At the core of this year’s ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People are highly relevant topical issues, including the environment, multiculturalism, bullying, sexual identity and young people’s role in society.
ŻiguŻajg’s ninth edition promises a varied programme for children of all ages. Currently, over 130 artists from across the globe are preparing for this much-loved festival. The programme consists of 21 projects from Malta, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Over the years, the ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival has been a platform for tackling contemporary issues of public interest. Protecting the environment has always been a central subject in the festival’s line-up, and this year is no different. Productions such as Wild, Wonder Waters and the film Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs face head-on the harmful effects of our actions on the environment. Along the same lines, multiculturalism and integration feature strongly in Tingo: The Tuneless Bird, and JamBoy is about friendship and empowerment.
ŻiguŻajg is renowned for having continuously nurtured fantastic creative and artistic productions. This year, the festival has commissioned five projects, while another five are co-productions with other public cultural entities. Ħożż il-Ħsejjes is a multi-disciplinary project inspired by the intrinsic relationship between clay and wheat. It is co-produced by ŻiguŻajg and the Gabriel Caruana Foundation.
Teatru Manoel and ŻiguŻajg have teamed up for a production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comic opera The Impresario. While Anthony Burgess’ classic and controversial novel A Clockwork Orange is brought to life as Larinġa Mekkanika, a co-production with Teatru Malta. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra has collaborated on Robin Hood u Marian to provide a musical, theatrical journey. And ŻfinMalta is participating in Get Loose, an energy-packed celebration of life, uniqueness and diversity.
But that’s not all. The programme features interactive and multi-sensory performances aimed at very young children. A lot of the repertoire has been designed to stimulate toddlers aged 0 to 4. Audiences can expect colourful and vibrant performances running the gamut from light and sound installations to dance and shadow puppetry.
Older children can choose from physical theatre, mime, circus-based theatre and art installations. There is also film, with the aforementioned Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs sharing the screen with Fight Girl, which is about a young girl’s kickboxing adventures.
“This is indeed an amazing line-up of Maltese and international works that are both thought-provoking and entertaining,” says Festival Director Daniel Azzopardi. “It is an eclectic selection that promises to bring joy to thousands of children and their families across Malta and Gozo.”
ŻiguŻajg is produced by Fondazzjoni Kreattività and will run from 15 to 24 November 2019. Most of the initiatives will take place in Valletta and Gozo. Booking for the festival is now open. For more information about the various productions on offer and to book tickets visit www.ziguzajg.org.