Photo: Federico Peltretti – Stylist: Kira Drury Make-up: Chantal Busuttil – Hair: Clinton Chetcuti
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Barcelona is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, rich in cultural heritage and home to the renowned architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner. After dark, flamenco is in full swing, theatres throw open their doors, tapas bars continue to give out bitesized delectables and Ibiza-style beach clubs and underground nightclubs keep things pumping. Joanna Delia shares her experiences in Barcelona, and we also meet Dutch artist Annette Merrild, who has been living there for a decade. We see inside an apartment designed by Spanish designers Daniel Pérez and Felipe Araujo and get cooking with some traditional paella recipes by Javier Rocomonde. Have you ever thought that you were once living another life before this one, or wondered how your dreams can be interpreted? Julian Cardona and David Schembri offer their research and opinion on the theory of re-incarnation, and dreams. Wayne Flask is back, reminiscing about his favourite songs of all time, and meet Karl Consiglio, the author of ABZ, raw and uncut and more!
18. DREAM ON! David Schembri explores one of the most intriguing
phenomena of human existence
23. ALBUMS THAT CHANGED* MY LIFE *including temporary loss of sanity 26. BEYOND THE VISIBLE
We check out the work of Danish artist Annette Merrild, living and painting in Barcelona
30. DESIGNS FOR LIFE
We bring some more whacky creations you really don’t need, but want so badly!
33. RETRO VINTAGE We get to look inside an apartment in one of the most
trendy and historic towns of Barcelona
41. FASHION: TRIBAL CHIC VAMP Summer fashion shoot by Federico Peltretti 49. INTERVIEW: KARL CONSIGLIO Karl Consiglio launches his new book ABZ
[ parental guidance advised ]
52. D’DAY IN GIBRALTAR Editor Lily Agius Design / Publisher Chris Psaila Photographers Federico Peltretti Kris Micallef Stylists Kira Drury Pavli Medvedova Sales & Marketing Manager Matthew Spiteri 7724 2490 Sales / Mag Coordination Sam Psaila - 7788 0300
Contributors Annette Merrild Canas Y Tapas Chantal Busuttil Clinton Chetcuti Daniel Pérez Dr. Joanna Delia Felipe Araujo Gilbert Bray - WotzMedia Havier Rocomonde Justine Micallef Julian Cardona Karl Consiglio Kimberley Louise Mikaela Borg Barthet Nicky Scicluna Sandra Calafato Shideh Olafsson Tamara Webb Wayne Flask Printers Print It
Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. Dates, information and prices are believed to be correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. Neither the editor nor the publisher accept responsibility for any material submitted, whether photographic or otherwise. While we endeavour to ensure that the organisations and firms mentioned are reputable. The editor can give no guarantee that they will fulfill their obligations under all circumstances. © Copyright 2013
Shideh Olafsson speaks to VAMP about this year’s successful debut of Runway in Gibraltar. Followed by a photoshoot by Kris Micallef in this stunning location. [ see pgs 53-57 ]
62. THE WHEEL OF LIFE Are we born again? Julian Cardona explores the
possibility through cases of re-incarnation
64. THE CATALAN CRUSH
Dr. Joanna Delia shares her love, for Barcelona
67. PAELLA PERFECT Two authentic Spanish recipes cooked by
Chef Havier Roccomonde
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VAMP MAGAZINE UPDATE
GET STYLISH HASSLE FREE WITH LUKE ENGERER Time has become an issue for most of us and shopping for clothes can be a daunting task. We have more options but we have less time! Personal Shopper serves as a dual purpose website created for you, to do just that, save you time! Browse products to see what is available and plan your shopping trip (I’ve done the ground work for you) or you can order online for free next day delivery. If you don’t find what you are looking for on the website just let me know and I will get back to you with some options. We also offer a live chat service where you can get advice or suggestions and if I’m not online simply leave a message and I’ll get back to you pronto! Personal Shopper brings Top Quality Brands to you in the comfort of your own home. No Parking, No People, No Panic! www.personalshopper.com.mt
This classic style armchair has a wide baroque shaped beech wood structure and is upholstered in white leather with a comfortable seat cushion and a deep-buttoned back. It comes with a glossy white polished finish and the seat is padded with webbing and foam. Elegant trimmings include silver nails and tufted back. Exclusively available from Abitat in Ta’Xbiex www.abitat.com.mt
MATERIALS WITH A MODERN DESIGN The metal industry and the traditional techniques used in manufacturing cane products are brought together in ‘Raphia’ designed by Lucidi Pevere for Casamania. A chair that expresses a contemporary aesthetic through its metal frame (available in white, black, bordeaux or azure), while also reminding us of the time-honoured process of furniture caning which has been applied to form the design’s seat and backrest.
THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF URBAN JUNGLE Urban Jungle first opened its doors to the public in 1993, with a concept store in Bisazza Street, Sliema, stocking mainly Nike and Converse products. From there, Urban Jungle began sprouting shops across Malta and Gozo.
