Gżejjer and Kevin MacNeil in Malta
Il-proġett "Gżejjer" u Kevin MacNeil
The "Gżejjer" project
young Scottish writer Kevin
who placed first in the 2000 edition of the prestigious Tivoli Prize
for Young European Poets, will be in Malta between 26 and 31 July for
a series of workshops in creative writing, for a public discussion on
cultural identity and for a poetry reading.
MacNeil will take part in the literary performance “Gżejjer”
organized by Inizjamed on 31 July as part of the summer cultural
festival Evenings on Campus held at the University of Malta.
Kevin MacNeil has been invited to Malta by Inizjamed in collaboration
MacNeil has extensive experience
in leading writing workshops and has read his work at a great many venues
in a number of countries. He is a founder member of the trip-hop poetry
band Tomorrowscope. His work has
been translated into 10 languages. MacNeil is currently completing a
MacNeil has extensive experience in leading writing workshops and has read his work at a great many venues in a number of countries. He is a founder member of the trip-hop poetry band Tomorrowscope. His work has been translated into 10 languages. MacNeil is currently completing a novel.
Cultural Identity - Public Discussion
Friday 27 July at 8.00pm, Kevin MacNeil will take part in a public
session on the promotion of cultural identity and he will talk about
his initiatives in this field. He holds a Masters in Scottish
Ethnology and writes both in English and Gaelic, the Scottish native
language. This public debate will be held at the Bay Street Theatre in
on Campus -
Evenings on Campus - Gżejjer
On Tuesday 31 July, at 8.45pm, Kevin MacNeil will be the main guest in a literary performance inspired by the theme "Islands". Those who would like to submit their unpublished literary works are to send them directly to Inizjamed at firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 June; the organizers will them choose those that will be read on the night. The performers will be actors Marcelle Teuma and Ray Calleja, percussionist Renzo Spiteri, saxophone player who studied classical saxophone in Lyons and Poitiers for five years Joseph Vella, singer songwriter Walter Micallef, and singer Nadine Axisa.
four literary workshops, lasting between two and two-and-a-half hours,
will be held every morning between Friday 27 July and Monday 30 July;
sessions start at 9.30am. These will not be discussion sessions,
or lectures but literally workshops in which the participants, not
more than 15 people, will train their writing and discuss their works
with Kevin MacNeil and the other participants.
is proving to be a very busy year for Kevin. In early June he will be
travelling to Colombia to take part in the International
Poetry Festival of
and he has had to turn down an invitation to visit Romania.
, and he has had to turn down an invitation to visit Romania.
Kevin MacNeil's publications include the prize-winning book of poetry, Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate, 1998) and Be Wise Be Otherwise (Canongate, 2001), a book which MacNeil himself has described as "a semi-serious and semi-funny book of thoughts, ideas, suggestions and advice."
He has edited a number of publications, including Wish I Was Here, "a book of poems by Scots of bicultural and/or bilingual background, i.e. Gaels, Asian-Scots, etc." According to MacNeil "it has lots of specially-commissioned photographs and a free c.d. too." It is a book which "might fit in well to the general notion of cultural identity" to be discussed on Friday 27 at the Bay Street Theatre. He has also edited A Little Borderless Village/Baile Beag Gun Chrìochan, which includes a wide selection of English and Gaelic poetry, song, drama, fiction and reminiscences from all over the Highlands.
Kevin has also written the first draft of a novel and scripts for films and documentaries. His works have been translated in 10 languages; during the "Gżejjer" evening, the first translations of his works into Maltese will be read in public.
Kevin MacNeil was born on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and now lives on the Isle of Skye.
Kevin MacNeil, an internationally published writer of poetry,
prose and drama who placed first in the 2000
edition of the prestigious Tivoli Prize for Young European Poets, will be
in Malta between 26 and 31 July 2001. Kevin MacNeil has been invited to
Malta by Inizjamed in collaboration with the British Council.
In Malta, MacNeil will lead a series of four workshops in creative writing at the MITP in Valletta and he will take part in a public discussion on cultural identity at the Bay Street Theatre on Friday 27 July and a literary performance called “Gżejjer” (Islands) on 31 July at the University of Malta as part of the Evenings on Campus summer festival.
and Rock Stars
MacNeil (in Gaelic Caoimhin MacNèill)
was born on the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis (Scotland) and and
writes in English and Gaelic. He was educated at the Nicolson Institute,
University of Edinburgh and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. He is the first person
from Scotland to win the prestigious Tivoli Europa Giovani International
Poetry Prize. He is currently living on the Isle of Skye, where he is
employed as the inaugural Iain Crichton Smith Writing Fellow (writer in
residence for the Highlands area of Scotland). He is a founder member of
the trip-hop poetry band Tomorrowscope.
His work has been translated into 10 languages.
Despite his young age, MacNeil is an experienced creative writing tutor and he has taught writing skills all over the UK to people of all backgrounds and ages. He is a performer of poetry and prose readings who has read in a number of countries and venues from a small bookshop to the Royal Festival Hall, from a tiny café to an Italian amphitheatre. He has also read at many festivals including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Clerkenwell Literary Festival, the Ledbury Poetry Festival, and the Brighton Do Tongues Festival. He has toured Ireland on the Cuairt Nam Bàrd poetry and music tour and has already read in the US, Canada, and Colombia this year.
