Photo Captions: Angele Galea (artistic director, More or Less Theatre), and students of Kulleġġ San Ġorġ Preca Primarja Valletta presenting their findings gathered during an audit in Valletta, and, Marlene Dattoli (representative, University of Malta, Malta Chamber of Scientists) chatting with a student about the project Vuċijiet Beltin.
A creative project titled "Vuċijiet Beltin" (Voices of Valletta) was unveiled on 12 May 2023 at the Kulleġġ San Ġorġ Preca Primarja Valletta, led by Angele Galea (artist and artistic director of More or Less Theatre). This project aims to celebrate the diverse voices and aspirations of Valletta's residents, offering a platform for their underrepresented perspectives.
The event began with the headmistress, Ms Victoria Spiteri, expressing gratitude to all stakeholders present for their support in bringing this community-centred project to life. Students then presented their findings from an audit conducted with the assistance of the EkoSkola team. The event also featured speeches from Mayor Alfred Zammit, Commissioner for Children Antoinette Vassallo, Dr Wendy Jo Mifsud (lecturer at the University of Malta), Isaac Delmar (representative of the St Dominic Theatre group), and Marlene Dattoli (representative of the University of Malta and Malta Chamber of Scientists), who emphasised the significance of community projects and showcased the Science in the City Festival's efforts to support the local community and encourage youths to pursue STEM careers.
The "Vuċijiet Beltin" project has been driven by a dedicated team of artists, educators, and community leaders, empowering Valletta's youth to become more engaged citizens through artistic expression. Guided by teachers Ms Whitney Maria Mintoff and Ms Romina Obidimalor Munro, the students identified relevant topics from their curriculum and embarked on a journey to explore Valletta's rich history.
Under the guidance of Ms Elizabeth Agius and Ms Audrey Gauci from EkoSkola, the children conducted an audit in Valletta, engaging with residents, workers, and tourists to gather their perspectives on what they liked about the city and the changes they wished to see.
The next phase of the project involves transforming the children's ideas into a theatrical performance scheduled for September at the specially prepared St Dominic Theatre. The collaboration with the St Dominic Theatre Group, a local amateur drama ensemble, ensures that the production captures the aspirations and realities of the Valletta community. Workshops on scriptwriting and acting led by award-winning script writer Malcolm Galea, along with the involvement of designers James Dimech and Sean Briffa (proficient in upcycling and sustainability), further enrich the project. The final performance will take place during the highly anticipated Science in the City Festival, offering the Valletta local community a platform that has been developed over ten years, bringing together researchers and artists in Malta's capital annually.
The project is backed by the Arts Council Malta and the Valletta Cultural Agency.
The "Vuċijiet Beltin" project extends its gratitude to Prof. Alan Deidun from the Department of Biology for sharing insights on sea pollution, Antoine Gatt for demonstrating the beauty and effectiveness of roof gardens, and Dr Wendy Jo Mifsud for her expertise in discussing urban design, public spaces, and the importance of incorporating greenery in planning.
Special thanks are also extended to Commissioner for Children Ms Vassallo for her support in facilitating the children's expressions, as well as to the headmistress Ms Victoria Spiteri, who embraced the project from its inception.