Loft – Triq San Pawl, Naxxar T: 2099 9966 www.loft.com.mt
SUMMER STOCK AT THE DUKE SHOPPING MALL All outlets at The Duke Shopping Mall have stocked up for the hot summer months. Open every day including Sunday’s and with free parking for all shoppers. The Duke makes your shopping experience as hassle free as possible. Republic Street, Victoria, Gozo T: 21 558000 www.thedukegozo.com
MAKE A STATEMENT
For many Maltese, 2004 was a year of change, with Malta joining the European Union. It was no different for Urban Jungle, with the brand being bombarded from every side by competitors – both locally and internationally. With the quote “The best defence is a good offence” deeply rooted in the company’s mindset, Urban Jungle pushed through the constant, managed to turn the threat into opportunity and exported the concept overseas. In 2006, Urban Jungle broke into the Italian market – opening its first store and beginning a beautiful relationship with the Italian sneaker heads. Gianluca Salute, a Nike Italy veteran, joined the Urban Jungle franchise in 2011 and helped elevate the franchise into a premium sneaker destination, now with over 18 stores officially open in Italy. At present, Urban Jungle has 31 stores open worldwide – including Malta and Italy. In Africa, Time International is brand ambassador for Nike in North Africa and considered the largest Nike distributor for that continent. By 2015, Time International will have amassed 100 stores worldwide.
esprit.com TOWER ROAD • SLIEMA / MERCHANTS STREET • VALLETTA / THE POINT SHOPPING MALL • TIGNE TEL: 2060 1075 EMAIL: INFO@ESPRITMALTA.COM
VAMP MAGAZINE UPDATE
WHAT POLAAR BARES THE EARTH’S SOUTHERNMOST CONTINENT NURTURES SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST HIDDEN COSMETIC SECRETS, AND HAS ONLY BEEN GIVEN ITS ‘GREAT REVEAL’ THESE LAST EIGHT YEARS, AFTER DECADES OF METICULOUS RESEARCH AND SUCCESSFUL RESULTS. VAMP TALKS TO DANIEL KURBIEL, THE SAILOR AND FOUNDER BEHIND THE EVER-INCREASINGLY POPULAR BRAND, POLAAR. Words: Lily Agius The first thing that came into my mind while on my way to meet Daniel Kurbiel is the freezing temperature levels at which the expedition would take place – not only does it sound terrifying, but also as if it would be one of the most difficult challenges known to man. Finding thousands of organisms in the snow and travelling through the treacherous polar seas full of icebergs for months on end is not something I would sign up for in a hurry. So, on a hot sunny day in Malta I stepped in to a press launch to find him and learn more about these ‘superior’ products now launched in Malta. Easy to identify from the group of tanned, dark-haired Maltese in uniform, Daniel and I sat down to talk. I learn that Daniel was born into a life of science, nature and ambition, having adventurous parents – Dr Janusz Kurbiel and his wife, Joelle – who explored the Antarctic before he was born. Twenty-five years later they sailed together for nearly six months, navigating the Northwest Passage to test skincare products in extreme weather conditions and to identify new active ingredients.
EARTH GARDEN – NOT JUST AN EVENT BUT AN EXPERIENCE! This year’s festival was by far the biggest, brightest and best attended so far. The secret of its success over the last six years probably lies in the very simple fact that Earth Garden has grown at a steady pace and the organisers have taken good care when opening up more areas and building on the experiences that make the festival so unique. Nevertheless, anyone who walked through the transformed Ta’ Qali National Park would have noticed that the roots of this festival had been kept intact. www.earthgarden.com.mt
“We know very little about what is out there – we have barely scratched the surface!” Daniel tells me. “Some finds are as old as 1000 years!” But, I ask, what can these ingredients do for the human skin that can’t be done by other products out there? Daniel gives me some statistics for the Siberian Olive: 30 times more Vitamin C than an orange, three times more Vitamin E than sunflower oil, nine times more pro-vitamin A than a carrot – well, for a start this does sound interesting – even to the most blasé of cosmetic buyers. Not only that, Moroccan cosmetic companies have now cottoned on to this ‘Antarctic’- grown olive, although they have always considered their own Argan trees to produce oil as worthy of reverence as holy water. All the products by Polaar have gone down their own path of discovery, and all offer something new and sensational. From the lab on the boat in the desolate and icy sea, to the cultivation in France; the results of nature and science have found their way into the lives of those who are in want of simplicity, but also something extraordinary. Having tried and tested most of these products since meeting Daniel Kurbiel, I still get a kick out of using them – the cool feeling of Icy Magic under my eyes and the smooth Ice Perfect Siberian Olive Extract Radiance Cream every morning has got me hooked. For more information about Polaar, log on to www.polaar.com. You can also buy and try it for yourself – exclusively sold and distributed by Ta’ Xbiex Perfumery, T: 2133 1553
CAROLINA HERRERA FOR MEN Carolina Herrera takes inspiration from her days on the American East Coast. Long, fun-packed weekends under the sun enjoying water sports with friends and loving life. The smell of the sand, the sea and the wet wood of beautifully-crafted classic motor boats. There are notes of bergamot, grapefruit, sage, marine accord, Szechuan pepper, juniper, sandalwood, vetiver and oak moss. Carolina Herrera CH Men Sport is available in 50ml and 100ml eau de toilette. Distributed by Ta’Xbiex Perfumery Limited Tel: 2133 1553
DIESEL STORE: Merchants Street, Valletta St. Anneâ€™s Square, Sliema
Tel: 2258 4434 diesel.com
H a i r : M i k a e l a B o rg B a r t h e t P h o t o g r a p her: Federico Peltretti - www.federicopeltretti.com w w w. o o i i . c o m . m t ’ s B e s t M a l e & Female Beach Body Summer 2012 winners. R a o u l S t a f r a c e a t m o d e l s . c o m.mt – Stephanie Peel at models.com.mt S p o n sored by the Lido
Raoul: Gucci shades - Solaris €170 Vans trucker cap - Urban Jungle €27.00 Havaianas flip flops - Urban Jungle €22.00 Hurley red swimming shorts - Urban Jungle €45.00 Stephanie: Dior shades - Solaris €350 Hurley blue ripple bikini top - Urban Jungle €33.00 Hurley blue ripple bikini bottoms - Urban Jungle €27.00 White wedges - New Look €24.99
S t y l e d B y : K i r a D r u r y Make-up: Kimberley Louise
FASHION DREAM TRENDS ON!
ne of the most intriguing phenomena of human existence is dreaming. Dreams, since time immemorial, have enabled human beings over the years to go through journeys in inexistent lands, and live through experiences which have not been lived.