In June MacNeil was invited to Colombia to take part in one of the world's most important poetry festivals. The two-week International Poetry Festival of Medellin, funded by the Colombian Promoteo organisation, was set up to give hope to a people whose lives are tainted by violence, drugs and corruption. MacNeil is the only Scottish poet invited to join the best poets from five continents spreading a message of hope.
is a huge honour for me," said MacNeil. "This festival shows
just how poetry can make a difference to people's lives. Many tens of
thousands of people attend the festival, which proves how meaningful it is
to them. In a statement published before his departure for Colombia,
MacNeil stated that he loves and was “looking forward to a memorable and
life-enriching fortnight. It is very inspiring to me as a writer that
poetry has the strength to bring people together in this way and generate
a lasting optimism."
The festival came into
being in 1991 and has hosted the finest poets from 67 countries, including
Nobel Prize winning writers. According to the festival's director, Fernando
Rendon: "The festival arose
from a proposal to overthrow the wall of terror and fear imposed by the
internal feuds of our country. Among other things, poetry is an act of
profound communication. When this communication occurs in a community,
very strong connections are possible: it's a ritual in which people's
dreams and hopes are shared as well as their deepest and most pressing
On his return to Scotland, MacNeil described his visit to Colombia as “unforgettable - an incredible experience.” People are “beautiful and friendly” and “poets are treated like rock stars in Colombia - on Sunday 10 June I read to 10,000 people in an amphitheatre. They shower you with presents after each reading e.g. flowers, rings, bracelets, etc.”
the Poet Stereotype
In the fields of television and film, he wrote and presented a special feature about the arts in Scotland for the BBC television programme “Eorpa”; he designed, researched, shot, directed and edited a weekly strand on a children’s programme; he has researched, translated scripts (with suggested improvements), operated puppet and assistant floor managed on a pre-school children’s programme; and he has played the lead male role in a groundbreaking Gaelic short film. He has also appeared in an Italian film and a Gaelic drama and many times on television (BBC 2, STV, Grampian) either to promote his work or to discuss literature. He wrote and presented a radio programme about Gaelic poetry for Radio Scotland and was commissioned to write a story for BBC Radio Nan Gaidheal for the millennium, which was broadcast in December 1999.
Kevin MacNeil’s publications include his prize-winning book of poetry Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate Books 1998); Wish I Was Here (ed. by Kevin MacNeil and Alec Finlay, Pocketbooks 2000), a book of poems by Scots of bicultural and/or bilingual background, like Gaels and Asian-Scots, with a large number of specially-commissioned photographs and a free c.d.; Baile Beag Gun Chrìochan/A Little Borderless Village (ed. by Kevin MacNeil, Highland Council 2000); Dalle Ebridi A Malta (main contributor, Sensibili alle Foglie 2000); Be Wise Be Otherwise (Canongate Books, Summer 2001), a book which MacNeil himself describes as "a semi-serious and semi-funny book of thoughts, ideas, suggestions and advice"; Singing for the Blue Men (forthcoming), a novel; and The Collected Stories of Iain Crichton Smith (ed. By Kevin MacNeil - Birlinn Publications, summer 2001).
to my work have been - so far, gratifyingly favourable!” writes MacNeil.
“I had no idea what kind of reaction Love and Zen in the Outer
Hebrides would get when it was first published. Obviously I hoped it
would do well. It was not particularly widely reviewed, but it has sold
very well - mainly due to word of mouth and I'm pleased about that. I find
it amusing - but not surprising - that its greatest recognition has come
from another country. I'm quite sure that there are people who do not like my work.
Gaels, for example, can be very traditional and there are some people who
do not like Gaelic poetry unless it is in a traditional, singable form.
But I want to add to the Highland literary tradition, not rely on it.”
his latest book, Be Wise Be Otherwise (Canongate, 2001), what
MacNeil describes as a “very
different book to Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides, a semi-serious and semi-funny book of
thoughts, ideas, suggestions and advice”,
this is what Michael Palin, ex-Monty Python, has to say: "I
don't know if it's his living in the Outer Hebrides that does it, but
Kevin MacNeil's work gives me that good bracing feeling you get from
exposure to the elements. It has a freshness that sharpens and
invigorates. He can be crisp and cool, and funny and warm, but he always
hits the spot."
More information about Kevin MacNeil and his works and about his public commitments in Malta are available from the Inizjamed website at www.inizjamed.cjb.net. One can also write to email@example.com.
Scotland's National Newspaper online
Zen and the art of poetry
If anyone out there is still indulging in that somewhat
pointless debate of a few years ago as to whether poetry - à la Lachlan
Young - was the new rock’n’roll, Kevin MacNeil can confirm that it is;
but you have to go to Colombia. The Lewis-born poet, currently based in
Portree, Skye, as Iain Crichton Smith writing fellow with Highland
Council, recently returned from the ten-day International Poetry Festival
at Medellin, in a country more associated with drugs-fuelled shootings and
kidnappings than international literary celebrations.
Tuesday, 10 July 2001
Publications by Kevin MacNeil
The collection of poetry Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides marks the arrival of a major new talent in Scottish poetry. Kevin MacNeil’s voice and vision, while rooted in the Hebridean islands, is open to a wide range of cultures, not only those of Scotland — from Gaeldom to urban Scotland — but to the wider European and American mind and, through his interest in Zen Buddhism, to Japanese and Chinese culture.
astonishing freshness and versatility, MacNeil’s poetry creates powerful
connections and new combinations — he has wit as well as feeling, a
powerful sense of the past and the local while being resolutely turned
towards the future and the cross-cultural.
don't know if it's his living in the Outer Hebrides that does it, but
Kevin MacNeil's work gives me that good bracing feeling you get from
exposure to the elements. It has a freshness that sharpens and
invigorates. He can be crisp and cool, funny and warm, but he always hits
Be Wise Be Otherwise is a book of delightful and inspiring ideas, thoughts and suggestions that may enhance (or subvert) your appreciation of art, contemporary culture, and yourself. This small gift of a book which is as humorous as it is profound, is filled with one- or two-liners which read, in unison, like a long, enriching and delightful poem.
