The overarching title of the two events iwEU jien l-Ewropa, aħna l-Ewropa, plays on linguistic differences between the Maltese and English languages. In Maltese, the verb to be in the present tense is conjugated as just jien, aħna – i.e. I, we. As such iwEU refers to I am Europe/we are Europe which in Maltese is translated as jien l-Ewropa/aħna l-Ewropa.
Forum Valletta consists of provocations, reactions and discussion involving artists, cultural operators, critics, and politicians. As the heading Narratives of Governance, Narratives of the Public Sphere indicates, the Forum will look at how cultures, people, and cities (regions) function in relation to each other and how they impact on systems of governance which in turn determine the lives of people and the spaces/places they live in and how. Central to the Forum’s theme is Malta’s reality as an Island, a state, a region and how this impacts on the Island’s cultural, social, and political dimensions. Cultural narratives inform concepts of a united Europe. A Europe that feeds directly on the differences that constitute each nation, each region, each city, each individual. Seb Tanti Burlo, a political cartoonist and artist, will be sketching during the Forum and will present his work at the second of the two events, an exhibition curated by Fabrizio Mifsud Soler at the European Parliament in Brussels scheduled for 24–28 April 2017.
Key actors in the European cultural field have been invited to contribute to the Forum which will open with three provocations from historian and founder of the Notarial Archives Resource Council, Dr Joan Abela (Malta); theatre and performance scholar Prof. Christopher Balme from the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich (Germany; and Bernard Foccroulle, Artistic Director of the prestigious Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (France). The provocations will be followed by a series of reactions from Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona, Chair of the School of Performing Arts University of Malta and Nymand Christensen Deputy Director-General of the EU Commission DG for Education and Culture theatre. They will be joined representatives from A Soul for Europe – a European culture lobby group that implements concrete steps and conducts projects to ensure that Europe makes greater and better use of its cultural assets. These include theatre director Nele Hertling and author, music critic, and culture policy adviser Simon Mundy. The provocation and reaction sessions will be followed by an open debate for which the general public is invited to participate.
Around Forum Valletta, Simon Mundy form A Soul for Europe will conduct two fringe events. On 26 January at 16:30 a round-table with Maltese Arts Practitioners entitled The Role of the Arts in Times of Political Challenge will address how arts organisations can contribute to dampening a sense of European crisis. On 27 January at 18:30, Maltese poet Beverly Agius will join Simon Mundy for a poetry reading session. Both events will be held at Spazju Kreattiv, St James Cavalier, Valletta.
For more information log on to http://www.comodinicachia.com/iweu.html or call 21233600. Entrance to the iwEU events is free. Booking is as follows. To participate in Forum Valletta, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating in the email subject any of the following options: ‘Forum Valletta Debate’: if you want to participate in the Forum Valletta debate at the House of Representatives; ‘Forum Valletta Audience’: If you want to follow the debate as audience without direct participation. To participate in the fringe events led by Simon Mundy, send an email to Stefanie Bonnici at email@example.com.