and can be downloaded for free till the end of November at science direct.

In this paper, we present the GLID method to integrate verbal, material and other co-design outcomes in a structured and coherent analysis. GLID aims to increase internal rigor and transparency in Participatory Design practices and wants to go beyond the surface level of ideas, by identifying participants’ values embedded in co-design outcomes. We discuss GLID’s theoretical groundings in multimodality and a values-led approach to Participatory Design, and present a case study with primary school children. This case study demonstrates how the different stages of the GLID method can be applied in practice. Based on the case study, we reflect on how GLID contributes to a holistic, situated and more empathic understanding in co-design practices.

One year in Malta – A year in pictures

21 Sep

this year has been a roller coaster … up to the next ones. #ACM #Valletta2018 #UoM #MaKS #Friends #Colleagues #Artistisayearinpicturescollage_193

Lecture on Arts Education for the MRER

18 Dec

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The lecture was part of the MRER (Malta Review of Educational Research) Lecture Series in collaboration with Edukarti (Art Education organisation based at Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education, Faculty of Education, University of Malta). It focused on the role of Arts Educators in a changing society and their influence on Higher Arts Education.  This is in fact a topic that continuously offers debate between arts educators and art practitioners. Artists are becoming educators, facilitators, researchers and inspirers not just in schools but also in socio-cultural, business and community settings. So which challenges lie ahead of us as lecturers and what implications do these challenges have on the training of Arts Educators as we prepare them for these new roles?

The topic is analysed starting from this year’s winner of the Turner prize since for me this nicely sums up what it is about. From there the reflections tapped into my  own challenges and experiences in higher arts education over the last couple of years.

You can find the slides of the presentation AECS