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Literature Festival Malta 2014


Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2014
Thursday 4 | Friday 5 | Saturday 6 September 2014
Msida Bastion Historic Garden, FLORIANA. 8.00 pm
The IXth edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival organized by Inizjamed will be held on Thursday 4th, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th September, at the Msida Bastion Historic Garden, in FLORIANA, with the participation of Noria Adel (Algeria), Clare Azzopardi (Malta), Antoine Cassar (Malta), Marc Delouze (France), Abdulrazak Gurnah (UK), Walid Nabhan (Malta), Bel Olid (Catalonia), Tomaž Šalamun (Slovenia), Peter Semolic (Slovenia) Marlene Saliba (Malta), Giacomo Sferlazzo (Lampedusa) and Anna Szabó (Hungary).
Entrance to all events is free. Short poetry films from Reel Festivals, and one directed by Kenneth Scicluna on two poems by Doreen Micallef and sponsored by the foundation Valletta 2018 will be shown during the festival.
The writers will be in Malta throughout the first week of September to take part in the LAF Malta Literary Translation Workshop. They will be translating each other’s works into their languages, and reading some of these translations during the three nights of the festival.
Two exciting Maltese bands Plato’s Dream Machine (Thursday) and Kantilena (Friday and Saturday) will be playing music from the albums they have just released, respectively Għera and Senduq.
The Festival coincides with the First Annual Valletta 2018 International Conference on Cultural Relations in Europe and the Mediterranean that aims to address aspects of contemporary cultural relations in the Mediterranean in the framework of Valletta as European Capital of Culture (ECoC). It is being held in collaboration with the University of Malta. The conference on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th September 2014 will be held at the Valletta Campus of the University and the keynote speakers will be the celebrated Maltese historian Prof. Henry Frendo and Prof. Mostafa Hassani-Idrissi, who edited the manual on the Mediterranean as part of Marseille 2013. One of the speakers will be the author, singer songwriter and human rights activist from Lampedusa, Giacomo Sferlazzo.
Books in Maltese published by Inizjamed and edited by Clare Azzopardi and Albert Gatt, Klijenti Antipatiċi u Kapuċċini Kesħin and Għaraq Xort’Oħra will once again be on sale at the festival venue.
The festival and literary translation workshop are part of the Literature Across Frontiers initiative, which has played a crucial role in the setting up and development of the annual workshop and festival which are now in their ninth year.
The 2014 edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival and LAF (Literature Across Frontiers with Alexandra Büchler) workshop are being held in collaboration with Valletta 2018, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Reel Festivals, Institut Ramon Lull, the European Commission Representation in Malta, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Għaqda tal-Malti – Università, the Small Initiatives Scheme under the Voluntary Organisations Fund, and the Malta Arts Fund.
To read more about previous Malta Mediterranean Literature Festivals and Inizjamed, please visit: www.inizjamed.org
Also see Towards a strategy for Literary Exchange and Translation in the Euro-­Mediterranean Region in Malta 4 - 7 April 2013
In every festival, there are highlights. One of these moments came when Marc Delouze read his last poem called 'memoire'. In his brief introduction to the poem, he stated that there are inside of us memories we are not even conscious off, since these are the memories of the dead. It was a poem most appropriate for the location since a former cemetery with grave sites visible just behind the stage. *
Prior to reading that poem by standing on stage with a musical group accompanying him, he would sit amongst the audience at different locations to read his poems from there. It was magic: to see an empty stage and the voice coming from somewhere and yet only with time could he be detected sitting amongst the people who had come to listen to poetry and literary translations at their best in the warm evening air besides the port of Malta.
Then, one translator confessed that after having read the story of Bel Olid from Barcelona, he could not sleep. Strangely enough he went outside and took a newspaper to lie on as if an island of possible restless news. When he read the story, it became clear that Bel Olid had a strong voice with regards to what is happening to women. For the story describes a woman preparing meat balls. She is anxious since the husband may soon return home from work and he would be angry if the food is not ready on the table. In the room next door, the son is playing on the computer. Then the inevitable happens. The husband returns home earlier than expected but instead of being angry at her for not being ready, he goes up to her from behind and starts to rape her. While this is happening, and she bites into her finger till blood flows in which she tries to drown the pain while her other hand crushes the meat balls she was preparing, the boy in the room next door continues to play on the computer. Afterwards the man gives her a kiss on the cheeks and pulls up her pants underneath the skirt so as to let everything return to the resumption of normality. When discussing afterwards with the author what made her write such a story, she answered too much violence against women goes unnoticed. To underline this, she forwarded a poem of hers in which there lies an answer as to why many women remain silent after what happens to them all the time, and under which they suffer mostly for not speaking up in time.
There was the waiting and there was the fear.
The fear of waiting
and those long afternoons
when you knew
(you knew)
he’d come.
Every infinite gesture was repeated
in front of your eyes
now he’s taking your skirt off
now his moustache approaches
now he covers your mouth.
Infinite was the fear
and every ritual step
and every ounce of pain
and every time it had happened
was like an infinite film,
There was the waiting and there was the fear.
He sometimes
didn’t come.
Bel Olid

