Cosmic Encounter in Malta - Transforming Lower Barrakka Gardens into an Immersive Theatre Experience

Jacob Piccinino Culture June 30, 2017 at 9:14 am
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Project Description

 – Project Description – 

Situated at Lower Barrakka Gardens, this project will tell the story of how 4 civilisations from 4 different planets who speak 4 different languages, are summoned  on our island in order to reverse the fate of the universe. The audience are given the chance to witness this FREE cosmic rendezvous and also interact with various performers who will showcase life on the other planets.

BabelX’s aim is to transform one of the most prominent gardens in the capital city into an immersive and participatory experience for the public. First Part of Babel: audience roam around the garden and interact with 8 installations that will be demonstrating life/traditions/stories from the other planets. Second Part of Babel: public witnesses the planetary encounter between the 4 main characters.

 – BabelX + Zaar = The Objective –

Funds were awarded through the  – Arts Council Malta & Malta Arts Fund – to cover the work-development and artists’ fees for the rehearsal process. However, I would like my original vision of BabelX to come to life – an idea that requires your help. Thanks to your donations, we could:

L-ewwel: Transform Lower Barrakka even further in terms of lighting & decorations

Two: Source & create costumes & props for the installations

Trois: Take the installations to the streets (refer to FAQ section)

 Dört: Devise music & soundscape

– Background –

Starting off on a completely different tangent, BabelX began as ‘Il-Manekkini’:

The Lower Barrakka is revamped as a ‘whimsical’ village named ‘Il-Villaġġ t’Akkarrab’ A curse has fallen upon its dwellers and has eliminated their ability to show benevolence or portray love. The audience will find ways in which they can expel il-Manekkini’s collapse.

A few days before my pitching session with the Arts Council, certain…many things in the media not only disturbed me but were also affecting people around me directly. Friends not being able cross to other places just because they hold a ‘stigmatized’ passport. Hearing hate speech taking place on a neighboring table, listening to it and yet, feeling so helpless and paralyzed on my chair. I knew that I wanted to create a project whose core was inspired and driven by what has been occurring around me for so long.

On the other hand, I apologize in advance; I can only describe my memory in one word: dreadful. Because in fact, I do not remember precisely how the ‘cosmic’ theme came about. However, I started sketching and after a few days, these 4 appeared:

– The Team – 

BabelX is a collaboration between many artists. The first part of the show includes dancers and actors who I have had the privilege to work with either on stage or in a street theatre show. These are Yasmin Falzon, Yasmin Schembri, Fabiana Mangialardi, Francesca Zammit, Rochelle Gatt, Christian Debono , Rachel Calleja, Mathab Mokhber and Martina Georgina. The development of these installations has been done through the help of Sandra Zammit (artistic director of ‘Opening Doors’) and Douglas Comley. These works portray my affinity to the unpredictable and most of them were inspired by previous works (refer to FAQ section).

On the other hand, the second part of BabelX will bring together a truly international collaboration: Turkey (Sencan Oytun Tokuc), Scotland (Alan Stuart Goldie Cairncross), France (Arthur Dumas) & Malta (Mariele Zammit). Costumes for these 4 actors will be made by Enrique Tabone. Artwork by Michele Benincasa and video production by  ‘The Amber Spark’.

acm_maf_v2_engThis project is supported by Arts Council Malta – Malta Arts Fund

Stretch Goals


Devise music & soundscape 1,150.00

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