By David Schembri
For centuries, these insights into this “other dimension”, so to speak, which often feel real, have scared, confused, intrigued and excited those who have experienced them. Needless to say, a variety of interpretations for this phenomenon abound, starting from the mythological musings of earlier civilisations to the philosophical pondering of later generations and on to neuroscientific studies carried out in these past years. In the beginning was the dream – at least according to Australian Aboriginal mythology. In this tradition, the Dreamtime is the period of time in which the world, men, women and the laws they had to obey were created. In some Aboriginal cultures, the Dreamtime is still going on but hidden; in others, the Dreamtime is now over. The connections to the supernatural are also present in other cultures, particularly in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. >>
“A DREAM IS A MICROSCOPE THROUGH WHICH WE LOOK AT THE HIDDEN OCCURRENCES IN OUR SOUL”. – Erich Fromm One particular dream stands out as being particularly significant to these traditions, and that is the dream where Jacob dreamed “there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven”, with “the angels of God ascending and descending on it”. In this dream, God promises Jacob who was later to become Israel –to give the land he lay on to him and his descendants, who “shall be like the dust of the earth”, scattered all round the world. That’s one dream that came true. Still in the Bible, in the book of Daniel, the prophet interprets the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which in turn won him favour with the king. Interestingly, Daniel came to know of the content of the dream not through Nebuchadnezzar himself, but through a vision from God in the night. God is also seen as giving instructions through dreams: Joseph, the husband of Mary, is instructed by an angel in a dream to flee to Egypt. But the prophetic nature of dreams is not exclusive to the Abrahamic religions. The Mesopotamians believed dreams carried omens, as did the ancient Greeks, who had a designated god – Morpheus – to appear in dreams (later to star in The Matrix trilogy). The ethereal nature of dreams is also captured vividly in the indigenous North American tradition of dream-catchers – elaborate nets which were placed over beds to filter the bad dreams and keep the good ones in. Nowadays, rather than being a window onto the spiritual realm, dreams are more often seen as being a window into our subconscious. Although it is more prevalent nowadays, the roots of this theory stretch deep into history, at least back to the time of the Upanishads (900-500 BC), a set of Indian philosophic texts, where dreams are seen as yet another mode of consciousness, no less real than our waking state. The link between dreams and the subconscious is most often connected with Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. In his classic work The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud dismissed the notion of dreams as being nonsensical; rather, he calls the interpretation of dreams the “royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind”. Freud saw dreams as manifestations of unconscious “wish fulfilment’, which, if read between the lines, would be related to memories and experiences from our early childhood.
Carl Jung, while rejecting many of Freud’s theories, did agree with him on one cardinal point: namely that dreams are manifestations of our unconscious self. He placed a large amount of significance on dreams, eventually coming to believe that dreams were a form of message to the dreamer, with repeated and recurring dreams being considered a form of unresolved business to which one must attend. A person’s concerns and state of mind are also an important factor when it comes to dreams. A recent study centered on divorced people found that the ex-spouse featured more often in the dreams of the subject for whom the divorce was still an issue, with the former partner featuring less and less in the dreams of those who were getting over their divorce. In a similar vein, people who have been through trauma and who experience fear in real life often have a higher incidence of nightmares and anxiety dreams – further proof, if any was required, of the intimate relationship which exists between our dreaming and waking selves. These findings are perhaps a more articulate understanding of long-known truths. For instance, in the most ancient of Buddhist texts, the Pali Canon, we find that the man centered in loving-kindness “sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams”. This relationship between dreamed and dreamer is also expounded by neurology. Eugene Tarnow, for instance, re-jigs Freud’s theories and posits that dreams are the “excitation” of our long-term memory, which in turn explains their strangeness. Furthermore, other neurological studies suggest that the illogical locations, characters and dream flow may actually strengthen and link what are known as semantic memories. Meanwhile, science has indeed acknowledged the fact that some dreams foretell our future. What it also says is that, more than a window into the future, it is our memory being selective and remembering only the dreams that were actually reflected in real life. Then again – in the tradition of Rene Descartes and The Matrix – who is to say that “real life” isn’t actually a dream in itself? V
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Michael Kors – €278
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STYLE COMES IN MANY FORMS Get down to Sunlab and check out a vast range of designer eyewear for spring / summer 2013! CALL AT ONE OF OUR STORES: BAY STREET • GOZO • PAOLA • SLIEMA • THE POINT • VALLETTA
[ *INCLUDING TEMPORARY LOSS OF SANITY. ] BY WAYNE FLASK
THE EARLY YEARS Guns n’Roses: Appetite for Destruction (1987)
“You can have anything you want/but you better not take it from me...” Picture this: I’m 14, 15, hair down to my shoulders, and these are the last two or three years before the inevitable happened: clubbing and everything it stood for (social status and the opportunity to strut branded wear) swept through my mates’ lives like a Shinkansen bursting through a pottery shop. It took with it their last shreds of confused revolutionary fervour and unabashed adulation of Nirvana. I was the one who was left behind, and I loved Guns n’Roses. Brash, naughty, raw and undeniable loud, Appetite represented the debut of one of the world’s biggest, most successful, and possibly most over-rated hair metal bands (they all are). As my hairline receded so did my interest in hair metal I loathe it these days but Appetite, with its evil streak that goes beyond the cliché of the very obvious hits, was the brick that shattered the glass wall of my innocent years. >> BARCELONA ISSUE
THE EPIPHANY The Cure: Disintegration (1989)
“And the wind is blowing like it’s the end of the world/you said and it’s so cold it’s like the cold if you were dead/and then you smiled for a second” There have been a few moments in my life so far where my legs felt numb, as if paralysed by a magnetic force stemming from the earth below. Among them, my first close shave at the wheel, my first crash at the wheel, and The Cure. My infatuation with The Cure started around 2003. I’m gazing out of the passenger window of my friend’s car, it’s a Monday morning drive from a wedding weekend in Gozo, the weather’s shite and a cloud of existentialist preoccupations hangs over me. Robert Smith’s cradling me as we drive through Qawra, past Kennedy Grove, Salina, the Coast Road, and back into urban normality. It wasn’t the first time I was listening to Disintegration, but the first time I actually gave it some thought it felt like I’d struck gold or something. My feet would turn to jelly again last summer, in a starry night in Oeiras, Lisbon, as they delivered an excruciatingly perfect three-hour set after which I could have died a happy man: Lovesong, Pictures of You, Lullaby, the epic opener Plainsong and The Same Deep Water as You.
