A flood of ideas


The first edition of Night of Ideas in Malta celebrated the collective in creation.

The French Embassy in Malta, in collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv, the Alliance Française de Malte-Méditerranée and the French Institute of Paris organized the very first Night of Ideas in Malta on Saturday March 12 at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta.

During the Night of Ideas, places of knowledge and culture around the world are invited to celebrate the free flow of ideas by offering conferences, screenings and artistic performances.

After two years punctuated by the coronavirus pandemic and its repercussions, the whole planet experiencing closed borders, confinement, suspended activities, another objective of the Night of Ideas was to take up the challenge of reconnecting together. One of the answers, particularly exemplified by artists and thinkers, has been given by the collectivity in creation.

During the first round table, Sandro Debono, cultural adviser to President George Vella, Dr Matthieu Quiniou, Laura Besançon, visual artist, as well as the host Margerita Pulè explored the notion of being an author within the framework of a creation collective: from a historical point of view, by questioning the notion of copyright through eras and geo-cultural areas, to the interactive and participatory creation of today.

Night of Ideas

Gaëtan Le Coarer, PhD student in digital arts, presented two VR projects on heritage in Valletta between the two round tables.

The second round table gave the floor to Caldon Mercieca, former head of the Valletta Design Cluster, Eugénie Drion, dancer and member of the NFT DoinGud platform, Lucie Duriez, deputy director of La Friche Belle de Mai in Marseille, and host Toni Attard, to discuss initiatives that share good co-creation practices.

Another highlight was the collaboration between Besançon and the French Embassy.

Born in 1993, Besançon is a Franco-Maltese multidisciplinary artist, holder of an MA from the Royal College of Art. Her practice includes photography, moving image, installation and participatory projects. At the heart of Besançon’s practice are notions of play, connectivity and place explored through a playful approach that often uses various communication tools as part of the process.

Besançon took part in the Nuit des Idées with its project “Alone, together”. Her participation followed an invitation from the French Embassy – and she participated not only as a speaker, but also through an artistic residency, shared with the Egyptian musician Yunis. During a full creative week organized by the Spazju Kreattiv, they explored traditional Egyptian mythologies, rituals and material culture – in particular the use of archaic and anthropomorphic dolls as a practice during rituals. The result of their research took the form of a performative, participatory and public installation entitled “I will make you a wife”.

After this exciting collaboration with the French Embassy, ​​Besançon applied for an artistic residency program in Paris, at the Cité Internationale des Arts – she was selected with the continuation of her work in progress “Seul, Ensemble”. With the support of the French Embassy and the French Institute in Paris, Besançon will spend three months in the French capital, to deepen his artistic research and connect to a whole Parisian and French artistic network. Besançon is the first Maltese beneficiary of this programme.

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