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A run-through of Malta Pride Week 2021 activities

After months and months of little to no updates regarding mass events and the like, Malta Pride Week was put on hold. Finally, Allied Rainbow Communities (ARC) received the news that the festivities can go ahead, so long as the measures and required regulations are adhered to.

This year’s theme, #YouAreInclued, serves as a reminder for all of us that equality is not a one-size-fits all concept and though a stupendous amount has indeed been achieved by the LGBTQI+ community, there are many people whose identities and experiences are not understood, seen or validated.

To summarise, Malta Pride Week 2021 is happening and will take place between the 10th and 19th of September. In spite of the uplifting news, it must be said that the Pride March, which was initially scheduled to take place on September 18th, will not be happening.

Don’t fret, however, ARC and other NGOs have a number of events and surprises up their sleeve. Here’s a run-through of every event you should be penciling into your diary:

Friday 10th September

The launch of a collective exhibition called REFRACTION, which will be running all the way up until 24th October. It will be showcasing the works of local and international queer artists at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta and will include a short film festival, in collaboration with Soura Film Festival from Berlin. Entrance is 100% free. Check it out here.

Saturday 11th September

On the 11th, LGBTI+ Gozo will be proudly inaugurating a brand new space, which will house the organisation and provide sustainable access to services for members of the Gozitan queer community. This will take place at 9am on Triq Enrico Mizzi in Rabat, Gozo. Click here for more details on the event.

On the same day, ARC and the Ministry for Equality Research and Innovation will be holding a symbolic representation by holding a 25-metre long Pride flag, in six different locations around Malta and Gozo. Click here for details or to register for the event.

Finally, a pre-Pride party will be taking place at Michelangelo, a gay club located on Triq Santa Rita in St Julians. Doors open at 9pm and DJ Paul Hamilton will be playing some catchy tunes. Check out the event here.

Sunday 12th September

Ħondoq Bay

Photo: visitgozo.com

On Sunday, an event is being held at Maori Bar, in Valletta. The LGBTIQ meet-up will kick off at 7pm and will include relaxed and friendly vibes. Though open for all, the event especially welcomes the LGBTQI+ and Ally community. Check out the event here.

On the same day, on Malta’s sister island, Xalata il-baħar ma’ LGBTQI+ Gozo. End the summer with a super party by the sea, which will be including music, water games and drinks at Ħondoq Bay at 11am. Click attending here.

Finally, 20 years of Trailblazing by MGRM will be taking place on Sunday. Serving as a contribution to Malta’s 20201 cultural landscape, this exhibition will feature a pictorial history of MGRM and the Maltese LGBTIQ community, alongside an exclusive display of Katya Saunders’ wardrobe. The exhibition will be taking place on Lucia Street in Valletta and will be taken down on the 18th September. Here’s the event.

Monday 13th September

Queerness matters at home: our storytelling space, will be launched on Monday 13th September. The space invites members of the Maltese LGBTIQ community, young and old, to discuss their ways of ‘making ourselves at home’. It will be done through the use of everyday objects, which could range from photos to memorabilia that make up daily life experiences. The event will be taking place on Merchants Street in Valletta at 8pm. Click here to RSVP.

Tuesday 14th September

Għajjejt u Xbajt is launching their first ever salon event in collaboration with ARC Malta for Pride. The focus is intersectionality in conversation and how people can prioritise moving into a future that is inclusive for all. The event will be taking place at 131 Valletta and is free to attend. Click here to RSVP to the event.

Wednesday 15th September

First up is the Pride Open Mic night at Maori in Valletta, which will be featuring 15 acts of eight minutes each, performing anything they would like, ranging from short stories to songs and poetry. Donations are welcome and all proceeds will go towards the Kitba Queer Project. Check out the event here.

Also on the 15th is H in HIV is Human: a talk and Q and A session, which will be taking place at the Valletta Design Cluster on Bull Street at 7pm. The Sex ed 101 talk will feature expert advice from GU clinician Dr Donia Gamoudi, with particular focus on HIV, in terms of prevention and treatment, followed by first hand accounts of what it’s like living with HIV from people living with it in Malta and abroad. Book your space here.

There will also be an event called Mixology Nights at the Alchemy in Valletta on the 15th. Alchemy is located on Strait Street in the capital and you can book your table here.

Thursday 16th September

BPM (Beats Per Minute) movie poster

Taking place at the Malta Chocolate Factory in Buġibba is ARC’s Monthly Catch-Up event. People gather every third Thursday of the month from 6pm till late just off Buġibba Square. Check out the event here.

Also on the list is the BPM Pride Week film screening. In celebration of Pride Week, MGRM and Moviment Graffiti are teaming up to host a free film screening of the award-winning 2017 film called BPM (Beats Per Minute). This will take place on Strait Street in Valletta at 7:30pm. Check out the event here.

Finally, on the 16th, the On the Margins: Threats to LGBTIQ Inclusion: Human Rights Conference. The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIGESC) Unit, within the Human Rights Directorate (MFER) will be hosting its annual conference, during which the unit will present the work done during the last year. The conference will take place between 10am and 12pm, through an online platform. Register for the event here.

Friday 17th September

First up: David Bowie made me Gay!, an event which is being held at Maori Bar in Valletta on Friday evening. From awesome allies to being out and proud, the Maori have got your LGBTQI+ music icons covered. The event will be featuring a number of clues, which attendees will have to use to guess which star the organisers are talking about. The winner gets a shot and the rest can groove to the tunes. Check it out here.

Also on the 17th is a community discussion, hosted by Drachma. A Home For All will be taking place at the Civic Centre in Swieqi and will kick off at 6:30pm. Keep an eye on this space for all the updates.

Beautiful Maltese singer Chiara will be performing at Michelangelo Cafe and Lounge on Great Siege Road in Valletta. Chiara, who has graced stages across the world and the Eurovision three times, will be joining the event for a wonderful evening of hits from the past and present. Check it out here.

The final event of the night is Pop Goes Pride, which will be taking place at Numero Uno in Ta’ Qali. I.YOU, St John and Mari Mars will be taking attendees  on a musical journey through queer wonderland. Doors open at 8pm. Book your table here.

Saturday 18th September

First up is the Malta Pride seated concert, which is being held at the Argotti Botanic Gardens in Floriana. The #YouAreIncluded concert is in association with HSBC and is a celebration of diversity and inclusion. As part of the concert, a drag competition will be taking place, where local and international judges will decide who deserves to take the crown! Get your tickets here.

Next is the BeatBears Present MARVELLOUS party, which will be taking place at Tigullio in St Julians on the 18th.  Following months of no dancing and absolutely no clubbing, the organisers are back to bring you MARVELLOUS, at the Malta Pride 2021 Party. Check it out here.

Sunday 19th September

Finally, there’s Pride around the Grand Harbour. You can enjoy a trip around the beautiful harbour on a pride-themed Maltese Dgħajsa, followed by a complimentary bottle of Prosecco per boat and appetisers served at Terrone in Birgu. Get your tickets here.

Closing off the week is Discotits by Panthems and Lollipop, which will be taking place at Omnia by Medasia, with doors opening at noon till 11pm. Featuring DJs Panelli, Alessandro Lega, Davvy_P, St. John and I.YOU, get your tickets here.

Which events will you be attending for Malta Pride Week 2021?