AboutCulture Matters

The sixth and final Valletta 2018 annual international conference.


Conference Themes


Organisation & scientific committee

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    Graziella Vella

    Research Coordinator, Valletta 2018 Foundation

    Graziella Vella is the Research Coordinator for the Valletta 2018 Foundation. Her responsibilities within the Foundation include documenting the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) process through evaluation and monitoring of all aspects and promoting research projects and collaborations. Born and raised in Valletta, Graziella is committed to ensure communities are given the best tools to actively participate in the ECoC and beyond. She holds a first degree in Tourism Studies from the University of Malta and has obtained an MSc in Cultural Management with distinction from the University of Ulster. Her research has focused on the impacts the European Capital of Culture title produces on the regeneration of the cultural tourism product, in view of Valletta 2018. Her professional background includes financial management and administration, and customer relations through her experience as Executive within Heritage Malta.

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    Neville Borg

    Research Officer, Valletta 2018 Foundation

    Neville Borg holds a BA (Hons) degree in Sociology from the University of Malta and an MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths College. He has carried out research within a variety of fields, ranging from social equality to economics, and has held research posts at the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality and the University of Surrey, among others. He is currently reading for a PhD in Digital Media, with a topic focusing on the intersection between shared memory, cultural identity and digital media.

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    Raffaella Zammit

    Research Officer, Valletta 2018 Foundation

    Raffaella Zammit graduated in Geography from the University of Malta in 2005. From 2006 to 2009 she worked with the Planning Directorate of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority. Between 2010 to 2016 she worked with the Environment Authority gaining knowledge on Environmental Directives, Protected Areas Management and EU funds and project management. In 2014 she graduated with a Master in Countryside Conservation and Management from the University of the West of England. Since 2014 she has assisted Gabriel Caruana in managing the Mill Art, Culture and Crafts Centre, Birkirkara. In 2016 she was one of the founding members of the Gabriel Caruana Foundation a Voluntary Organization focused on promoting and preserving the artistic legacy of modern and contemporary art and artists in Malta. She holds the position of Executive Director within the Gabriel Caruana Foundation. On behalf of the GCF she is project managing a number of projects, including Kreaturi (funded by the Creative Communities fund, Arts Council Malta) and Art Links (funded by the Small Initiative Support Scheme, Malta Council for Voluntary Sector). Since 2016 she joined the Research Department of the Valletta 2018 Foundation as a Research Officer.

  • Aidan Celeste

    Aidan Celeste

    Research Officer

    Aidan Celeste is a Research Officer at the Valletta 2018 Foundation, whereby he liaises with the academic network through the University of Malta Secretariat. This includes working closely with specific faculties through match-funding projects, publishing, student groups, and specific research tracks such as Culture Map Malta. In 2013 he completed a MFA in artistic research under the auspices of MAKS at the University of Malta, and followed with post-graduate training on curating for unstable media with the V2_ in the Netherlands. During his stay in Rotterdam, he was awarded a support fund by the Kunstblok and also assisted the development of ‘Data in the 21st Century’, an exhibition about our everyday relationship with big data as part of the Futurosity Summit.

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    Xabier Polledo Arrizabalaga

    Research Administration Officer

    Xabier Polledo Arrizabalaga studied Architecture and Construction in the School of Architecture of Donostia/San Sebatián and Lusiada de Lisboa. He holds a MSc from Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea focused on Territorial Organization, Urban Planning and Heritage and a MSc from Universidad de Valladolid focused on Architectural Heritage Rehabilitation Techniques. Further studies in Parametric Design, Archaeology of Architecture and Industrial Heritage.

    Co-founder of Proyecto Silos, a cultural association focused on the divulgation and research of rural industrial heritage of the Iberian Peninsula. Multidisciplinary working experience, evolved from sustainable rehabilitation of architectural heritage to urban-cultural management and social innovation. Worked in Pezestudio.org focused on urban and cultural planning by introducing bio-constructive solutions in human spaces; worked in Agronautas, research-action project that generates and prototypes objects, tools and participatory events that promote self-reliance while minimizing the impact of humans on the environment; and worked in InteligenciasColectivas.org, architectural association focused on creating a register of collective constructions and social operating patterns from real examples of non-standardized realities.

    Collaborator with several Artistic, Cultural and Social Innovation Centres, such as Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture, Azkuna Zentroa Alhóndiga Bilbao, Wikitoki Laboratory of Collaborative Practices, La Noria Centre of Social Innovation, Matadero Madrid Contemporary Art Centre and Intermediae Experimental Space. Currently involved in the Research Department of Valletta 2018 Foundation.


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