Public Forum on Malta's Cosmopolitan Identity

St. James Cavalier - Monday, 13 January, 2003


On Monday, 13 January, 2003, at 7pm, Inizjamed will be holding a public forum in Maltese as part of its ongoing “Bliet u Miti” artistic project in the Music Room of the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity. The forum will explore the cosmopolitan and urban aspects of the Maltese identity and the role of women and the Church in the shaping of the Maltese “imaginary”. Two short introductory presentations by anthropologist Dr. Mark-Anthony Falzon and historian Mr. James Debono will be followed by an open discussion. Entrance is free and the general public is cordially invited to attend.


In August Dr. Falzon presented a talk entitled “Can the Maltese Identity Be Cosmopolitan?” during a public event organized by Inizjamed in the old maritime city of Vittoriosa. The forum on January 13 will allow both the speaker himself and all those present to revisit the issues raised by that talk. Can the Maltese identity incorporate within it the cosmopolitanism that has been with us at least since the time of the Knights? Can a citizen of the world be also Maltese in the sense that s/he has an identity tied to a particular place and its story? Can a Maltese citizen be cosmopolitan without losing his or her Maltese identity?


Mr. James Debono will be relating the main findings of his M.A. thesis, "Women, the Sacred and the Inquisition (1678-1710): A study on female religious perceptions, values and  behaviour” to the rereading of the Maltese identity in terms of its cosmopolitan dimension. The central hypothesis of this dissertation is that the Catholic Reformation Church prescribed a new sort of behaviour for early modern women, that of the ‘devout wife’. Ideally women had to conform to both patriarchal and ecclesiastical hierarchies. In order to achieve this, the Church censored the activity of all those women who refused to submit to these hierarchies.


On March 25 and 26, 2003, at the St. James Cavalier Theatre, Inizjamed will be presenting a number of original literary works inspired by the theme of "solitude in the city" together with an original composition by young composer Karl Fiorini performed by some of Malta's leading musicians and actors. The works are by Clare Azzopardi, Stanley Borg, Norbert Bugeja, Priscilla Cassar, Bernard Cauchi, Claudia Fiorini, Maria Grech Ganado, and Simone Inguanez (in picture).


The forum will be chaired by Adrian Grima.


Publications by Inizjamed will be on sale during the evening. Entrance is free.


The papers by Dr. Falzon and Mr. Debono will be published by Inizjamed in March, 2003, in conjunction with the production, F'Kull Belt Hemm Kantuniera.


7 January, 2003


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