Sunday 19 September 2021

Science in the City back in the City

Above photo by Elisa von Brockdorff

Science in the City is back this September with a month filled with pre-festival activities for all, delivering science-inspired artistic content through its website and social media leading up to the live virtual and physical events to be held on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September.

Covid-19 has forced a complete overhaul of the festival to create a hybrid event of real-world and live-virtual festivals which are full of unique performances and shows together with an Explore the Arches area, where content will be accessible all weekend. Attendance is free of charge but seats must be booked in advance. Theatres and other venues in Valletta will host a variety of events from Friday 24th at 4pm right through to Saturday 25th September from 10am till 10pm. 

Five venues dotted around the city, St Dominic’s Theatre, San Gorg Preca College Primary, City Theatre, The National Museum of Archeology, Spazju Kreattiv and St Magdalene Church will be ablaze with activity. Each event is a thought provoking one, conceived to build pride in Malta’s cultural and natural heritage, inspiring the audience to take responsibility for the world around them, engaging them with knowledge to spark critical thinking and the desire to become more active in shaping their own future. 

Researchers, private companies, UM student associations, organisations, artists and NGOs from a spectrum of fields, have joined forces to stage these inspiring and engaging events. These collaborations aim to give all who attend a scientific mindset and become more powerful citizens. The MMSA for example will be highlighting the importance of embracing diversity. The University of Malta – FAST Project, will feature the aliens that have invaded our islands, plants and animals that destroy native ecosystems. The Environment & Resource Authority, in collaboration with the University of Malta, introduces Ċlikki’s wild adventure, this butterfly just wants to reach her family. Ċlikki’s Long Flutter Home spotlights the difficulties our wildlife is facing. Meet the animals as they struggle to survive the changes this island is undergoing.  Award-winning British comedy-singer-songwriter John Hinton will be presenting selection of his songs which resonate with the festival’s theme of ‘Sowing Seeds’. The set will include a song written especially for the festival with help from local children and in collaboration with Nature Trust Malta. 

The Time Traveller’s Dilemma installation by Glen Calleja’s SolidEye invites visitors to pass through a portal to other dimensions. Visitors will be able to have a conversation with someone from the past, even their past or future selves, look at objects that were used daily. This year also sees the launch of the festival’s new game show, the Game of Talents. Meet the men and women who live and breathe science, Malta’s researchers, line up while participants get a shot at guessing their profession, with very little clues to go on. 

Actors Jeremy Grech and Sean Briffa present ‘The Adventures of the Ammoknights: Moving Megaliths’, a creative performance/tour around Malta’s neolithic exhibits at the National Museum of Archeology. Using science and logic these two Ammoknights plan to spotlight the great achievements of these ancient people. The MSPCA presents Caged, a human tribute to the emotions of all animals trapped in small inhumane conditions.  BirdLife Malta is collaborating with the Chamber of Scientists Kids Dig Science to launch the puppet show on the Yelkouan Shearwater that inhabit our cliff faces. At Spazju Kreattiv, children will be encouraged to figure out how to safeguard the habitat that is so important to the life of these magestic birds, and Cliff the chick in particular. 

The festival has been carefully planned to ensure visitors, staff and volunteers experience the event safely. These and other real-world events will be seated f Health and safety measures will be implemented at all times. For this reason, audience numbers will be restricted, booking early is strongly advised via the Science in the City website and social media. 

Science in the City is part of the European Researchers’ Night, an EU-wide celebration. It is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement No 101036030, Arts Council Malta (ACM) and a number of corporate sponsors. It is recognised by Europe for Festivals and Festivals for Europe (EFFE). 

The Science in the City consortium is led by the University of Malta and the Malta Chamber of Scientists, in partnership with the Minister for Equality, Research, and Innovation, Trust Stamp Ltd, Malta Enterprise, MCAST, Qualia Analytics, Esplora, BPC International, SEM, PBS, Spazju Kreattiv, Tech.mt, Aquabiotech, Valletta Design Cluster, Valletta Cultural Agency, The Environment Resource Agency, WasteServ, More or Less Theatre and Keen Ltd. 

For regular updates please follow the festival’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ScienceInTheCityMalta | Twitter: @SciCityMalta | Instagram: @scicitymalta | LinkedIN: science-in-the-city-malta | Website: scienceinthecity.org.mt  

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