This weekend will mark 75 years since the end of World War II and Malta has its own special events planned to commemorate this special occasion.
Like most large events, the health crisis means the country’s original plans have had to be altered, but as they say, the show must go on.
Festivals Malta, Fondazzjoni Ċelebrazzjonijiet Nazzjonali and Folla Nies have shifted everything online, where they will be showcasing some of Malta’s finest talent in the arts and culture-driven celebrations like church bells and fireworks.
Here’s the full list of events happening this weekend. Consider your weekend plans inside sorted.
Commemoration with Malta’s iconic sounds
To kick things off this Friday the 8th of May, all parish churches around Malta and Gozo will be ringing their church bells at midday as a nod to this significant anniversary.
Then, between 11:30am and midday, 26 firework factories will team up to participate in a fireworks session. Because honestly, what is Malta without church bells and fireworks in the morning?
You can also take videos and photos from your homes, share them online and tag one of the festival creators, FCN with the hashtag #FCNWWII75 for the chance to be featured on their official social media pages.
Bridging the gap between then and now through art and literature
For the occasion, FCN, Festivals Malta and Folla Nies will showcase music and literature through humorous elements to link parallels between World War II and Malta in 2020.
Renowned artists Ray Calleja, Daniel Cauchi and the Big Band Brothers will serenade audiences with musical experiences and stories synonymous with the period. Drawing from the works of Trevor Zahra, Mark Attard and Simon Bartolo, it will stand as an artistic ode to those who lived throughout the war and reflect on how far (or not?) we are from the realities of war.
Catch the show ‘Minestra u Għaġin, Fażola u Sardin’ live on Saturday 9th May on TVM at 8:55pm.
And if you’ve got other isolation plans set in stone, tune in to the rerun which will be streamed the following day on TVM2 at 2:45pm.
Then, tune in to this jazz ode to life in World War 2
WWII Impressions is a jazz suite by distinguished pianist Dominic Galea, composed specifically for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The work draws from experts of the musical Il-Gwerra ta’ Spiru Cefai (Spiru Cefai’s War) which is set in this period.
The movements in this suite reflect on major historic episodes through various jazz styles, such as the Luftwaffe attack on HMS Illustrious, the relentless enemy bombardment on the Grand Harbour, the arrival of the Santa Marija convoy, together with aspects of daily life in those dark days: the black market racket, the Victory kitchen provisions, the rock-cut underground shelters and some entertainment in the red light district.
The work is complemented by the drawings of artist Ivan Sciberras adorning the booklet of the CD. The resulting projects bring together visual and sonic art that draws from historical research to create an homage to Malta’s crucial role in the Allied victory over the Axis forces.
WWII Impressions will be broadcasted live on Saturday, 9th May 2020 at 10:15pm on TVM, with a repeat the following day at 9:30pm on TVM2.
Finally, sit back and enjoy this suitably named docuseries
A 7-part mini docuseries called 75 Sena Minn Tmiem il-Gwerra, or 75 Years Since The End Of The War, highlights Malta’s journey in the war and the small island’s mighty role in the victory of the Allied forces. It is produced by Mario Xuereb for Television Malta in collaboration with FCN.
The series is already underway and ends on Sunday 10th of May, everyday at 8:50pm on TVM, and the repeat will begin on Sunday 10th May at 2:45pm on TVM2.
History is interesting but it’s even more interesting when it’s taught through art.
So sit back and relax, knowing you can be fully entertained while respecting social distancing and learn something about World War II that may have slipped past you during secondary school.
Tag someone who needs to see this!
All photos are thanks to Sebio Aquilina.