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Under the Patronage of
His Excellency the President of Malta


In the Midst of Things – Grave / Vivo (Fin-Nofs)

Recently, three teenagers on a boat were accused of piracy in Malta. As of today, they are not allowed to get closer than 50 meters to the shore. Here, three musicians find themselves adrift in a dinghy amidst the expansive sea, clad in life jackets, embodying the precarious balance between vulnerability and resilience. This piece, an excerpt from Karl Fiorini’s “In the Midst of Things – Grave/Vivo,” draws inspiration from’s curatorial themes. Over, or beneath, Karl Fiorini’s music, one can hear a segment from the breakout sessions at the 2023 conference hosted by the European Union Intellectual Property Office, which focused on a different kind of piracy—intellectual piracy, digital piracy, counterfeiting piracy, content piracy—the online variety. Maritime piracy, on the other hand, involves human trafficking, illegal immigration, and hijacked vessels. Victims, criminals, pirates—in the heart of the sea.

This work compels us to examine the multifaceted implications of piracy within today’s geopolitical landscapes. Through the performances of Noel Curmi, Maria Conrad, Simon Abdilla Joslin, and Christine Zerafa, the piece resonates with the current zeitgeist, capturing Malta’s strategic position in the Mediterranean—a historical nexus of migration, human trafficking, and piracy. The juxtaposition of a piano on land against other instruments at sea probes the possibility of harmony amidst discord, echoing the ongoing dialogue between different realms of power and resistance. The closest the dinghi got, before drifting further away, is 50 meters away from the piano.

This narrative is not simply a reflection but a critical examination of the enduring legacy of maritime politics. The work offers a lens through which to view the Mediterranean—not just as a geographical boundary but as a cultural and political frontier that demands a reconceptualization of Europe’s relationship with its southern neighbors, who are not often afforded the luxury of discussing intellectual piracy.

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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.