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In 2010, two decades after the first edition of Malta, Idioms will become an essentials element of the new programme strategy stemming from the founding thought to introduce the broad audience not only to phenomena that are beautiful or spectacular, but also to the ones that are significant, too.

If we consider the tradition and character of the Malta Festival, the event that turns Poznan into the living stage of theatre (and not only theatre) elements, „Malta Idioms" is a truly experimental Project. Idioms originated from the need to create the sphere of research In the Malta space, a specific laboratory which would allow us to describe violent changes the world is now expose to. We would like to look at these changes through selected artistic phenomena, and communicate them in a cross-disciplinary way.

Throughout the years, the Malta Festival has successively and consciously been losing its „theatrical" connotation, attracting the spectators with diverse arts. Such an approach was based both on an assumption to show the world from a broader perspective, and to treat the spectator-observer as a partner in a dialogue. The „Idioms" project results from Malta's maturity, but at the same time from its readiness to take risks and reject the well-known, safe formula. The festival should be something more than an overview of works. It should create the space for competition, for sharing experiences. It should be challenging and should try to meet the demands of spectators. In 2010, two decades after the first edition of Malta, Idioms will become an essential element of the new programme strategy stemming from the founding thought to introduce the broad audience not only to phenomena that are beautiful or spectacular, but also to the ones that are significant, too.

Idiom is a term of a given language, and, in consequence, of a given cultural circle. It is a combination of a few words whose meaning acquires new quality and cannot be directly translated into another language. Metaphorically speaking, an idiom creates a new sense and grasps the following thought in a precise way. The „Malta Idioms" project refers indirectly to the linguistic source. Idioms aim to identify important and innovate phenomena in the language of contemporary culture. Structurally, they will form an odyssey through the subjects with stages or parts being revealed at the successive stops. Seemingly apart phenomena: Flemish Theatre, Excluded, Europe-Asia, are in fact carriers of a similar intensive energy, a potential of transgression, revolt and change. The route of that specific journey is subordinate to the need  of phenomenological experience and cognition of reality - looking at it from different perspectives, in an equally right way, rejecting pre-judgments, required knowledge, and instead taking the risk of understanding the deeper side.


The first stage is an attempt to look at one of the most original theatre phenomena in Europe. Flanders - a small community with undefined borders, but with strong influence on Western culture- is the home of artists who bitterly and acutely comment on the modern reality. Yet, the idiom does not only focus on the belonging to the group, but also on a unique language spoken by our guest artists. In a sharp and uncompromising, yet highly poetical way, they tackle the subjects of loneliness and overabundance of the Western World constantly going through its own decline. Declared values and noble ideas are thwarted in political and social decisions accompanied by common passivity and hypocrisy. In this world  myths get fulfilled as if once again, just like foreboding stories without a moral. Flemish artists (of different, often non-European, roots and background) create the polyphony that is pen to dialogue with other cultures and is scanning them in search of the last shreds of innocence and truth lost at the Old Continent.



The second   stop is reserved for the „excluded" ones. They locate themselves in the space of transfer between the accepted or sanctioned and the area of „ex": extermination, ex-territory, or exclusion (the title one). The idiom understands man as a „pure" being with the contents (political, identity- related, social or national) successively inscribed in him by the system. The excluded are first of all people filled with improper contents, the suspected ones (those „unit", ruining the philosophical, social and economical harmony), but also the character of those meanings.

In Europe the Word „excluded" is used to describe people who are ill-adapted, crippled, with poorer status. Such recognition includes the stereotype (related mainly to the economical and social background of exclusion) and the silent mechanism of power, indicating the subordinate position of the excluded that are „doomed" to Rother people's good will. The „Excluded" Idiom is supposed to identify a European man in a trap: on the one hand immersed in the deformed myth and dream about universal values (tolerance, in particular), and on the other - sorting and excluding people and phenomena that threaten the utopia: deviant strangers from outside opposing the status quo. By gathering various artists who consequently struggle with the system of imposing contents we will be able to create a bit anarchic space for discussion appreciated by the man who is lonely, unsure of his position in the social and economical hierarchy, and often reduced to the role of a poor individual.


The next section of idioms is designed to give a further insight into the „familiar strangeness" and „unrecognized familiarity". The body of the contemporary Europe has never before been so unequivocal from the ethnical and cultural point of view. It contains strong Asian tissues that enrich it, and make it more mature and sensitive to unknown  areas and phenomena. However, Asia is more than not a foreign body that is threatening and incomprehensible. It demands explanation, adaptation and assimilation. European - Asian relations are thus characterized by ambivalence, ambiguity - they develop in a difficult environment of the sense of simultaneous eradication and belonging to a given world. They however constitute an essential value of the current state of Europe, the value that is impossible to be labelled with a shallow term of exoticism. Europe-Asia Idiom is supposed to make people aware of that situation and to show unobvious, transverse router that cross our cities and minds.

Idioms split in Europe and thanks to Europe, each stage being an attempt to define a broad phenomenon from the perspective of a very specific present localization. Individual subjects lit by the spotlights will - often indirectly - aim to reinterpret the European inherent or acquired identity that is now becoming more and more unsettled, unstable and unobvious. It seems that the festival conditions are perfect for this experiment, as they create an international and intergeneration space, an interior that can Rather phenomena and people of different milieus, and generate a language that would translate the idiom in the best and most precise way.

Katarzyna Tórz