LOOKING BACK IN ANGER Nine Inch Nails: The Fragile (1999)
“Awake to the sound as they peel apart the skin/they pick and they pull/trying to get their fingers in” I’m still not sure what attracted me to Nine Inch Nails in the first place. I hated them, I hated Trent Reznor, and yet something changed a few years after I gave The Fragile its first, speculative spin in my discman. Anger, paranoia, claustrophobia: The Fragile was so much more than anything else that had ever been written. NIN, in my heart of hearts, put Metallica to shame. Less revered by fans and critics than The Downward Spiral, Fragile justified your paranoia and egged you on into a solo brawl against faceless riot police armed only with your fingernails and larynxes. Pounding industrial rock alternating with finely crafted piano interludes: it also proved to be a fantastic companion for dour days in dour offices.
NEW ADVENTURES IN KRAUTROCK Can: Tago Mago (1972)
I must have been German in my previous life, even though I don’t find Benny Hill amusing. I’m not a huge fan of psychedelia but Tago Mago whoa this was something else. Fronted by Kenji “Damo” Suzuki, Can were probably the biggest ambassadors of the Krautrock movement in Germany. There’s an interesting story behind Krautrock (think of Kraftwerk as its biggest achievement), but I’m not here to give you a history lesson. I’m here to tell you about this more-off-kilter-than-the-usual-offkilter gem that is Tago Mago. It’s weird and attractive like a skinny Japanese guy on dope improvising lyrics to a band of Germans. It sounds seventies, contorted, uncomplicated and magically lo-fi: repetitive grooves, but not quite Motorik, complemented by Suzuki’s low mumbling (and what sounds like gargling on Aumugn) that explode into sudden aggressive outbursts. Their music wooed Primal Scream, The Fall, Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, and yours truly. Wunderbar? Nein, hallelujah
BORN TOO LATE Primal Scream: Screamadelica (1991)
“Just what is it that you want to do?” I was faced with some serious listening to do here: which Primal Scream album to choose between Screamadelica, Vanishing Point and XTRMNTR? Three albums, three different worlds. I chose the hedonist, golden days of Primal Scream ahead of the paranoid dub/electronica of Vanishing Point or the angry, politically motivated dance of XTRMNTR. Screamadelica is a legacy that lives on 20 years after its release, the sound of an entire generation which I missed completely (I was still in a primary school in Cospicua while all that was going on in the UK) and which I can only live through vinyl, live DVDs, the immensely spectacular documentaries (do make it a point to watch Upside Down: The Story of Creation Records) and a reunion gig or two. It’s one of my all-time favourites and, fittingly, the first vinyl I ever bought.
LUST FOR LIFE The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses (1989)
“Sometimes I fantasise/When the streets are cold and lonely/And the cars they burn below me/Don’t these times fill your eyes” Everybody likes to hate the Stone Roses. Ian Brown can’t sing; their second album’s a howler; and more intellectual bedwetting. Boy, what a debut album, what a sound, what a genre-defining monolith. I re-discovered this record during my foray into Britpop a few years ago, when it was already too late for nostalgia. Today, a reunion tour later, I’m still a huge fan, sitting here hoping they don’t record new material. It would be murder to undo the golden laces around Made of Stone, I Wanna be Adored, Fools Gold, Don’t Stop...
AGE OF UNDERSTATEMENT Franco Battiato: La Voce del Padrone (1981)
“C’è chi si mette degli occhiali da sole/per avere più charisma e sintomatico mistero”. We’re somewhere in northern Portugal following our mates in the other car. We’ve had nothing for breakfast but cigarettes; the weather’s glorious if slightly less warm than yesterday; the hillsides around Porto gleam in the early morning sunshine. It’s relatively quiet, apart from Battiato’s Bandiera Bianca playing from a small USB powered speaker on the dashboard. We’re dozy passengers in a compact AVIS car, up and down the meandering roads to the Douro. Here, on the edges of Europe, it seems as if the horizons have opened up, it’s peaceful, it’s great, it’s ma... I fell asleep.