“Should all quaintness be forgot?”
“Let all flattery fall flat.”
“Send a letter of thanks (or commiseration) to someone who has influenced you.”
“Indulge in diversions. Throw away the road map.”
“Consider the reason most Western men in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s wore hats.”
“Multi-voiced, entertaining, thought-provoking, readable, different.” The List
"The richness of this book lies in MacNeil’s ability to bring together a variety of cultural traditions and allow them to enlighten each other. . . the range of command, from prose to haiku, is beautifully managed, and the best poems, like ‘Elegy’, ramify and gather like a Hebridean sunset.” English Studies
“Kevin MacNeil knows how to entertain, as well as stimulate the reader.” The Scotsman
“. . . this is challenging, appealing poetry by a new-generation Gael who sees the satellite as well as the moon reflected in the loch.” The Herald (on Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides)
Wish I Was Here (Polygon
by Kevin MacNeil
(Editor), Alec Finlay (Editor) List
Price: $11.95 Category: Literature &
Addressing themes of identity, culture, language and creativity in contemporary Scotland, this anthology uncovers the common experience of poets from diverse backgrounds and explores each poet's heritage in personal terms. Although emphasizing Gaelic, Shetlandic and Asian poets, this anthology presents a heterogeneous mix of poetic styles.
Date: Tuesday 22 May 2001
Brings Message of Hope to Colombia
Scottish poet Kevin MacNeil - Highland Council's, Cultural and Leisure Services's, Iain Crichton Smith Bilingual Fellowship Officer will travel to Colombia next week to take part in one of the world's most important poetry festivals.
The two-week International Poetry Festival of Medellin, funded by the Colombian Promoteo organisation, was set up to give hope to a people whose lives are tainted by violence, drugs and corruption.
Lewis-born Kevin MacNeil is the only Scottish poet invited to join the best poets from five continents spreading a message of hope.
Cllr Allan Beaton, Chairman of Highland Council's Gaelic Working Group said:
"The work of the Fellowship in conjunction with our Library Service, is
giving residents within the Highlands a real opportunity to develop their
creative writing skills in both Gaelic and English. We wish Kevin every
success, as he will be an ambassador for the Highlands and for Scotland."
"This is a huge honour for me," said MacNeil, whose book Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides last year won the prestigious Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize.
festival shows just how poetry can make a difference to people's lives.
Many tens of thousands of people attend the festival, which proves how
meaningful it is to them. I love travelling and I'm looking forward to a
memorable and life-enriching fortnight. It is very inspiring to me as a
writer that poetry has the strength to bring people together in this way
and generate a lasting optimism."
The festival came into being in
1991 and has hosted the finest poets from 67 countries, including Nobel
Prize winning writers. The festival's director,
arose from a proposal to overthrow the wall of terror and fear imposed by
the internal feuds of our country.
other things, poetry is an act of profound communication. When this
communication occurs in a community, very strong connections are possible:
it's a ritual in which people's dreams and hopes are shared as well as
their deepest and most pressing needs."
The festival, which is free, has come to mean a great deal to many Colombians. "It's an injection of life into a city of the almost-dead," said Luis Angel Ocampo Cardona (42), a prisoner of bellavista state penitentiary.
Adriana Lopez Velez (26), a
systems technician, said: "It's
the cultural event I most look forward to in the year; it makes me forget
that countries have frontiers."
This event marks the continuation of a very busy year for MacNeil, whose summer diary also includes the launch of his latest book Be Wise Be Otherwise and a series of writing workshops and readings in Malta.
L-awtur Skoċċiż Kevin MacNeil
rebbieħ ta’ l-ewwel post fil-Premju Tivoli Europa Giovani u meqjus bħala
wieħed mill-aħjar awturi żgħażagħ
fl-Ewropa llum, se jkun Malta bejn is-26 u l-31 ta’ Lulju li ġej
biex jagħti sensiela ta’ erba' workshops u jieħu
sehem fir-rappreżentazzjoni letterarja “Gżejjer”
imtellgħa minn Inizjamed fil-31 ta’ Lulju bħala parti mill-festival
Evenings on Campus fl-Università ta’ Malta. Kevin MacNeil se
jinġieb mill-organizzazzjoni kulturali mediterranja Inizjamed
Kevin MacNeil huwa impjegat bħala awtur mill-Gvern Skoċċiż għaż-żona tal-Higħlands u ntgħażel bħala l-ewwel Iain Crichton Smith Writing Fellow (“writer in residence”). Huwa membru fundatur tat-“trip-hop poetry band” Tomorrowscope u f’Mejju kien qiegħed jaħdem il-parti prinċipali f’film dwar poeta magħruf Skoċċiż.
Il-Ġimgħa 27 ta’ Lulju, fit-8.00pm, Kevin MacNeil se jieħu sehem f’laqgħa pubblika dwar il-promozzjoni ta’ l-identità kulturali u se jitkellem ukoll dwar l-inizjattivi tiegħu f’dan il-qasam. Hu għandu MA fl-Etnoloġija Skoċċiża u jikteb kemm bl–Ingliż kif ukoll bil-Galliku, il-lingwa indiġena ta’ l-Iskoċċiżi. Il-taħdita pubblika b’diskussjoni wara se ssir fit-teatru ta’ Bay Street, Paceville. Dħul b'xejn.
