Young minds reflect on memory and identity in workshop

Another workshop for children aged 8 to 12 held in the run-up to the Malta Biennale
Children getting creative during the workshop. Photos: Pierre Balzia

Maltabiennale.art recently welcomed a group of students aged eight to 12 for a special workshop led by artists Anna Calleja and Chiara Cassar at Fort St Elmo in Valletta.

The 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touched upon the subjective lens of narrators, the significance of memory and perspective in art, intertwining historical references, and the importance of personal archives.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.

The young students with artists Anna Calleja and Chiara Cassar.

In addition to guiding the workshop, Calleja will be showcasing her art in the official maltabiennale.art installations. Her exhibit centres around the theme of the ‘Matri-archive of the Mediterranean’ and 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 maltabiennale.art. 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 heritage sites into exhibition spaces for the first time, including the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta, the Armoury in Vittoriosa and the megalithic temples of Ġgantija in Gozo.

Students used mixed-media techniques to create their own memory zine.

A series of engaging events, workshops and discussions are being organised in the lead up to the festival’s inauguration by President George Vella on March 12.

Keep up to date with the latest news and upcoming events linked to maltabiennale.art by following the official channels.

maltabiennale.art is a Heritage Malta initiative through MUŻA, the Malta National Community Art Museum, in partnership with Arts Council Malta. maltabiennale.art 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.

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