Much has been said of the Suq tal-Belt’s redesign in Malta’s capital ever since its official unveiling two years ago. While some welcomed the sleek refurbishment, others grieved the latest act of gentrification. But one local artist’s actions spoke even louder than any words could.
Keit Bonnici kicked off 2020 by sharing one of his projects from last year, and it’s already going viral for the best reason possible.
Perch had a devilishly simple idea behind it; a wooden chair with unusually long back legs for the person sitting on it to be able to actually see what’s happening within the new market’s elevated terrace.
“I took my own home-brewed coffee. I had a nice chat with the Valletta market customers.”
Once there and in place, however, Bonnici’s installation and protest was just getting started.
Answering questions regarding Perch on Facebook, Bonnici explained how some of the diners at the market actually asked him why he was sat there.
“I explained that I wanted to look and grief at what was stolen from us,” he said. “They sipped on their beer.”
Perch’s appearance on Facebook earlier this week was received extremely well, with people calling Bonnici’s installation “what brilliance looks like”.
Suq tal-Belt was officially unveiled in January 2018, amidst Valletta being crowned the European Capital of Culture
Following years of anticipation, the market, described as a “foodie’s paradise”, was met with very mixed reactions.
While some saw it as yet another reason to visit a city that some people used to downright dread in the late hours of the night, many found everything from the decor to the “extended glamorised postmodern supermarket” as “a series of airport lounge shops” that degrade the site’s former glory.