It-Tlieta, 31 ta’ Lulju, fid-8.45pm, Kevin MacNeil se jkun il-mistieden ewlieni f’rappreżentazzjoni letterarja mnebbħa mit-tema tal-“Gżejjer”. Se jipparteċipaw ukoll għadd ta' awturi Maltin, uħud stabbiliti u oħrajn mhumiex. Fil-lejla, li se titfassal waqt il-workshops li se jsiru fil-ġranet ta’ qabel, se jieħdu sehem l-atturi Marcelle Teuma u Ray Calleja, il-perkussjonista Renzo Spiteri, is-sassofonista li studja Franza Joseph Vella, il-kantawtur Walter Micallef u l-kantanta Nadine Axisa. Dħul b'xejn.
L-erba' workshops ta’ kitba kreattiva li jdumu bejn sagħtejn u sagħtejn u nofs se jsiru kuljum filgħodu bejn il-Ġimgħa 27 ta’ Lulju u t-Tnejn 30 ta’ Lulju; is-sessjonijiet jibdew fid-9.30am. Dawn mhumiex se jkunu taħditiet jew diskussjonijiet iżda sessjonijiet li fihom l-awturi preżenti, mhux iżjed minn 15, ikunu jistgħu jitħarrġu fil-kitba u jiddiskutu x-xogħol tagħhom ma’ l-awtur Skoċċiż.
MacNeil għandu ħafna esperjenza fit-tmexxija ta’ workshops bħal dawn u qara l-poeżiji tiegħu fil-pubbliku f’għadd ta’ okkażjonijiet u f’pajjiżi differenti. Qabel ma jiġi Malta se jkun il-Kolombja fejn stidnuh jieħu sehem fil-ħdax-il edizzjoni tal-Festival Internazzjonali tal-Poeżija ta' Medellin.
Fost il-pubblikazzjonijiet ta’ Kevin MacNeil, hemm il-poeżiji u l-poeproża Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate, 1998) u l-ktieb ta’ aforiżmi Be Wise Be Otherwise (Canongate, 2001). Ġabar ukoll għadd ta’ kitbiet mill-Highlands ta’ l-Iskozja fi ktieb li jismu A Little Borderless Village/Baile Beag Gun Chrìochan.
MacNeil kiteb ukoll rumanz li għandu jiġi ppubblikat fil-ġejjieni qarib u kien editur u scriptwriter ta’ numru ta’ xogħlijiet oħra. Ix-xogħlijiet tiegħu ġew tradotti f’għaxar lingwi differenti u fil-lejla “Gżejjer” għandhom jidhru għall-ewwel darba għadd ta’ kitbiet tiegħu maqlubin għall-Malti.
Kevin MacNeil inġieb Malta minn Inizjamed bil-kollaborazzjoni ta’ The British Council.
On Tuesday 31 July, at
8.45pm, the acclaimed Scottish writer Kevin MacNeil will be reading his poetry
at a literary performance called “Gżejjer” (Islands) to be
held near the main entrance to the University of Malta (M.
A. Vassalli Conference Centre) as part of the
summer festival Evenings on Campus organized by Koperattiva
Kulturali Universitarja. The evening will also include readings of
unpublished poems and short stories by twenty established and lesser-known
local writers. Kevin MacNeil is being brought to Malta by Inizjamed in
collaboration with The British Council. Entrance
The works will be read by
leading actors Ray Calleja and Marcelle Teuma. The other performers are
well-known percussionist Renzo Spiteri, saxophonist Joseph Vella, who
studied classical sax for five years in Lyons and Poitiers, singer
songwriter Walter Micallef, and expressive young singer Nadine Axisa.
Kevin MacNeil is considered
one of Europe’s best young writers. In 2000 his book of poetry, Love
and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate, 1998) won first prize in the
prestigious Premio Tivoli Europa Giovani for young European poets.
A few weeks ago, the leading Edinburgh publishing house Canongate
published his second book of poetry, Be Wise Be Otherwise, which
MacNeil himself has described as "a semi-serious and semi-funny book
of thoughts, ideas, suggestions and advice”.
MacNeil has edited a number
of important publications, including Wish I Was Here, a book of poems by Scots of bicultural and/or bilingual background, (Pocketbooks,
2000) with Alec Finlay, and A
Little Borderless Village/Baile Beag Gun Chrìochan
(The Highland Council, 2000), a collection of works in English and Scots
Gaelic from the Highlands.
He has also worked as a TV
cameraman and in April he played the leading part in a film about a famous
Scottish poet. In May he was invited to take part in one of the most
important international poetry festivals, that held in the Colombian city
of Medellin. In his words, his visit to Colombia was
“unforgettable - an incredible experience.” Poets are “treated like
rock stars in Colombia - on Sunday 10 June I read to 10,000 people in an
This is the first time
Inizjamed and The British Council are working together. According
to country director Ronnie Micallef, the British Council “seeks
to represent Britain in its entirety; it is not ‘London-based’, and
that is why the Council has given a young voluntary organization like
Inizjamed its full support to bring Scottish writer-in-residence Kevin
MacNeil over to Malta.” The British Council does not organise
“exclusively 'showcase activities'. We sincerely prefer to collaborate
and support organisations and events – such as this one – which would
otherwise struggle unduly to get done.”
