Carnival has been a tradition in Malta for over 4000 years, since the Knights of St. John introduced this tradition on our shores. Historically Carnival has been the source of niche tourism and a light boost in the local economy due to ancillary services provided for those participating and celebrating Carnival each year.
However Carnival also brings about a select amount of people with a passion for a particular art/craft or trade to come together to participate in the competition itself.
Our group does just that, for the past 4 years, a group of over 25 enthusiastic youth who actively participate in the Carnival celebrations, have done so through carnival floats and decorated grotesque masks with dance performances.
This brings together a group of 5 people who act as team leaders in respective fields’ plan what category and what kind of float will be worked on, towards end of June. The leaders lead a team of youth for artistic design, mechanism and structure, electrical and lighting, dance choreography and costume design for dancers.
By early September these five groups meet up and start the primary structural work on the float as well as the moulding for the grotesque masks and main characters on the float, while another two teams work on what is needed for motor mechanisms and electrical works. As the work progresses the dance choreographer comes in to work out what dance will be best suited to accompany the float and the costume designer is also roped in to start preparing the costumes.
The ages of the youth who participate is from 18 upwards and come from Malta and Gozo, most of which dedicate almost 3-4 hours every week day after work from October onwards and most of their weekends/public holidays are spent there too, totalling over 1600 hours of workmanship dedicated for free on this tradition. Apart from some basic sponsorships, all machinery and supplies needed from year to year are paid for by this team of young enthusiasts
The past years has seen them win several first and second prizes under the “grotesque masks” category and “triumphal floats” category.
In a time where youth engagement is very hard to get, we are very proud of this project since the dedication and skills which this team continues to foster over the years has proven to be very successful.
The support we are looking for is to not only to raise awareness of this Maltese custom and the behind the scenes work which goes into this annual celebration, but also to helps us start being self-sustainable to ensure that we can continue to work and participate actively in this group, as well as to give more space for youth who are looking for a place to expand their arts/crafts talents.