This is the fourth biennial symposium to be organised by Wirt iz-Zejtun. The theme being chosen for this year’s symposium is The Maltese Village.
The aim behind this symposium is to offer a platform for academics and researchers to share their knowledge about the subject and help the audience to appreciate better the values and heritage of our old urban settlements. This would lead to better understanding as to why we should conserve and protect these urban areas and their content.
Mr Joseph Schiro` will be taking the audience through a series of old maps to understand the formation and growth through different ages of the Contrada di Sancta Caterina of which today’s Żejtun forms part. Dr. Keith Buhagiar will be presenting his research on the influence of hydrology on settlement patterns in Medieval times with particular focus on the south of Malta. The evolution of the Maltese dwelling in the Medieval period will be the subject dealt by Dr. George Said Zammit, while Prof Denis De Lucca will be presenting his paper “The Impact of the Baroque Church on the development of the Maltese village.”
Il-Perit Edward Said will be discussing the British colonial influence on the development of the Maltese village and its effect on the post-Independence era. The collective memory through urban space and its content, with Paola as a case study, will be explained through the presentation by Perit Veronica Micallef, while Prof Conrad Thake will share his research on the changes and urban transformations of our villages in the past fifty years.
Wirt iz-Zejtun has invited Prof Brian Blouet as a special foreign guest for this year’s symposium who will be concluding the symposium by presenting his paper “Malta’s Villages: Origins and Evolution”. Prof Blouet lectures Geography at the William and Mary University at Williamsbrug in the US. He has been studying the Maltese settlements since the 1950s when he was working in Malta with the Royal Air Force but he is most known for his publication “The Story of Malta”.
Dr.Owen Bonniċi, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government will be opening the Symposium which will be held at the Gran Salon, at the National Musuem of Archaeology in Valletta on Saturday 20th October. Anyone wishing to attend is kindly asked to register on Wirt iz-Zejtun website, www.wirtizzejtun.com .