The Evenings on Campus
literary activity coordinated by Inizjamed with the support of KKU has
become an integral part of the local cultural calendar. More than 120
people attend the event, not only to enjoy the good music and literature
but also to keep abreast of what is being written by Malta’s leading and
budding writers alike.
The Maltese writers taking
part this year are David Agius Muscat, Clare Azzopardi, Stanley Borg,
Norbert Bugeja, Kenneth Busuttil, Stephen Cachia, Bernard Cauchi, Karl
Alan Fenech, Victor Fenech, William Grech, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian
Grima, Henry Holland, Simone Inguanez, Immanuel Mifsud, Leslie Vassallo,
Karsten Xuereb, Trevor Żahra, Michael Zammit, and Jesmond Zerafa.
More information about Kevin MacNeil, and about the performers taking part in the University event are available on Inizjamed’s website at www.inizjamed.cjb.net. The British Council’s website is at www.britishcouncil.org/malta
|The Gżejjer Project|
Gżejjer is an innovative year-long literary project with the general aim of giving young Maltese writers the "technical" support to experiment with and improve their writing. Gżejjer (or Islands) is the main theme of the project, a kind of point of reference for the writers and their work. In concrete terms, the project aims to create the conditions for the participating writers to produce high quality works about "Islands", however and wherever they may perceive them, after workshops and feedback sessions with local and foreign writers.
"Ħrejjef" - Inspired by Traditional Fables
As part of the Gżejjer creative writing project, a group of young writers associated with Inizjamed have been working with the texts of traditional Maltese fables and legends collected by Manwel Magri at the beginning of the 20th century to produce new works of literature that give due credit to the memory of Maltese and Mediterranean culture.
These writers feel that their interaction with these texts based on the local oral tradition can give depth to their own experience of their culture and to the works they write that are inspired by the fables and legends.
In order to better understand these old texts which are full of life, they have met with leading writer Trevor Żahra (author of a highly-successful novel inspired by one of these fables, Is-Seba’ Tronġiet Mewwija) and with Ġorġ Mifsud-Chircop, an expert in the field who published an annotated edition of Manwel Magri's Ħrejjef Missirijietna.
One of the writers involved in the Gżejjer project, Stanley Borg, is working on an edited collection of the writings inspired by these traditional fables. This edition will include notes by the authors explaining the "Ħrejjef" process that lead to their final work and comments about their experience within the project.
of the highlights of the project will be the active participation of young
Scottish writer in residence, Kevin MacNeil, who won the prestigious Premio
Tivoli Europa Giovani (the Tivoli Prize for Young European Poets) in
2000 in which Maltese poet Adrian Grima placed second. The prize is
awarded for a book of poetry, not for a poem. Kevin MacNeil participated
wtih his book Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides published by
Edinburgh's Canongate in 1998.
MacNeil has accepted to take part in the 2001 edition of the University
summer festival Evenings on Campus with Inizjamed. He is being
brought to Malta in collaboration with the British
Council. He will be in
Malta for a week between 26 July and 1 August. During his stay he will
present his poetry during an evening of literature and music held at the
University together with the young Maltese writers involved in the Gżejjer
project and other more established writers, but he will also be holding a
number of workshops and literary encounters with the Maltese group before
the EOC event. Despite his young age, Kevin MacNeil has been doing
workshops and reading poetry through the UK for a number of years and he
has been trained to give workshops.
The Gżejjer project is being
organized by Inizjamed, a non-profit, voluntary Mediterranean
cultural organization founded in 1998 that collaborates with a number of
cultural organizations in Europe and the Mediterranean and is a member of
the international organization that organizes the Biennial for Young
Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean.
has taken part in the Rome 1999 edition of this Biennial and will be
taking part in the Sarajevo 2001 edition. Inizjamed has also taken
part in the first edition of the Big Torino biennial exhibition
(2000), in a meeting on social exclusion organized by the Council of
Europe in Switzerland, and it is a partner in two projects (proposed by
Italian and Finnish organizations) which have received funding from the
2000, Inizjamed was nominated for the prize National Recognition
- Youth in Society awarded by the Government of Malta. In 2001 it
placed second in the same prize.
The Gżejjer project itself
will be run by the literary group within Inizjamed which has
organized a number of highly successful literary events in the past two
and a half years.
September, 2000 - 4 June, 2001
|Islands and Cultural Identity|
27 July at 8.00pm, at the Bay Street Theatre in Paceville, acclaimed
Scottish writer Kevin MacNeil will be the main speaker at a public
discussion in English on cultural identity and the role of literature and
the writer. This event is being organized by Inizjamed in collaboration
with the British Council. Entrance
the Bay Street Theatre Kevin MacNeil will be talking about his initiatives
in this field, including the publication of a volume of poetry he edited
with Alec Finlay called Wish I Was Here (Pocketbooks, 2000) which
will be available during the event. He holds a Masters in Scottish
Ethnology and writes both in English and Scots Gaelic. He was born on the
Isle of Lewis and lives on the Isle of Skye in the Outer Hebrides. A video
of one of Kevin MacNeil’s television interviews will also be shown
during the evening.
culture,” says MacNeil in an exclusive interview with Adrian Grima,
“comprises a vast multi-coloured spectrum: the thought that it should be
eclipsed by a single shadowy power is heartbreaking. We should celebrate
unity-in-diversity, not unity-in-conformity. I see myself as respecting -
and learning from - other cultures, while simultaneously attempting to do
my best to preserve and nurture my own culture. If a single culture is
represented by a hand, then cultures should hold hands with one another,
instead of arm wrestling.”
