Dr Norbert Bugeja has recently been invited by the University of Carthage to deliver the plenary address for the ‘Other Times, Other Spaces’ conference hosted by the Department of English within the university’s Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis. In his presentation, Dr Bugeja spoke about author Hisham Matar's perspectives on the city of Siena through Matar’s preoccupations with the question of the absent forebear, the aesthetics of grief, finality and finitude, and the longer work of memory.
Following his participation at the conference, Dr Bugeja gave a poetry recital at the Centre Culturel International de Hammamet. Dr Bugeja recited his poetry together with major Tunisian poet Moëz Majed, in an event moderated by acclaimed broadcaster and presenter Emna Louzyr, followed by a discussion with simultaneous interpretation by Adam Ajroudi at a well-attended event co-ordinated by cultural director Taher ben Ahmed. Emna Louzyr read various poems written originally in French by Majed as well as a number of Bugeja’s poems translated into French by Irene Mangion.
The reading also featured two of Bugeja’s poems, taken from his most recent Maltese collection ‘Insa li Mhijiex Hawn’ (Klabb Kotba Maltin, 2021), that have been translated into the Arabic and recited by translator Jamel Jlassi. The event received promotion on national radio station Radio Tunis Chaîne Internationale (RTCI), and was covered by cultural journalist Kamel Hleli in the major Tunisian daily La Presse (Essahafa).
Dar Sébastien, as it is commonly known, is one of the most prestigious cultural venues in Tunisia, with an intricate history of cultural, political and even military associations — it has been fêted by Frank Lloyd Wright, home to Winston Churchill while writing his memoirs in Hammamet, visited by Andre Gide, Guy de Maupassant and Gustave Flaubert, and also requisitioned by General Rommel as his headquarters during the Second World War.