SOUNDS OF AFRICA Ali Farka Toure: Savane (2006)
Ali Farka Toure deserves his slot in my hall of fame, not only for the greatness of Savane itself but also for putting Mali on my musical atlas. Someone had introduced me to Toure and from then on I started taking a keen interest in sounds from Africa, falling in love with the works of Toumani Diabate, Afel Boucoum, the legendary Tinariwen, Amadou & Mariam, Konono Nr 1 (Congo). V BARCELONA ISSUE
BEYOND VISIBLE THE
INTERVIEW BY PAULA YACOMUZZI
The work of Danish artist Annette Merrild (1972, Herning, Denmark) is greatly influenced by John Berger’s seminal documentary and book Ways of Seeing. In its prologue, Eulàlia Bosch writes: “The visible may remain alternatively lit or hidden, but once apprehended it is a substantial portion of our livelihood”. Annette Merrild transforms the visible. With her series ‘265’ she deconstructs pornographic portraits of women by painting over magazine pictures, while with Icons ‘1400-2010’ she makes her interventions using the male subject. At the end of the process there is almost no trace of the original pornographic content: the new figures are erotic muses and religious icons that exude a charmingly feminine energy, partenaires divested of their domain in the case of men, stripped of their clothing to reveal their fragility. In her sculptures ‘The Story Tellers of the Remakes’, she reflects on the construction of discourse and introduces an example of the literal ways in which it operates. She bathes collections of Barbies, Kens and other dolls from childhood with a golden magma; the sculptures are placed on a pedestal and protected using a thick glass bell jar 028
in imitation of precious jewels. There are trinkets patently lying about their condition, innocent-looking artefacts from the past informing the contemporary man who has become overwhelmed by his body, capable of undergoing plastic interventions (amongst many other acts that can be perpetrated on the body) in order to attain the physical ideal. Reality, says Eulalia Bosch, is the “realm of the visible” which, once trapped, “may not be able to ever renounce that kind of existence that it obtains on the conscience of the one who has noticed/ perceived it.” From The Room Project, a purely conceptual and photographic work that appears far removed from her most recent output, Annette Merrild explores the construction of identities: an apartment, a doll, a pornographic image, a folktale. These are the objects of her studies. What do you love most about being in Barcelona? I love the mix you find here in everything. People, architecture and city structure: its beauty and its hardness. Here I find the chaos that makes me see and feel life. I am from Denmark and I lived in Hamburg for 14 years, where I studied for my MA in art. Everything around me was always clean and safe. I also lived in Mombassa, in Kenya, and in New York,
and I always loved these two cities and their energy. Barcelona was a compromise between my husband and me, as I wanted to move to New York and for him it was too far away from family. In Barcelona I find some of the same energy, I feel alive and daily life never becomes boring. Has Barcelona inspired you in your art and, if so, in what ways? Indeed it has. When I first came here, my art was very structured in the same way as the environment from which I came. I was finishing my photographic piece ‘The Room Project’: I still show it, and many people only know me as conceptual photo artist. I think Barcelona inspired me in a sub-constructive way when I started doing porn paintings. Every day I was inspired by the sexuality I saw and experienced in Barcelona. I had never seen so many people with such a desire to mark their bodies with tattoos and piercings. The fact that it is so hot here most of the year means that the body becomes more visual than it would be in the north of Europe. On the beaches I saw a freedom in the way people are ‘naked’ and interact together. In the streets, people look at each other directly in the eyes, give signals through their bodies, using their bodies as a canvas to create their own personal version of it. >>
BEYOND THE VISIBLE
At the same time, I had prostitutes around me, drunks, people of all nationalities with relaxed attitudes to clothing and punkish hair styles. People enjoy city streets here being together outside and then at the end of every day, Barcelona’s filth has to be cleaned away by the authorities, using water every night. This, and also the fact that I was pregnant at the time with our first child, made me search out the body theme. Life and pregnancy led me into a world of porn. Why porn? I wanted to enter a world that was for me as a woman very hard to relate to, as it’s primarily aimed at men. I didn’t recognise the sexuality I felt or saw in those women in the pictures. I wanted to rewrite images 030
and stereotypes that everybody would know. For many years I had kept my desire to paint hidden, as I couldn’t honestly do the type of painting I used to do. So after not doing so for five years, I started in a very private way to paint again.
being as they are distinctions between healthy and depraved sexuality and identity. The emphasis is transformed into one of eroticism, one could almost say heroic or religious portraits of women. Are you a religious person?
I didn’t show my paintings to anybody for two years. I think when you start something new, you need time to relate to it: a time where no one interferes with your process. This is so important for an artist. I had basically changed everything people knew about me so I had to be sure about my work. I had been painting soft porn for three years before I organised my first exhibition. After your intervention, the pornographic representation disappears, together with the distinction between pleasure and fear, desire and disgust,
I believe that everyone is spiritual on some level, no matter what God they believe in. My latest work, Icons 1400-2010, also has a touch of the religious about it. I’ve worked with the naked male body for this series. I painted over the images with layers of gold colour paint, erasing the body of the woman in the process. So the role and significance of the male has changed from being the hunter or the macho into one of a more fragile nature.>>
BEYOND THE VISIBLE
The focus moves to the man as the one who is now in sole possession of his own naked and isolated body. He becomes the focus, and he doesn’t look powerful anymore: you could say that his feelings have become exposed for the first time. The gold paint transforms the original pornographic photographs into icon-like images, in the sense of Russian icons, with their proto-miraculous qualities. You host dinners in your studio. Why and how do you get time? Time is very abstract but I have started to create my own little tradition. Every two months, I invite 30 people to dinner in my studio. We talk about art as we all have that in common. This is significant for me and I think that at a time like this, with all the crises, we need to meet each other in a new way. My motto is to go backwards meaning, I write my invitations by hand and I try to set a nice table that invites my guests for an evening of conversation. I have been very lucky to get to know many lovely and interesting people in Barcelona, and internationally, and I believe in bringing people together as well as I can. I believe in creating environments of which we all want to be part, through art or new ways of thinking.
