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Under the Patronage of
His Excellency the President of Malta


Constitution Groundwork

“A sign is everything which can be taken as significantly substituting for something else,” Umberto Eco explains in “The Theory of Semiotics.

“Constitution Groundwork” is a music video set in Ta’ Qali National Stadium, which premiered at the 2024 opening. Conceived and directed by Sean Buhagiar, it explores Malta’s constitutional connection with the George Cross, a British crown war medal, notably without displaying the flag. This work is inspired by ORDINANCE XVI of 1943, which restricts the use of the George Cross in Malta outside the National Flag context. This regulation frames the narrative around Captain Joseph E. Agius’s case in 1959, 65 years ago.

The video juxtaposes football’s nationalistic fervour with the George Cross’s symbolism through an improvisational jazz rendition of the English national anthem. Presenting the George Cross as Malta’s paramount trophy, awarded by a British King whose name is the only name mentioned in the national constitution, it then showcases over 400 recipients’ names in the stadium’s empty VIP area that have been awarded the same medal, the overwhelming majority of which are men. 

Featuring contributions from Mro. Dominic Galea, Oliver Degabriele, Warren Galea, and Ġużè Camilleri il-Bibi, with spoken word by Stjanu Debono, the piece incorporates Malta’s Constitution excerpts. The selection of the stadium as the venue draws inspiration from Rużar Briffa’s evocative encounter at a 1946 football match, an event that arguably gave rise to the most patriotic verse taught within the educational curriculum.

“Constitution Groundwork” interrogates identity and semiotics, and colonialism’s lasting constitutional and legal impacts, providing a nuanced exploration of how symbols shape collective narratives and consciousness. Echoing Eco’s words, what is the George Cross substituting?

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Opening Ceremony Artistic Director

Sean Buhagiar (1986) is a versatile Maltese Theatre-Maker, Actor and Artistic Director, also working in video and film. 

His current theatre work is inspired by the relationship between The society of the spectacle and Audience provocation (Po, Edward De Bono) in the Age of Distraction. 

He defines himself as being a gentle radical that flirts with the mainstream. His work spans over 15 years, garnering several awards; critical and audience recognition. 

Notably, he’s Teatru Malta’s Artistic Director, the national theatre company of Malta.