Note: there is an effort under way to create a Lit Hub in Malta thanks to the efforts of especially Alexandria Büchler of 'Literature Across Frontiers' which organised in 2013 a conference in Malta on Translation Strategies.


* Poem by Marc Delouze



tu portes en toi tant de passé

de vies que tu n’as pas vécues

en toi pourtant assassinées


je voudrais me souvenir mais ne me souviens pas

avec la pioche ébréchée de mes mots je creuse

dans le tuf mou de ma mémoire

parfois un éclat d’anthracite explose


le temps s'effondre plus personne

pour rechercher nos corps nos dépouilles

reconnaître nos restes



inhumés dans l'éternité

que nous n'avons pas


le monde remué

ne change pas

cogne au vide qui l'entoure


le monde est un objet mou

le monde n'est pas un signe

le monde ne se lit pas

ne se déchiffre pas


la ville hurle comme d'habitude.

la folie coule à flots continus dans les rues

les veines du Vésuve

ouvertes les ombres


la dernière chaleur


la cité nous avale nous recrache

nous vomit

nous errons

dans la nuit des temps liquides


alignés ces mots torches dans le noir

tenues à bout de bras

chaque pas une phrase




je voudrais me souvenir mais ne me souviens pas

avec la pioche ébréchée de mes mots je creuse

dans le tuf mou de ma mémoire

suant de désir

de rage

parfois un éclat d’anthracite siffle dans

le silence

le champ de mines du silence

la jambe gauche de la vie explose

futur estropié

haché l'horizon

le soleil loin

vers d’autres rivages

      pour d’autres visages



Traduction en Anglais du poème de Marc Delouze: Arraché


Première Traduction par Elise Billiard.






Torn out




you carry in you so much past


lives that you have not lived


in you however assassinated




I would like to remember but do not remember


with the chipped pickaxe of my words I dig


into the soft tuff of my memory


sometimes a splinter of anthracite blows up




time collapses no one anymore


to look for corpses, our skin


to recognize our remains


torn out




inhumed in eternity


which we have not




the stirred world


does not change


bangs against the void that surrounds it




the world is a soft object


the world is not a sign


the world is not read


is not deciphered




the town howls as usual.


madness flows incessantly through the streets


the veins of the Vesuvius


open the shadows




the last heat




the city swallows us spits us out


vomits us


we wander


in the liquid time immemorial




lined up these words torches in the dark


held at arm’s length


each step a phrase








I would like to remember but do not remember


with the chipped pickaxe of my words I dig


into the soft tuff of my memory


sweating of desire


of rage


sometimes a splinter of anthracite blows into


the silence


the minefields of silence


the left leg of life explodes


a future maimed


axed the horizon


the far away sun


towards other shores


for other faces.



Marc Delouze

Les Parvis Poétiques

01 42 54 48 70


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