“THE EMPHASIS IS TRANSFORMED INTO ONE OF EROTICISM, ONE COULD ALMOST SAY HEROIC OR RELIGIOUS PORTRAITS OF WOMEN”.
I know your studio from big events, where lots of people came. Does this mean that you won’t be doing this anymore?
www.annettemerrild.com & theroomproject.com
No, but when I do big events, I never have time to talk to everybody, which often frustrates me. I will still be arranging events that are open to everybody, but I do like the intimate. Lately, I have started to rent out my studio for events, advertisements and productions, as a lot of people asked if they could rent it. This is a “win, win”, as I have a lovely space to offer in the middle of Barcelona city and, as an artist, extra money is always good. Will you stay in Barcelona you think? I have fallen in love in Barcelona, my children are “Catalan” born, and I think that, no matter how my life may move on, Barcelona will always be my home. My dream would be to have a home here and another one in New York. V BARCELONA ISSUE
DESIGNS FOR LIFE
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FRUIT MEMO PADS Bored with those yellow standard sticky post it pads? These cool, fruit-shaped paper memo pads are a fun and creative way to get your message across. Available as singles or in packs of six. www.dhgate.com
GAS TANK LAMP Here is another clever re-purposed project – a gas tank converted into a stylish lamp complete with a pull string match! This adorable design also serves as a reminder of the evolution of lighting and of our relationship with fossil fuels. lafirme.ca
A NEW PERSPECTIVE.
Fabrics designed by Yvan Puylaert for Designs of the Time | Tel: 20 9999 66. Triq San Pawl, Naxxar. loft.com.mt
Designers: Daniel Pérez and Felipe Araujo from Egue y Seta - www.egueyseta.com Location: Santa Caterina - Borne (Barcelona) Photographers: Víctor Hugo www.vicugo.com and
Photo: Mauricio Fuertes
Mauricio Fuertes www.mauriciofuertes.com
RETRO/ VINTAGE IN BARCELONA
he flat is located in the heart of one of the most trendy and historic neighborhoods of Barcelona but, most importantly, it overlooks one of the most traditional, recently renovated, food markets in the cityâ€™s centre.
Photo: Mauricio Fuertes
As interior designers, we often find ourselves overwhelmed by the responsibility of selecting every single piece of furniture, fabric, frame, and house ornament the place will display. In this particular case, however, we were pleasantly surprised by the client, and were glad to witness how the house gradually became filled with a wide, eclectic and tasteful selection of objects and pieces bought not only in the market, but from vintage furniture shops, art galleries and local Sunday flee-
markets. At a certain stage, we could feel the street and the market had made their way into the living room, giving the place an â€˜urbanâ€™ atmosphere. The house was built in 1900 and has the characteristic modernist flavour of the Catalan architecture of the time. As can be easily surmised, lifestyles and habits have changed a lot since then, so changes to the layout proved necessary in order to adapt the house to a more contemporary way of living. Kitchens and toilets are no longer considered dirty service facilities, meant to be concealed from guests and isolated at the back of the house. Instead, in Sta Caterina, the client wanted the kitchen to be the heart and soul of the house, and we responded with a social, multi-purpose, lively open area, where the client and guests can not only cook and eat, but can also work, read, listen to music and even dance. >>
RETRO VINTAGE IN BARCELONA
RETRO VINTAGE IN BARCELONA
“FOR COLOUR, WE RELIED ON GREENERY AND SOME VERY SPECIAL PIECES OF DECORATIONS TO PINPOINT AND GIVE A CHROMATIC ACCENT HERE AND THERE”. Though mainly leisure-oriented, this area is much more than just social. It provides storage space, at the same time enabling the circulation between adjacent rooms, avoiding the need for corridors and lobbies. As with the kitchen, the wash rooms were conceived not as sealed, strictly private spaces, but more as areas of pampering and relaxing we preferred these rooms to open on to the bedrooms and offer a much wider perspective of the space which included green “jalousies” made of glass and bamboo leaves for privacy.
Photo: Victor Hugo
Doors separate the social from the private bedroom areas but they are rarely shut. The bathrooms, however, are integrated into the bedroom areas. Together, they are conceived as a private unit, but also as two spaces that do not necessarily need so much isolation from each other. Isn’t it nice to be able to talk to your partner from the bathtub while he or she is gazing at the street lights from the balcony, or reading a book in bed? Isn’t a seethrough bamboo leaf curtain a much more sensuous material than a cold, tiled blind wall? >>
Photo: Mauricio Fuertes
Photo: Victor Hugo
RETRO VINTAGE IN BARCELONA
In its original state, the house already suggested a certain style and colour theme. Nevertheless, clients often feel the need to subvert these suggestions. Happily, this was not the case this time, with the client wanting to embrace and preserve everything that could be restored to its original brilliance. Honesty prevailed, with wood looking and feeling like wood. Tiles were laid in the style of the time the building was built. Beams and other architectural elements were left exposed. For colour, we relied on greenery and some very special pieces of decoration (cushions, vases, jars, etc) to pinpoint and give a chromatic accent here and there. The green box, balcony and inner courtyard are a source of light, colour and visual refreshment. They are vertical gardens and vegetable shutters that compensate for missing walls, lobbies and corridors. They provide the harmony created by a balance of the man-made and the natural.
