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Young minds reflect on memory and identity in special workshop

When kicks off on March 13, 2024, it will welcome people from all walks of life to enjoy a series of thought-provoking artworks showcased at some of Malta and Gozo’s renowned heritage sites. Beyond the visual spectacle, is encouraging visitors to encounter art as a medium for reflecting on the meaning and value of heritage, cultural identity, and personal history, prompting a deeper questioning of the influences that have shaped our present over many centuries.

In this spirit, warmly welcomed a group of students aged 8 to 12 for a special workshop. Led by local artists Anna Calleja and Chiara Cassar, the workshop explored the construction of personal identity, providing an opportunity for young minds to engage in a creative and reflective experience within the inspiring surroundings of Fort St Elmo.

In the session, students explored memory and identity through the lens of Calleja’s matriarchal archive installation. Inspired by her work, students crafted a personal memory-zine and collaborated on rewriting the narrative of women’s history in Malta. Discussions touched upon the subjective lens of narrators, the significance of memory and perspective in art, intertwining historical references, and the importance of personal archives. Through individual and collaborative efforts, students used mixed-media techniques to create their own memory-zine, serving as a tangible art piece to inspire further exploration of memory and identity through art in the future.

In addition to guiding the workshop, Calleja will be showcasing her art in the official installations. Her exhibit, centres around the theme of the “Matri-archive of the Mediterranean.” The piece delves into her personal archives to unearth stories and artefacts reflecting the essence of femininity and matriarchy within the broader context of Mediterranean identity and post-colonial contexts.

Calleja is among a diverse group of international and local artists already in Malta, finalising their installations for the upcoming As the 20 national and thematic pavilions reach the final stages of construction, Malta is welcoming a convergence of 80 artists from 23 countries. Together, they will be showcasing their work under the theme of “White Sea Olive Groves,” transforming many prestigious heritage sites into exhibition spaces for the first time, including the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta, the Armoury in Birgu, and the megalithic temples of Ġgantija in Gozo.

A series of engaging events, workshops, and discussions will be organised in the lead up to the festival’s inauguration by His Excellency the President of Malta, Dr. George Vella during a special ceremony to take place in the Throne Room of the Grandmaster’s Palace on March 12. Under the patronage of His Excellency the President of Malta and UNESCO, the festival has already gained recognition on the global stage for 2024, catching the attention of international press like The Guardian and Art Review, among others. Keep up to date with the latest news and upcoming events linked to by following the official channels. is a Heritage Malta initiative through MUŻA, the Malta National Community Art Museum, in partnership with Arts Council Malta. is also presented in cooperation with the Ministries for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, and Gozo, as well as with Visit Malta, Malta Libraries, MCAST, Festivals Malta, Valletta Cultural Agency and Spazju Kreattiv. With the participation of Malta School of Art, AUM, ŻfinMalta, KorMalta, Teatru Manoel, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Franco La Cecla, IULM University, Milan, Department of Humanities Studies, Faculty of Arts and Tourism, Underwater Department Heritage Malta, Archaeological Department Heritage Malta and Maritime Museum Heritage Malta. is online:
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This press release has been provided by Heritage Malta.

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