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