Photos: Victor Hugo
The result does not look like a page from this seasonâ€™s furniture catalogue, nor does it smell as if it is brand new. Instead, the different eclectic styles will resist looking dated as the years go by. V
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DROP THE BOMB
ark, twisted, hilarious and – in the words of the man himself – “better than snorting c**e off a dead hooker’s ass!” ABZ has been a work-in-progress since the late eighties and features the author’s unique alcoholinduced perspective on the time and world that surrounds him. The book also offers an insight into what it was like to be a teenager in Malta in the early nineties.
ABZ is nothing romantic, the bulk of it is short and funny - except perhaps the part where I drop an atom bomb – and there is even a ‘knock knock’ joke in there somewhere. It’s funny, but I’m very serious about my funny.
You write in both English and Maltese. Do you dream in both?
Malta, and the haunt of the younger you, Paceville, feature in your book of poetry. Would you say that this is an autobiography of your thoughts?
Can you describe your state of mind when writing?
F***ing right! When did you first try hand at poetry? You know how it is, when you’re a young teenager, you smoke your first spliff and you want to be Jim Morrison.
I’d say enjoy it, man, it’s even better than snorting c**e off a dead hooker’s ass in the public toilets of Floriana. What is the problem with the world today?
Are you currently working on anything else besides poetry?
Tell us about your journey to become a writer and how ABZ came around?
I wouldn’t refer to it as working, writing gives me the same amount of pleasure another man gets from watching his favourite football team in action. At the moment I’m just writing, not only poems.
Today, when we speak of the visual arts we don’t necessarily think of Renoir, but maybe Tracey Emin comes to mind first. However I feel that when we refer to poetry the tendency is to think of it romantically, even pedantically.
What is the best thing in life?
What would you say to anyone who is about to open and start reading your poems?
VAMP managed to catch five minutes of Karl’s time at the event to ask him a few questions. And this is what was said:
How would you describe your poetry book?
I don’t sit down trying to think of something to write. When I think of something (I could be anywhere), or recall something, I jot it down asap so as not to forget and then later, when I sit down, it’s only to give it shape and to see if I still like it, of course.
Difficult question. Sex, aeroplane food, or when you wouldn’t have smoked a spliff in ages, and then a good friend turns up with one.
So, after about 20,000 drinks, 8,000 hangovers, 16,000 aspirins and almost two decades, Karl drops the bomb with a collection of 93 unfiltered poems written ABZ style... with an interview to match.
Perhaps journey is to sweet a word and if I say that “I’ve written all my life” that’s not necessarily what makes something good, because I’ve been going to the toilet all my life as well so... The selection for ABZ was not a random selection, there is a concept.
English, even the white shark, in my dreams I mean, speaks in English. I’m terribly Victorian.
There are too many people, and the more there are people the pace at which those people make more people keeps increasing faster and faster as it always has, the Church’s concept of “go forth and multiply” is ridiculous, we are going to have to get realistic at some point. V To get your hands on a copy of the book log on to http://edebooks.eu/abz/
Do you go to bed clutching on to an overused copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets? Hell NO! You have no problem in revealing yourself or the ‘pseudo’ you, when it comes to your thoughts on alcohol, politics, sex, and all that life offers. How would you describe the world we, or you, inhabit? Nature is cruel.
– BE SPO :1 KE
PHOTOGRAPHY & CONCEPT: TAMARA WEBB MAKE-UP ARTIST: JUSTINE MICALLEF – 7757 1770 HAIR: CLINTON CHETCUTI – VIGOROUS MODEL: JOVANNA - SO MANAGEMENT
Custom mug by Makk - 79313575 Armchair by Abitat - www.abitat.com.mt Jewellery & headpiece created from a necklace by Mvintage www.mvintage.com or Level -1 The Point, Sliema BARCELONA ISSUE
THE “SOLD OUT” DEBUT OF INTERNATIONAL FASHION EVENT RUNWAY, IN MALTA IN 2010, WAS SO WELL RECEIVED IN GIBRALTAR THAT IT HAS NOW BECOME AN ANNUAL FASHION FESTIVAL.
was time to move” says Shideh. “So the decision to move Runway with us came quite naturally”.
It was not only the first time that Runway was held in Gibraltar, but also the first time many of the Maltese crew had the opportunity to work overseas.
After months of deliberation about whether to do the first one in a new location in Spain or Gibraltar, Shideh decided to bring it to the British colony, situated directly South of Spain.
