15 Apr Folk Festival With a Difference
Għanafest is a folk festival with a difference. Whilst the Arts Council Malta recognises the importance of each of the festivals it produces, this Festival holds a special place within the Council’s repertoire. More than ever before, GĦANAFEST is, considered an expression of national identity – as it developed in recent years. It is thus paramount for this development to be reflected in the way the Festival is structured.
Folklore forms part of each and every person’s life. Today, our identity embraces the qualities pertinent to a rich, multicultural context. Folklore can be as traditional as a ballad, or as fickle as fashion; folklore may be as intimate as a lullaby but it can also be as public as a parade.
It is on this basis, that the Council is trying to promote our popular indigenous culture whilst simultaneously celebrating the flow of multicultural influences affecting and enhancing our lives through the enrichment of our culture.
This is, perhaps, one of the main reasons why the audiences enthusiastically attending Għanafest, at the Argotti Gardens, are increasing exponentially year after year. People are beginning to understand that this Festival is trying of widen the interpretation of folklore; they are realising the Għanafest is providing a wider cultural offering for them to relate to.
Through this platform, we are not simply paying homage to our cultural heritage, but we are also trying to build bridges linking us to our regional and cultural neighbours whilst broadening our knowledge relating to folklore, għannejja, musicians, dancers and visiting folklorists. We also value the participation of artisans, food-makers and crafts-people presenting traditional products. Above all, we value the participation of young people that are stepping forward and cultivating culture. This, ultimately constitutes the principal aim of an event like Għanafest.
Albert Marshall Chair – Arts council Malta