Festive Celebration, Colonial Condemnation: The Tumultuous Events of Carnival 1846 in Malta

09.12.2019 18:30 - 20:00

Guest Lecture by Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona (University of Malta)

The Maltese archipelago was a British colony from 1800-1964. The theatrical events of Carnival became the stage for the struggle between power and resistance. The 1846 Carnival was the first example of the manipulation of a theatrical event to express civil disobedience, which led to unrest. The talk shall trace the events of Sunday 22 February 1846, when the British Governor, Sir Patrick Stuart, withheld permission for the Carnival to take place. The Maltese disobeyed and came out to celebrate. The day ended in confrontation, violence, and unfair arrests. It will show how the display of power and resistance complemented the first burgeoning signs of popular will, and opened the way towards the claim towards autonomous government.


Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona is Chair of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Malta, and lectures within the Theatre Studies Department. She was appointed Ambassador of Malta to France between 2005-2009, and to Tunisia between 2009-2013. Her current research focuses on the relations between theatre and power, seen mainly from a postcolonial perspective. She has published internationally, mainly about theatrical events and public celebration, particularly Carnival, Commedia dell'Arte, theatre anthropology, Maltese Theatre and costume. Her most recent publications include : 'Drawing back the curtains on the actor's 'private place' : A personal journey into ISTA 2016, in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Routledge, 2017), 'The Performance of Deeds. Discovering Theatre in Malta through the Notarial Archives', (Malta, Kite Group, 2018),  Carnival and Power. Play and Politics in a Crown Colony (Palgrave Macmillan 2018).  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR). 

Institut für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, Hörsaal 3 (UZA II/Geo-Zentrum), Althanstr. 14, 1090 Wien