Even if you’re unfamiliar with the Maltese tongue, you may have noticed that some words roll off the tongue in the most delightful way. When this happens, you can bet that those words mean something that is equally delightful. Take ŻiguŻajg, for example. Say it slowly; utter each syllable. Isn’t it a gorgeous word? What on earth could it mean?
The definition is even more wonderful than the word itself! ŻiguŻajg is an International Arts Festival taking place between the 11th and 20th of November, aimed at children and young adults organised by Fondazzjoni Kreattiva, with the scope of inspiring young minds to fall in love with art of all forms.
We really do mean all art forms! From theatre productions and film showings, to art exhibitions and poetry readings, and basically anything else you can possibly think of and more, ŻiguŻajg is the perfect space to get your creativity pumping. Quite a few of the shows and exhibitions here are interactive, too, giving children a great opportunity to participate in creative spaces.
In fact, ŻiguŻajg is such a stellar introduction to the arts that Maltese schools use the festival as an opportunity to take their students out on field trips. Of course, even though the shows here are geared to younger audiences, anyone will be able to appreciate the intellect and effort that goes into making these ideas a very artistic reality.
We’ve hyped you up enough – let’s get into the details so that you and the kids in your life can experience ŻiguŻajg for yourselves! As in previous years, all the events that form part of the festival will be taking place in Valletta, which only further validates its position as the cultural capital of Europe in 2018.
So how do you get your tickets for ŻiguŻajg? There are two ways – the first, and perhaps the easiest, is to get them directly from www.ziguzajg.org (note the lack of Maltese letters). The other is to purchase them from the St James Cavalier box office.
Now, it’s important to understand that you won’t be buying a block ticket for the whole festival – you’ll be buying individual tickets for individual events. This isn’t a problem because each ticket costs only a measly €2, meaning that attending ŻiguŻajg is unlikely to put a dent in your wallet. However, it does mean that you really need to do your homework to make sure you’re buying tickets for the shows you truly want to see from all the available ones.
Browsing through all the events might seem very daunting – how do you possibly begin? Luckily, ŻiguŻajg’s website is very comprehensive, and gives you a detailed list of every single show. It even lets you browse by selecting different age categories, including 0-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13+.
If you still need some help, we’ve gone through the list ourselves and took note some of the shows that we thought would be particularly interesting. That doesn’t mean that these are the only shows worth watching! Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth, but if we chose every single show we wanted to see this blog post would never end! So without further ado, here are some our ŻiguŻajg choice cuts:
For anyone unfamiliar with Malta’s capital, Discover Valletta is a must. An audio-tour of sorts, presented by leading author Trevor Żahra no less, this is a great way to visit 24 locations around the capital and learn all about them in a colourful and engaging way. No, it’s not just a history lesson – it’s also a great way to experience digital storytelling!
Stick Stones Broken Bones
Taking place at San Gorg Preca College, Stick Stones Broken Bones is a comedy show consisting of shadow puppets! Aimed at children aged 7 and over, the show has a real surrealist feel amidst the side-stitching humour. You don’t need to take our word for it, either – the show has been performed worldwide to great success!
There will also be accompanying workshops for those who want to further immerse themselves in the spirit of creativity!
If you don’t understand a lick of Maltese, it’s understandable that you might be worried about adopting a blank face when watching some of the shows at ŻiguŻajg. Though several of the productions are in English, Starlet – which takes place at the City Studio Theatre – eliminates the worry further by being a non-verbal theatre show!
Great for the little ones, Starlet is about two explorers who happen to be both time travellers as well as space explorers. Their rocket malfunctions, leading them to land on the moon. They end up befriending a small star, Starlet, and the rest of the production revolves around the heroic act of trying to get her home.