Malta Pride Month is currently underway, and events and initiatives are being organised in celebration of the community.
REFRACTION is one of the exhibitions set to hit Spazju Kreattiv for Pride Week, as a celebration of LGBTIQ+ artists worldwide, and as well as a recognition that the fight for equality is an ongoing global issue.
The collective exhibition puts a spotlight on what is usually unseen, forgotten about, or misunderstood, and aims to raise awareness on these matters.
Bobb Attard, the curator of this body of work, told Lovin Malta that the exhibition will serve as a portal into a multitude of experiences through various visual art forms.
“It puts focus on disability, mental health, HIV, activism and personal experiences faced by queer people in countries including Morocco, Palestine and Kosovo,” said Attard.
Attard also explained the root of inspiration for this exhibition, mainly being “keeping up with global news, listening firsthand to a variety of experiences faced by LGBTIQ+ people worldwide and keeping up with the global queer art scene through the years”.
“I grabbed Malta Pride’s ‘You Are Included’ tagline and ran away with it, bringing a wide array of experiences and topics from disability to the inclusion of gender-neutral language in Maltese,” Attard explained.
Rather than just sending a message from all of this, Attard is aiming to “enhance, and add to the ongoing dialogue on global LGBTIQ+ rights, linking them to local LGBTIQ+ experiences and issues”.
In addition to the works on display, there will also be a film program in collaboration with Berlin’s SOURA Film Festival.
The film program will showcase seven short films from SWANA Region. The films will be shown on the 24th and 25th of September.
REFRACTION echoes a sense of strength, resilience, and power; sometimes from the most unexpected places.
Attard also stressed that “the goal of the exhibition, other than showcasing queer art at a bigger scale on our island, is to create more awareness, visibility, and dialogue.”
He also feels that there is still a lot of room for improvement in the local LGBTIQ+ community in Malta, and highlighting the need for outreach and dialogue.
“There are still a wide number of LGBTIQ+ people who fear coming out, including migrants and older LGBTIQ+ people. Problems like racism, sexism, transphobia, ageism, and ableism are unfortunately also a problem within the community.”
The collective exhibition will feature works by; Samar Hazboun, Leart Rama, HUSS, Kristian Chalakov, Mohsin Shafi, Elle Conant & Roux Noel, Imad Zoukanni, Roxman Gatt, Robert Andy Coombs, Dirk H Wilms, Lin Zhipeng (aka. No 223), Daphne Sammut, Agataukoxxx, Noah Fabri, Lau Baldo & م ح س ن.
The exhibition will also feature a series of talks on disability, mental health, and rights in countries where LGBTIQ+ people are still marginalized, which will feature local activists and some of the participating artists.
REFRACTION is set to run from 10th September to 24th October, at Spazzju Kreattiv in Valletta.
Cover image source: Lau Baldo
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