“It has been a beautiful experience, which has led me to meet and interview colourful personalities."
Sam Farrugia, student journalist.
Valletta has been European Capital of Culture for almost a year. In this series of articles we look at the impact has it had on the people involved – the artists, the visitors, and the people of Malta.
Sam Farrugia, a student at the University of Malta, has been reporting on the Capital of Culture all year on the British Council’s Capturing Valletta programme. His pieces have featured on our website and in The Times of Malta.
"The Valletta 2018 Capital City of Culture is finally coming to an end. Throughout this long year, our capital city and our islands have hosted many cultural events aimed at putting Valletta on the international map and feeding cultural inspiration into our lives.
"Throughout the year I have been covering and writing articles about the events of Valletta 2018. It has been a beautiful experience, which has led me to meet and interview colourful personalities. I have met artists with very interesting ideas which they applied in Malta’s cultural setting.
"Despite not being an expert critic of art and culture, I found myself drawn in by the stories these international performances and art installations told. They were so different from what I am used to in Malta. They included tales of expats, delivered by Sh!t Theatre, which cast light on how some foreigners viewed Malta at first sight. There was the Altofest project, which enabled citizens to host international artists in their houses, and which saw artists integrate with Maltese society in a very meaningful way, despite their short stays. I was also struck by the international atmosphere in the screenplay writing workshops taught by Brad Birch.
"As I walk across the old part of Zejtun, outward signs of Valletta 2018 are evident. There is the shape of Teatru Malta, with its updated, crisp logo and rich purple banners. Teatru Malta is just one organisation which benefited from the influx of money and attention which Valletta 2018 brought with it.
"I hope that institutions like Teatru Malta continue to produce work that will remind people of the aims and spirit of Valletta 2018. I hope this will go deeper than the logos and banners – and that Valletta 2018 earns a place in Malta’s history books."