Thursday 11th April 2013

Grand Hotel Excelsior, Floriana, 8.30am-3.30pm


Haim Bresheeth

Well-known writers, academics and cultural operators from Europe and the Mediterranean will be meeting in Malta on Thursday 11th April 2013 at the Grand Hotel Excelsior  for the biennial Forum Mare Nostrum organised by the European Writers’ Council and hosted this year by the Akkademja tal-Malti (the Maltese Language Academy) which represents Malta in the EWC.

This VIIth edition of the Forum, which is open to the general public, starts at 8.30am and runs till 3.30pm.

The theme of the Malta meeting is “Discourse/Disorder,” telling stories of revolution and social upheaval in the Mediterranean and Europe. One of the highlights of the Forum will be a public reading by the acclaimed Egyptian-British novelist Ahdaf Soueif from her latest book, Cairo: my City, our Revolution. The morning encounter with Dr Soueif will be moderated by Adrian Grima.

The high profile list of speakers and panelists also includes Kenza Sefrioui (France-Morocco), Adel Bishtawi (Palestine-UK), Karsten Xuereb (Malta), Simone Inguanez (Malta). Clare Vassallo (Malta), Cécile Oumhani (France), Walid Nabhan (Malta), Albert Gatt (Malta), Marco Galea (Malta), Stephanos Stephanides (Cyprus), Haim Bresheeth (UK), Yosefa Loshitzky (UK), and the novelist and cultural operator, Suzanne Joinson (UK).

Another highlight will be the presentation of parts of the documentary film, London is Burning, by Haim Bresheeth, who teaches at SOAS, the renowned School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky, who also teaches at SOAS, will talk about “Popular Cinema as Popular Resistance: Avatar in the Palestinian (Imagi)nation.”

Dr Marco Galea will give the first plenary talk of the forum, introducing the theme “Discourse/Disorder,” while the poet and academic from the University of Cyprus Prof. Stephanos Stephanides, will speak about “The Disorder of Discourse.” He will be followed by the novelist and cultural operator Suzanne Joinson who will speak about “The Medina and the Architecture of Light: bridging the stories of East and West, a writer’s perspective.”

A panel discussion at 11.45am, about “Translation Disorder,” chaired by Dr Clare Vassallo, will feature UK-Palestinian writer Adel Bishtawi, linguist and literary translator Dr Albert Gatt, and Maltese-Palestinian novelist Walid Nabhan. A second panel discussion, starting at 2.30pm and chaired by Dr Simone Inguanez, will deal with “Righting the Mediterranean.” The panelists are Dr Karsten Xuereb, an expert on cultural relations between Europe and the Mediterranean, French poet and novelist Prof. Cécile Oumhani, and French-Moroccan cultural operator Kenza Sefrioui.

ahdaf-soueifAhdaf Soueif

After the forum, there will be a public encounter with Ahdaf Soueif at 7.00pm in which she will be interviewed by Stella Borg Barthet about her literary works and activism. This event is being held at the Auditorium of the Valletta Campus of the University in St Paul’s Street. This event is being hosted by the Akkademja tal-Malti in collaboration with the Department of Maltese in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malta and is also open to the general public.

The Forum Mare Nostrum of the European Writers’ Council is being convened by the Akkademja tal-Malti and supported by the Maltese Ministry of Finance, Malta Tourism Authority, European Writers’ Council, Authors Licensing and Collecting Society, French Embassy in Malta, European Commission Representation in Malta, British Council, Bloomsbury, Marsovin, and St John Co-Cathedral Foundation.

University students, academics, writers, and members of the general public who would like to attend are to contact Carmel Azzopardi at

Adrian Grima

adrian.grima (at)

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