Jeremy Fernando at the University of Malta

March 31, 2016

On 24 March, 2016 — at the invitation of Evarist Bartolo, Minister of Education & Employment — Jeremy Fernando delivered an open lecture entitled ‘On writing — writhing, crying, screaming’ at the University of Malta. The event was moderated by Dr Alex Grech, Senior Consultant to the Ministry, and hosted at the Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences.

In his talk, Jeremy addressed the notion of writing and its relation to movement, openings, and the possibility of openness to the other, through a meditation on the very moment that writing is unable to write about — writer’s block.

              (with Dr Alex Grech, Senior Consultant to the Ministry of Education & Employment, Malta)

In the spirit of thinking with, alongside, along with, different disciplines, the talk was performed in conversation with the charcoal sketches of Singaporean artist Yanyun Chen, who very kindly graced the event with her presence.

                                                                (Yanyun Chen, ‘Two Standing Figures — for, L.M.’, 2015)

It was followed by a lively discussion — one that reflected both the diversity of the audience and the depth of their understanding of their various disciplines. Perhaps more importantly, it was held in the spirit of openness and generosity to possibilities, with a hospitality to ideas, divergences, and thought.

Attendees included Dr Vince Briffa, sculptor, charcoal & digital artist, and Head of Digital Arts at the Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences; Dr Giuliana Fenech, Lecturer in English at the Faculty of Arts; Mr Pawlu Mizzi of Valletta 2018 Foundation, the organisation responsible for the European Capital of Culture programme in Malta; Ms Rachel Baldacchino, researcher in Philosophy and Literature from Leuven Katolik Üniversitesi, Belgium; alongside students from the various faculties across the University of Malta.

                (with Dr Vince Briffa, artist and Head of Digital Art, University of Malta).

(with Dr Giuliana Fenech from the Faculty of Arts and one of her MA students. In the background are Ms Rachel Baldacchino from KU Leuven, and the artist, Ms Yanyun Chen)

Following the talk, a meeting was held with Professor Dr Hubertus von Amelunxen, President of the European Graduate School, where future collaborations between the University of Malta, the EGS, and Tembusu College were planned. These include a visit to Singapore by Philippe Beck, who received the Grand Prix de Poésie in 2015 from the French Academy in recognition of his poetic œuvre, in April 2017.

In addition, future collaborative possibilities in relation to Malta holding the Presidency of the European Union in 2017 alongside Malta being the European Capital of Culture in 2018 — in which education, in particular higher education, is one of the main themes for both events — were planned. 

              (with Professor Dr Hubertus von Amelunxen, President of the European Graduate School)

              (with Philippe Beck, poet and recipient of the Grand Prix de Poésie in 2015)

(with the artist Ms Yanyun Chen, and Professor Dr Christopher Fynsk, Dean of the Division of Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought at the European Graduate School)

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.