The fifth in the Valletta 2018 Foundation's series of annual conferences, this conference encourages broad reflection on the central issues that define urban life by channelling its discussions through the basic question of “What makes a city better?”. This reflection aims to understand how cities can be shaped to better suit the needs and desires of the individuals and communities that it hosts, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.
The conference aims be a reiteration of the democratic process through cultural practice, whereby the relationship between the individual, the collective, and their communities is realised by means of a tangible legacy.
Pier Luigi Sacco is Professor of Cultural Economics, IULM University Milan, Scientific Director of Fondazione Campus, Lucca, and Visiting professor of Applied Humanities at Harvard University. He has published widely in international journals and edited books on the themes of cultural policy and culture-led development and is a keynote speaker and consultant worldwide on the same topics.
Tricia Austin is a design consultant and academic and is currently Course Leader for MA Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins. Her research interests include the theory and design of multi-sensory, interactive, narrative environments, physical and/or virtual spaces that tell stories or allow stories to be told, such as exhibitions, branded and leisure environments or urban and community environments. She has developed integrated cultural approaches to placemaking, urban development and holistic approaches to city branding. She has curated exhibitions and written about the relationship between narrative and spatial theories, user-centred and participatory design.
Jonas Büchel, born in the summer heat of the mid 60's, learning the design patterns of life and joy in the parents' planning office and in an industrial small town of the Ruhr-area in Germany: Industry, mines, the 'never-ending-city', football with a strong emotional bond between humans and their industrial environment.
Studies of photography and design with continuing studies in social work, social planning and cultural management.
25 years of design, social & cultural work and creative urbanism practice in nearly all European regions. In the last 15 years concentrating on Germany, Croatia, Finland and the Baltic States, specifically Latvia.
Creative foci: Emotions, space and time - the individual and its groups.
Creative tools: Community development, moderation & mediation, urbanism, environmental perceptions, photography.
To observe and analyze, to foster individual and social freedom are the central elements of Jonas' life and work.
Caldon Mercieca is project leader of the Valletta Design Cluster and Manager at the Culture Directorate within the Ministry responsible for Culture. He is a co-author of the National Cultural Policy (2011) and of the National Strategy for the Cultural and Creative Industries (2013). Since 2008, he has worked directly on the development and implementation of several public funding initiatives related to culture and the arts, including the Malta Arts Fund, the Malta Film Fund, INVEX Scheme (creative start-ups programme), KREATTIV (Education and Creativity scheme), the Culture Card initiative, the Malta Digital Games Fund, and the President's Creativity Award. On the policy front, Caldon has worked on the review of the Theatre and Film Age Classification Regulations (2012), the review of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (now Arts Council Malta) and of the Cultural Heritage Act. He has conducted stakeholder workshops and seminar presentations, as well as presented in international conferences, on matters related to the creative economy, cultural and creative education, intellectual property, cultural mapping, and cultural heritage. He has been involved in the European Capital of Culture preparations for Malta since 2006, and is currently actively engaged with the Valletta 2018 Foundation’s research programme, with particular interest in the areas of cultural mapping and the urban impact of the ECOC programme. Caldon holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy from the University of Malta, where he contributes to courses on policy and on critical perspectives related to artistic practice and culture under a number of faculties and institutes in the Humanities.
Szilvia Nagy is a cultural researcher and curator from Budapest, Hungary. She holds an MA in Cultural and Visual Anthropology and currently studies Political Sciences at CEU, Budapest. She is also a PhD Candidate in Film, Media and Contemporary Culture Studies PhD Program, Department of Philosophy at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. The provisional title for her research thesis is “Inclusive Museums in Eastern Europe: Social Networks and Institutional Transformation in the Field of Art” and her research focuses on the transforming institutional background of the art field, especially the structural changes and their analysis by the means of network theories. Her interest in the institutional transformations are closely related with her curatorial approach to present and organise reflective exhibitions, actions, symposiums and workshops on the new developments of institutional critique, and to estimate her curatorial projects with her academic interests. Her curatorial experience is including her work as a project manager and curator at the Miskolc Institute of Contemporary Art (M.ICA) between 2008-2012.
Michael Deguara graduated in Anthropology from the University of Malta summa cum laude with a dissertation on homelessness in Malta. In 2007, having been awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship, he completed an MPhil in Social Anthropological Analysis at the University of Cambridge with a dissertation on the social implications of the revival of traditional music and dance in Southern Italy. He currently works with the Ministry for Education and Employment, and has previously worked with the Ministries responsible for Health, Rural Affairs and the Environment. He is also a visiting lecturer with the University of Malta, contributing to teaching programmes within the Department of Anthropological Sciences and the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy (FEMA). He is a member of the Valletta 2018 Evaluation & Monitoring Steering Committee, carrying out research on community inclusion and accessibility in Valletta 2018.
Glen Farrugia holds a BA (Hons) degree in Archaeology from the University of Malta and a PhD in Cultural Heritage Tourism Management and Interpretation from the University of Leicester. Glen has held curatorial posts at the Saint Agatha Historical Complex in Rabat, Malta and with Heritage Malta. He is also a registered professional archaeologist with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and an elected full member of the Institute for Archaeologists at the University of Reading. Glen has managed EU cultural heritage tourism projects and conducted research in the same field. He is currently a Researcher at the University of Malta and an Academic Manager at the Institute of Tourism Studies
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.
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.
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 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.
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.