programme also includes a presentation on the promotion of cultural
diversity by Adrian Grima, coordinator of Inizjamed and the presentation
of a booklet with contributions by both speakers. Adrian Grima lectures in
Maltese literature at the University of Malta and has presented papers on
literature, metaphor and the Mediterranean at conferences in Malta, Italy,
and the United States. His paper “(Re-)Visiting
the Mediterranean Repertoire:
on so-called “Mediterranean themes” in Post-Colonial Fiction in
Maltese” has just been published in Paris in the journal Le Jardin
D’Essai. Adrian Grima’s
talk at the Bay Street event, which will be published in Maltese, will
draw from works on the subject of cultural identity and cultural diversity
by Amin Maalouf, Julia Kristeva, Colin Hines and Costanza Ferrini, and
from the Mediterranean tales of Ġaħan.
leading player in the initiative to bring Kevin MacNeil to Malta has been
The British Council,
United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural
relations. Its aim is to
create enduring partnerships between British and other cultures by
creating opportunities to connect with the latest skills, ideas and
experience from the UK.
According to country director Ronnie Micallef, the British Council “seeks to represent Britain in its entirety; it is not ‘London-based’, and that is why the Council has given a young voluntary organization like Inizjamed its full support to bring Scottish writer-in-residence Kevin MacNeil over to Malta.” The British Council does not organise “exclusively 'showcase activities'. We sincerely prefer to collaborate and support organisations and events – such as this one – which would otherwise struggle unduly to get done.”
This is not
the first time Kevin MacNeil has collaborated with The British Council. In
August 2000, for example, Kevin MacNeil was one of the Scottish writers
invited to take part in “The Bookcase: Showcase of Contemporary Scottish Writing, Books and
Literature”, an event organized by The British Council in partnership
with the Edinburgh Book Festival and the Scottish Arts Council.
After the presentations by Kevin MacNeil and Adrian Grima, the audience will be encouraged to ask questions and comment on the points raised. Refreshments will be served after the discussion.
More information about Kevin MacNeil and his works, and about all activities to be held during his stay in Malta between 27-31 July are available on Inizjamed’s website at http://www.inizjamed.cjb.net. Inizjamed can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The website of the Malta branch of the British Council is at http://www.britishcouncil.org/malta/
|Letteratura u Mużika|
Nhar it-Tlieta, 31 ta’ Lulju, fid-8.45pm, ħdejn
id-daħla l-ġdida ta’ l-Università ta’ Malta (Ċentru M.
A. Vassalli), l-awtur magħruf Skoċċiż Kevin MacNeil se
jkun il-mistieden ewlieni f’rappreżentazzjoni letterarja mnebbħa
mit-tema “Gżejjer” u li fiha se jiġu ppreżentati għadd
ta’ poeżiji u stejjer li qatt ma ġew ippubblikati qabel ta’
kittieba Maltin. Din l-attività hija parti mill-programm tal-festival Evenings
on Campus organizzat mill-Koperattiva Kulturali Universitarja. MacNeil
qed jinġieb Malta minn Inizjamed bil-kollaborazzjoni tal-British
Council. Id-dħul huwa b’xejn.
Fl-ewwel parti ta’ din ir-rappreżentazzjoni
letterarja, l-atturi Ray Calleja u Marcelle Teuma se jaqraw xogħlijiet
ta’ għoxrin awtur u awtriċi Maltija, uħud stabbiliti u oħrajn
mhumiex. Se jieħdu sehem ukoll il-perkussjonista Renzo Spiteri,
is-sassofonista Joseph Vella, il-kantawtur Walter Micallef u l-kantanta
Nadine Axisa. Joseph Vella għamel ħames snin jistudja s-saxophone
klassiku f’Lyons u Poitiers ġewwa Franza u din se tkun l-ewwel
darba li se jieħu sehem fl-Evenings on Campus u f’attività
Kevin MacNeil huwa meqjus bħala wieħed mill-aqwa kittieba żgħażagħ fl-Ewropa u fis-sena 2000 rebaħ l-ewwel post fil-konkors prestiġjuż Premio Tivoli Europa Giovani bil-ktieb Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate 1998). Ftit ġimgħat ilu ġie ppubblikat it-tieni ktieb ta’ poeżija tiegħu mill-istess dar tal-pubblikazzjonijiet prestiġjuża f’Edinburgh (Be Wise Be Otherwise).
Kevin MacNeil editja għadd ta’ pubblikazzjonijiet importanti, fosthom il-ġabra ta’ poeżiji multi-etniċi Wish I Was Here (Pocketbooks, 2000) u A Little Borderless Village/Baile Beag Gun Chrìochan (The Highland Council, 2000), ġabra ta’ kitbiet bl-Ingliż u bil-Galliku mill-Highlands ta’ l-Iskozja.
Minbarra l-kitba, MacNeil ħadem ukoll fil-qasam tat-televiżjoni bħala cameraman u bħala attur protagonista f’film dwar poeta magħruf Skoċċiż. F’Mejju li għadda kien wieħed mill-poeti mistednin biex jieħu sehem fil-festival internazzjonali importanti tal-poeżija ta’ Medellin ġewwa l-Kolombja, festival li jidher li ħalla impatt qawwi fuq ir-relazzjoni tiegħu bħala kittieb ma’ l-udjenza tiegħu.
