small states on un-certain stereotypes

interview to Marcelle Teuma and Claire Zerafa, Adrian Grima, Georgina Portelli - Inizjamed Association
Interview to Francis Zammit Dimech - Minister of Turism and Culture

Malta, La Valetta
April and August 2004/05

CLAIRE ZERAFA – We Maltese (but not our generation) are very superstitious. We believe in ghosts and spirits. There is a legend which says that once there was a young lady held against her will in a room in Verdala Palace at Buskett and she couldn’t take it anymore and threw herself from the window. They say they see her spirit and they refer to her as the Blue Lady, because she used to wear a blue dress.
MARCELLE TEUMA – One of our friends who is a member of Inizjamed was taking pictures of plaques scattered all over Malta that commemorate the victims of road accidents, because in Malta we have this custom of putting such plaques where fatal accidents happen in order to remember the victims. He was doing this research for a project of ours called Klandestini (Illegal migrants). So he took pictures and notes of each of these scores of plaques. But recently, when he was taking pictures of one of these plaques on a cliff side with his girlfriend, he said that a mysterious person appeared in front of him.
CZ – A black figure.
RITA CANAREZZA – What is the role of the voluntary association Inizjamed in the cultural environment of Malta?
ADRIAN GRIMA – Well, Inizjamed was created to fill a void.
The founders were mainly young writers who tried to create an environment in which they could work and develop into
better writers. What was happening until then was that many writers were going from one literary event to the other, but they were basically reproducing the work and styles that they had already presented. We wanted to create some kind of literary milieu that would help us develop as better writers and artists, to take our work forward. We wanted to create a more creative space for ourselves. And we managed. Apart from organizing events, we ran projects that would lead up to the event. We focused on the creative process, so the projects were more about discussing our work with each other, getting feedback, and running workshops with international, and sometimes local, writers. I must say that most of the support we got – and this is true also today – from foreign institutions and organizations. At the beginning we got lot of support from Arci in Italy, for example, the British Council, Unesco, and the European Union.
(interview extract)