The Mill Art, Culture and Crafts Centre, Birkirkara - Malta (2021)
Artists: Katel Delia, Kamy Aquilina, Noah Fabri
Curator: Elyse Tonna
GCF Programme Manager: Raffaella Zammit
part of the Gabriel Caruana Foundation SPRING (v2.2) Artistic Programme for Emerging Artists 2021
By 2030, it is envisioned that Malta will reach a population of 865,000 and a population density of 6,700 people per kilometre squared. Similarly, two-thirds of the world’s population, by then surpassing 8 million people, will live in cities. Urban sprawl has been escalating at an exponential rate impacting our natural and built environments, our social structures and psychological wellbeing. Beyond utopic, mass infrastructure infiltrates within and around every periphery of our towns and villages. Agricultural land is consumed uncontrollably, evident of inconsistencies in planning policy and reflecting the monopolisation of public and private land. This struggle is already discernible across various fronts. We are witness to faults causing striking changes to our lived environment and collective yearning of bottom-up interests and needs.
How do you feel? seeks to challenge and engage in this international debate, drawing on local examples of economic, environmental and social concern. Noah Fabri, Katel Delia and Kamy Aquilina challenge varied aspects associated with the intensified transformative urbanisation processes currently ongoing in Malta. As a means to highlight the dynamism present in demographic perspectives, Noah embarks on a journey to engage in dialogue related to production and consumption. Their work not only conjures up discussions related to cost of living, but additionally strikes contrasts in perception, values and cultural inconsistencies. Katel and Kamy present two disparate contexts with overlapping instances of environmental concern. The claustrophobic psychological effects imposed through urbanisation processes are evident in Kamy’s search for places which offer peace, retreat and solitude. Katel highlights the extent of environmental damage, a collateral of major infrastructural projects.
How do you feel? is an invitation for the audience to engage in critical debate about global issues of national interest and to partake in reflective discourse about unequal growth. The play of urban forces resonates in each of the artist’s work, conveying realities which we are yet to address in order for our expanding towns to remain habitable and avoid major social, environmental and economic catastrophes.