Malta is a Mediterranean territory of land and sea. Its history is inspired by the ways and means how the two connect and merge, overlap and retreat. Dominant civilisations have engaged with this unique cultural landscape over time. All have contributed threads to its cultural weave; many lost, some forgotten, and others highlighted. Indeed, rather than being a frontier, Malta stands as, betwixt and between, within a region of land and sea which connects beyond frontiers and borders.
This book questions the traditional dialectic between land and sea, oftentimes understood as two elements meeting at a frontier shoreline. Land and sea have been understood as separate albeit connected spaces of unities, diversities, or both. The elements which connect the two are broad and varied, and can also be read and construed as one. Indeed, Malta’s cultural landscape can be read and understood as a space of land and sea with common origins, history, and heritage.
Nine categories of carefully selected heritage objects and artworks in different media present Malta’s Land of Sea. This single object acquires new meanings within its category and connects to others across the different categories. Relationships between objects in each category are carefully articulated and connect to the present in varied ways. Indeed, the past which the nine categories engage with can also be understood as a series of reference points for new readings and stories to unfold.
Both concept and methodology have been purposely developed for BOZAR and presented for the first time on the occasion of the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the European Union.