You’ve just under two weeks to catch the Valletta Photography Festival which runs in various permanent and temporary exhibition spaces around the city until 31 May.
This first Valletta Photography Festival is the start of a new way of appreciating contemporary photography in Malta and the work of numerous talented, professional, semi-professional and upcoming amateur photographers on the islands or with close links to them. The duo behind it are photographer Patrick Fenech and multimedia creative Vince Briffa.
The festival is more than a one-off event; it’s being created to inspire us in Malta to view photography as the diverse, fine art form it is. Malta has no photographic museum although it has a wealth of photographic heritage (see our post on the Richard Ellis Archives, a priceless collection dating from 1880s charting also the pioneering of early photographic techniques in Malta).
The festival is a step towards establishing more recognition for photography on the islands and giving it the place it deserves. An outcome that the organises and practitioners would like to see is the setting up of a Malta Photo Museum as a permanent gallery space and a centre for education and networking.
The programme says that the medium’s “…easy access and wide use has democratised the practice of photography, bringing professional picture-taking skills to the masses. This has spurred practitioners to take photography to another level and produce work with an intellectual content, worthy of attention and investigation”.
Clearly, this is what lies behind the initiative. From personal experience, I know a lot of photographers in Malta who should strictly be called ‘hobbyists’ or ‘amateurs’ but whose outputs are anything but haphazard snapshots. We’ve been lucky enough to feature their work here on Malta InsideOut. As you can see from the header photos on nearly all our articles, and on our Flickr stream, there’s a lot of serious talent around in Malta, and among visitors to the Islands. The Valletta Photography Festival is Malta’s first defined step towards putting photography on our local map.
The festival website has full details, but here we list the exhibition spaces:
10 Maltese Contemporary Photographers : Auberge d’Italie
You are Man? – You are Woman?, French Connection : St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity
Early Developments of Photography – St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity.
‘Twanny Salon’ Photography by Toni Mckay : Covered Market (is-Suq), (behind the Grand Master’s Palace).
Images on Stone : projection at 2/22 dine | music | culture, (under St Michael’s Bastion).
For photographers taking part, see here.