WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Photographic installation by Norbert Francis Attard
Freedom Square, Valletta, Malta.
25th September 2008 - 8th January 2009.
An initiative of the European Parliament Office in Malta
In collaboration with St. James Centre for Creativity and the Valletta Local Council.
The installation presents a photographic series of physiognomies from Malta both to highlight the complex history of the island as a central meeting place of populations throughout its long history, and to pose questions as to how a shared commonality is created. The artist engages the viewer with the question of identity and the complex relationship between physiognomy and culture, exploring the notion of diversity and our assumptions of “who we are” and “where we are from”. The aim is to subvert common notions in the island about ‘ typical physiognomies’ – for, as his photographs show, there is perhaps no such thing... Anyone walking into our capital city will, for the coming weeks, come face to face with a marvelous installation that completely changes the physiognomy of an otherwise bland and functional Freedom Square. The car park is alive with 50 colourful portraits that hide and reveal, at the same time, a unique and fascinating story. They give a vitality and energy to the space and transform it into an art gallery. Titled Minn Fejn Int? Where Are You From? these portraits project and reflect the intercultural lifestyle that characterises contemporary Malta. These islands of ours, situated as they are bang in the middle of the historicallyturbulent Mediterranean, have witnessed so many comings and goings. Some come to rape and plunder; others to civilise and build. No matter how short or long the stay, all comers left an indelible legacy to our history and identity.