Here There and Everywhere: Anticipating the Art for the Future
People: Part IV   Culture


Image: Naveed Nour                                                      Image: Norbert Attard

Gozo—The Culture Of Conflict
Naveed Nour • Iran/Germany/USA
Norbert Attard • Malta, Gozo

About their collaboration, Nour writes, “The idea was to explore the culture of Gozo, the second largest island of Malta; and after continuous exchanges of ideas prior to the visit, the artists concluded to approach the project based on the concept of ‘the culture of conflict’ that essentially keeps the Maltese nation alive, prosperous and ambitious.
“People in Malta like to take sides on issues such as politics, football (soccer) and, most importantly, religion, including their churches’ affiliated marching bands. These bands have clubs that serve as social hangouts and, among the pool tables, a bar and other social activities, they also accommodate an opera house with all its bells and whistles. The churches and clubs’ highlights are the festivities around the annual feasts. Once the feasts are over, members of the respective churches and clubs gather for social activities, which include putting down their competitive [rival] church and club.
“This rivalry, unfortunately, also has deeper roots in the social and economical structure of the region. Certain members of the population may not do business with each other due to their affiliations and even dating between members of opposing sides may instigate unwanted consequences.
“The idea was to gather data in the form of images and interviews… Many photographs were taken by both artists. As they both worked side by side, more than eighty percent of the data was almost identical. Once this phase was completed—by prior agreement—the two worked independently and did not share the details of their part of the project until they were ready for display. The ‘unexpected’ outcome then would become the fruit of this collaboration, with the hope of opening doors to global understanding and friendship.”

Exhibition Venue:
Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA), Watertown, Massachusetts, USA
April 2-19, 2009; Opening April 5.