“Sette” and “Culhat al Belt”(‘Seven’, and, in old Maltese, ‘Everyone for Valletta’) are just two of various initiatives being undertaken to commemorate the first centenary of the Sette Giugno events – the bloody riots which had led, two years later, to Malta being given a Constitution for a responsible government as well as the setting up of the first Maltese Parliament.
The rallying cry which had echoed 100 years ago, “Culhat al Belt”, is the theme of a researched documentary which is the result of collaboration between the Foundation for National Celebrations, Television Malta and the National Archives. Based on testimony of those who had lived through the Sette Giugno events, the documentary, produced by Mario Xuereb, includes new material, among which reference to particular documents which have been consulted for the first time, including a diary penned by a Maltese priest.
Spread over four forty-minute episodes, the “Culhat al Belt” episodes will be broadcast on the National station on four consecutive days, starting on 3 June.
The 100th anniversary of these riots will also be commemorated with an original musical, “Sette”, at Fort St Elmo, under the direction of the New Victorians. Bettina Muchmore explained that they wished to see how foreigners interpret this event, and are trying to present the musical from three angles which mould and represent the event. For this reason the musical will be performed in three languages: Maltese, English and Italian, and with original electronic music.
“There will be original songs in these three languages. This will also be a spectacle of this size, with 12 full-time actors with whom we have been working since December, and eight dancers from Zfin Malta,” Bettina Muchmore explained.
Culture Minister Owen Bonnici and Arts Council Chairman Albert Marshall explained that among other initiatives, for this anniversary TVM2 will be broadcasting a number of feature films inspired by events about the popular uprising against powers that oppressed the people. The Foundation for National Celebrations will be publishing a commemorative booklet, and in conjunction with Heritage Malta will also be mounting an exhibition in the Parliament building foyer.
The political and social aspect of the Sette Giugno will be analysed during a symposium at Castille.