Din hija l-ewwel darba li Inizjamed u l-British Council qed jaħdmu flimkien. Il-British Council hija l-organizzazzjoni internazzjonali li tieħu ħsieb ir-relazzjonijiet edukattivi u kulturali tar-Renju Unit. Id-direttur tal-fergħa Maltija, Ronnie Micallef, jemmen li żewġ prinċipji ewlenin tal-British Council huma li tikkollabora ma’ u tagħti l-appoġġ tagħha lil inizjattivi kulturali bħal din. Skond Adrian Grima, koordinatur ta’ Inizjamed, ma kienx ikun possibbli li Kevin MacNeil jinġieb Malta mingħajr l-appoġġ sħiħ tal-British Council.
L-attività letterarja ta’ l-Evenings on Campus ikkoordinata minn Inizjamed illum saret parti integrali mill-kalendarju letterarju Malti. Fl-aħħar snin dejjem attendew aktar minn 120 ruħ u dan jixhed il-popolarità tagħha. Ħafna nies jattendu mhux biss biex jisimgħu mużika u letteratura tajba imma anki biex iżommu ruħhom aġġornati ma’ dak li qed jinkiteb f’Malta llum, kemm mill-awturi stabbiliti kif ukoll mill-awturi l-ġodda.
L-awturi Maltin li se jieħdu sehem
din is-sena huma: David Agius Muscat, Clare
Azzopardi, Stanley Borg, Norbert Bugeja, Kenneth Busuttil, Stephen Cachia,
Bernard Cauchi, Karl Alan Fenech, Victor Fenech, William Grech, Maria
Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima, Henry Holland, Simone Inguanez, Immanuel
Mifsud, Leslie Vassallo, Karsten Xuereb, Trevor Żahra, Michael
Zammit, u Jesmond Zerafa.
Għal aktar tagħrif dwar Kevin
MacNeil, ix-xogħlijiet tiegħu u ż-żjara tiegħu
f’Malta ara l-website ta’ Inizjamed li qiegħda
L-indirizz tal-website tal-British Council f’Malta huwa
It-18 ta’ Lulju, 2001
|Il-Gżejjer u l-Identità Kulturali|
Nhar il-Ġimgħa 27 ta’ Lulju, 2001, fit-8.00pm, fit-Teatru ta’ Bay Street ġewwa Paceville, l-awtur ewlieni Skoċċiż Kevin MacNeil se jkun il-kelliem ewlieni waqt diskussjoni pubblika bl-Ingliż dwar l-identità u d-diversità kulturali. Din l-attività qed tittella’ minn Inizjamed bil-kollaborazzjoni tal-British Council. Id-dħul huwa b’xejn.
Kevin MacNeil se jitkellem dwar il-ħtieġa li l-gżejjer iħarsu d-diversità kulturali tagħhom filwaqt li jħarsu ‘l quddiem u jfasslu l-ġejjieni tagħhom. Se jitkellem ukoll dwar għadd ta’ inizjattivi konkreti, fosthom dawk li hu involut fihom hu, li qegħdin jittieħdu bil-għan li l-kulturi ż-żgħar jissaħħu iżda fl-istess ħin jiġġeddu.
MacNeil twieled fuq il-gżira Skoċċiża ta’ Lewis u jgħix fuq il-gżira ta’ Skye. Hu jikteb uħud mix-xogħlijiet tiegħu bil-lingwa indiġena ta’ l-Iskoċċiżi u jaħdem ħafna fil-qasam tal-promozzjoni tal-kultura u l-ilsien nattiv tiegħu. Barra minn hekk, għandu M.A. fl-Etnoloġija Skoċċiża. Waqt din il-laqgħa pubblika għandu jintwera video ta’ Kevin MacNeil marbut mat-tema ta’ l-identità kulturali.
F’intervista esklussiva li ta lil Adrian Grima għal din l-attività, MacNeil jgħid hekk: “Fil-kultura globali hemm firxa sħiħa ta’ kuluri: il-ħsieb biss li din id-diversità kollha tista’ tinbela’ minn potenza ‘oskura’ waħda jagħmillek id-dwejjaq. Aħna għandna niċċelebraw l-għaqda msejsa fuq id-diversità mhux fuq il-konformità. Jien nemmen li għandi nirrispetta u nitgħallem minn kulturi oħra, u fl-istess ħin nipprova nħares u nrawwem il-kultura tiegħi. Jekk tħares lejn kultura waħda bħala id, il-ġejjieni li nixtieq nara jien huwa ġejjieni li fih il-kulturi jżommu idejn xulxin, mhux jissaraw kontra xulxin.”
Kelliem ieħor se jkun Adrian Grima, il-koordinatur ta’ Inizjamed, li jgħallem il-letteratura Maltija fl-Università ta’ Malta u tkellem f’għadd ta’ konferenzi f’Malta u barra minn Malta dwar il-kultura Maltija u l-Mediterran. It-taħdita ta’ Adrian Grima se tkun imnebbħa mill-figura interessanti ta’ Ġaħan u mill-kitbiet ta’ ħassieba bħall-awtur Lebaniż li jgħix Franza, Amin Maalouf; l-ambjentalista u l-ekonomista Colin Hines; u l-istudjuża tal-letteratura tal-Mediterran Costanza Ferrini li intervistat għadd ta’ kittieba Mediterranji ewlenin dwar il-kitbiet u l-fehmiet tagħhom. Dakinhar ta’ l-attività se tiġi ppubblikata intervista esklussiva ma’ Kevin MacNeil bl-Ingliż u t-taħdita ta’ Adrian Grima bil-Malti.
