Updated: Jun 28
Refugee Week Malta kicked off on the 18th June in Malta and many activities went on.
It all started with the Spark Feast, a family gathering moment with food displayed by the restaurant afro Dali, an African restaurant situated in Gzira. There was a lot of dance, hip hop and African music supported by AISO records, a young producer working a lot with foreign artists. There were fun activities for children and a panel discussion about housing for foreigners in Malta.
While housing is a problem for both Maltese and foreigners, it emerged that some landlords make money by abusing the system, and homelessness and rooflessness is always looming for the most vulnerable.On a positive note, new policies are in place, like a mandatory one year house contract and the possibility to appeal in case of refusal by the landlord to return the deposit.
On June 20th, marking World Refugee Day, there was a March of Peace in Valletta, from San George Square to the parliament.
Four refugees made strong testimonies about their lives and ordeals.
They were from Sudan, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and Eritrea.
Agnes Mudembo from Zimbabwe made an appeal to the government to allow her to work for the institutions. She explained that she graduated from nursing and she was told that she must go through an agency to be recruited. “I have worked with agencies in the past, they abuse workers. I belong to this country, I’m a refugee and I graduated from the University of Malta” she said.
The march ended with a dance performance with the Malta Gay Right Movement, and a few words by the movemen’s co-coordinator Mohamed Ali (Dali) Aguerbi, who refuted the concept of a safe country in the asylum system. “ The Maltese authorities are sending people back in the so -called safe countries where homosexuality is criminalised”.
Summary of the World Refugee Day in video
On June 24th, Malti-Etnik performed in Valletta, on Marsaskala Bridge and Buggibba Place where dancers from 13 different nationalities danced for a big and diverse crowd. The live percussion by @trakadum made for a powerful and enveloping experience.
Picture by Joseph Magri
Malti-Etnik is choreographed by @chakib_zidi, with great live percussion by @trakadum.
It is a co-produced with @maltainternationalartsfestival and @dancebeyondborders.