Street Organ Blues
The ‘terramaxka’ is a traditional Maltese street organ that was popular in Maltese festas between the late 19th and early 20th centuries – the era which, in my opinion, produced some of the most interesting architecture on the island. Our streetscapes shape our daily lives, meaning our reality and identity are tied to our buildings. Buildings that we are losing to greed.
Malta has been failed by generations of self-serving politics which continues to rob the nation of its natural environment and aesthetic. The nation’s progress has been entrenched by the bipartisan system. “Street Organ Blues” reflects the major parties’ colours in its palette and comments on how conservation strategies are implemented at a snail’s pace, resulting in continued environmental degradation.
At the centre of the street organ, is what I perceive to be the ‘human street organ’ – the lungs. “I can’t breathe”, at the top of the organ makes reference to the recent murder at the time of George Floyd and a jab at the air quality on the island. Although my work tackles Malta’s environment, I see a parallel in the systematic failures leading to unwarranted deaths.