Council għandu sehem ewlieni fil-miġja ta’ Kevin MacNeil
f’Malta. Skond Ronnie Micallef, direttur tal-British Council f’Malta,
din l-attività hija importanti għax fost l-oħrajn “tagħti
stampa aktar wiesgħa tad-diversità kulturali li teżisti
fir-Renju Unit. Il-British Council temmen f’din id-diversità u tħabrek
biex tippromwoviha. Temmen ukoll li għandha taħdem ma’ u tagħti
appoġġ sħiħ lil organizzazzjonijiet volontarji bħal
Inizjamed li mingħajr l-għajnuna ta’ organizzazzjoni bħall-British
Council ma jkunux jistgħu jidħlu għal proġetti ta’
kwalità li jitolbu ħafna riżorsi.” Fl-aħħar mill-aħħar,
l-għan tal-British Council huwa li jibni kollaborazzjoni bejn
il-kultura Brittanika u kulturi oħra. Dan tagħmlu billi toħloq
opportunitajiet biex kulturi differenti jiltaqgħu ma’ l-aħħar
żviluppi fl-ideat, fil-ħiliet u fl-esperjenza ħerġin
Din mhix l-ewwel darba li Kevin MacNeil qiegħed jikkollabora mal-British
Council. F’Awwissu ta’ l-2000, kien wieħed mill-mistieden f’attività li
saret bi sħab bejn il-British Council, il-Festival tal-Ktieb ta’ Edinburgh
u l-Kunsill Skoċċiż għall-Arti. L-attività laqqgħet għadd ta’ kittieba
Skoċċiża mal-pubbliku u kien jisimha, “The
Bookcase: Showcase of Contemporary Scottish Writing, Books and
taż-żewġ kelliema, l-udjenza se jkun hemm ħin għall-mistoqsijiet
u l-kummenti (kemm bil-Malti u kemm bl-Ingliż) ta’ l-udjenza preżenti.
L-attività tagħlaq bi ftit ikel u xorb għal kulħadd.
aktar tagħrif dwar Kevin MacNeil u dwar l-attivitajiet li se jieħu
sehem fihom f’Malta bejn is-27 u l-31 ta’ Lulju ara l-website
ta’ Inizjamed f’dan l-indirizz: hwww.inizjamed.cjb.net;
Il-website tal-fergħa ta’ Malta tal-British Council qiegħda
|X’inhu l-Proġett Gżejjer u kif jidħlu l-ħrejjef|
Gżejjer hu essenzjalment
tiftixa ta’ identità, fejn il-medium ewlieni hu l-kitba.
Tajjeb f’dan il-punt li wieħed
jara il-kif u l-għala. Din it-tiftixa qed issir possibbli permezz
tal-grupp letterarju li jaħdem fi ħdan Inizjamed. Din ta’
l-aħħar hi NGO bbażata f’Malta, immotivata mill-għan
li titfa’ l-kultura Maltija f’kuntest: dak Mediterranju. Ħafna
drabi l-perċezzjoni tal-kultura f’din l-għaqda hija waħda
minn isfel għal fuq, fejn il-kultura mhix esklussività
tal-klassijiet għolja, imma hi l-ħobż li l-Maltin kollha
jaħmu u jieklu kuljum. Għalhekk din id-djalettika hi wkoll
konfront bejn dak li hu aċċettat u dak li hu mwarrab.
ta’ dan kollu, individwi fi ħdan Inizjamed qablu li minħabba
li l-kitba hija mezz qawwi u effettiv ta’ espressjoni - kemm politika,
kif ukoll letterarja, hemm bżonn li huma jitħarrġu bħala
kittieba. Fil-konkret dan qed jimxi fuq żewġ binarji
|Kummenti tal-Pubbliku dwar Gżejjer|
Proset tal-progett Gzejjer. Tassew kienu jiem ta' impenn kbir u organizzazzjoni biex setghu jkunu possibbli l-attivitajiet kollha li ttellghu. Minkejja dan, kull min attenda seta' jara impenn, professjonalta' u fl-istess hin, umilta' minn nies bhalkom li minkejja l-hidmiet varji professjonali taghkom, sibtu l-hin biex tinghaqdu u tkunu ta' kontribut b'rizq is-socjeta' Maltija kollha. Ta' dan, mill-gdid tassew prosit u j'Alla tkomplu f'din it-triq li jekk xejn, ghandha ttikom sodisfazzjon kbir personali
Tonio Bonello (gurnalist)
Dr. Sandra Vassallo LLD
il-battikata ta' l-Evenings on Campus. Int u shabek kellkom bicca xoghol iebsa izda hareg rizultat sabih hafna. Impressjonanti kemm kien hemm nies nhar it-Tlieta! Veru haqqkom PROSIT!
David Agius Muscat (Poeta u ghalliem)
Nixtieq nibghat nifrah lil Grupp ta'
INZJAMED ghas-serata ta' l-Evenings On
John Buttigieg (Poeta)
thank you for the creative writing
Giuliana Fenech (kittieba zaghzugha)
nixtieq naghmel kumment personali li ninsab cert li bih inkun qed inlehhen dak li hasbu hafna: proset kbira u grazzi hafna tal-lejla letterarja tal-bierah. Ma stajtx ma ninnutax li dis-sena kienet ikbar u isbah.
Immanuel Mifsud (awtur)
Is-serata tal-bierah kienet stupenda.
Saghtejn ma rajthomx ghaddejjin.Kont ghajjien mejjet ghax kont ilni barra
mis-sebgha ta' filghodu u lanqas kont ghadni mort id-dar. Izda x'hin
bdiet is-serata nsejt l-gheja kollha. Nahseb li t-tahlita ta'
poezija, proza u muzika kienet mill-aqwa. U