Local designers from Gibraltar and the South of Spain entered the New Designer competition, in which Holland’s Fashionclash chose a winner to show at their event held on 31 May in Maastricht, and Gori de Palma from Barcelona and William Wilde from London also returned to the Runway catwalk. The event was given an hour-long TV slot on local television and was also covered by media from all over Europe – including us! The participants and organisers of Runway talked to Vamp exclusively about this one-of-a-kind event Most people in Malta remember Runway – the full night of fashion incorporating a range of local and international designers, bands, exhibitors and models held at Montekristo Estates in Luqa for three consecutive seasons. Created by Shideh Olafsson, Runway was the only event of its kind in Malta, bringing together local and international talent for a huge event. However, after much debate as to whether it should stay in Malta or move with its creator, it was decided that Runway would move when Shideh relocated to the South of Spain. “It was always on the cards for me and my family to move to Spain. And as much as Malta was great while we were there, it 054
“It’s a strange set up to explain to anyone who hasn’t been here, but Gibraltar is connected to Spain by a controlled border”, she said. “It is part of the UK and everything here is British. I guess my decision to do it in Gibraltar rather than in Spain came from growing up in New Zealand and having more in common with the Gibraltarians. I always choose designers based on my taste, so I hoped they would be on the same page as me. The gamble paid off. From the feedback received both in the media and from attendees and participants, the Gibraltarians really got it! They embraced the event so much that there was constant applause throughout the shows, standing ovations, screams and thousands of photos! It felt like a rock concert rather than a fashion event. Stylist Pavli Medvedova, who was flown in specially to work on the shows, said: “There was such amazing energy: 400 people just so happy to be part of it.” While something of this calibre had been very difficult to put on in Malta, according to the organisers, it was quite different in Gibraltar. With the help of Shideh’s new partner, Naomi Quigley of reputable design house Colorworks, Runway included sponsors like Diet Coke and Mercedes Benz, and Gibraltar’s Ministry of
Culture was quick to come onboard with funding. “I loved the idea as soon as it was presented to me,” said Naomi. “I’ve never come across a festival set up in this way – it’s quite unique. And I knew the Gibraltarians would be just as enthused to see something like this come to life here.” The core crew of Runway were all flown in to be involved once again. Prominent names in the Maltese fashion industry such as Kris Micallef, David Mansfield, Pavli Medvedova, Karen Schembri-Grima and a handful of SO Management models were all part of this edition of Runway, just as they had been for the previous three. And, of course, in true Runway style, even more names were added to the ever-growing family from all over Europe. With more international models, more international designers and an array of fantastic local talent, this one was the biggest melting pot yet. >>
Shideh Olafsson with Nawie and Branko from Fashionclash Maastricht photo by David Mansfield
After three successful seasons in Malta, this year, for the first time, the event was held in Gibraltar on 4 may.
RUNWAY - D’DAY
Gori de Palma show photo by David Mansfield
William Wilde show - backstage Photo by Kris Micallef
German model Lara at Gori de Palma show Photo by Kris Micallef
Photo by Kris Micallef
SO Management Models with Shideh Olafsson, Kris Micallef and Pavli Medvedova Photo by David Mansfield
“It was pretty cool to be backstage. At one point during the night, I took a look around and realised we had new designers from Russia, Denmark, France, local talent like designer Charlene Figueras from Gibraltar, Gori de Palma from Barcelona, William Wilde from London, two or three models from Holland, Hungary and Germany, a set designer from Iceland, photographers from Malta, stylists from Slovakia and the full lighting team from Spain. It was like the fashion United Nations back there!” says Shideh.
“NOW THAT WE’VE HAD A TASTE OF IT, IT’S HERE TO STAY” SAYS NAOMI QUIGLEY. “THERE IS NO WAY RUNWAY WILL LEAVE GIBRALTAR NOW... NO WAY!” Photo by Kris Micallef
Photo by Ze Graca Photography
Runway has gone from strength to strength since its inception, with more and more designers worldwide lining up to be part of it. And it is all thanks to the hardworking, passionate team, the unique set up and the simple philosophy that, even if the place is small, it can have huge potential – given the right opportunity. Runway has never just been about the event alone. There has also always been a full fashion shoot the next day using the designers and the crew, both local and international, to show off the location of the event.
“We did an amazing shoot at the beach and also the very top of the Rock of Gibraltar”, says photographer Kris Micallef. “The views and scenery of Gibraltar are just gorgeous and we couldn’t pass up a chance to use this incredible location”. “Now that we’ve had a taste of this whole thing, it’s here to stay”, says Naomi Quigley. “There is no way Runway will leave Gibraltar now – no way!” V
MY LOVE WILL NEVER FALTER Lace top by Gori de Palma, shorts by Christel Mifsud Jeans & suspenders by Gori de Palma
Photography: Kris Micallef - Art Direction: Shideh Olafsson
Models: Priscilla & Kyle at SO Management Stylist: Pavli Medvedova Hair: Kyle Gonzalez Make Up: Karen Schembri-Grima Shot on location in Gibraltar. With thanks to Mercedes Benz, Gedtime Motors.
Bra by William Wilde, leggings by Gori de Palma
Latex dress by William Wilde
Outfits by Gori de Palma
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THE WHEEL F LIFE The Case for Reincarnation By Julian Cardona
When Barbro Karlen was three years old, she told her parents, as casually as a child would say “mama” or “papa”, that her name was not Barbro, but Anne Frank. Seven years later, on a trip to Amsterdam, even before having stepped inside the Anne Frank Museum, Barbro managed to convince her mother that there was, in fact, something entirely strange going on with her daughter and that their life would never be the same again. >> 064
orn in Sweden in 1954, Barbro had absolutely no idea that Anne Frank was already a famous person, or even that she existed, for that matter. One day her teacher recounted the Anne Frank story to her class and Barbro realised that the girl she had always thought herself to be had already lived – and had died in 1945. This case remains to date one of the most compelling examples of reincarnation. In her most important interview, Barbro vividly recounts her trip to the museum. She describes how she knew her way through the warren-like roads streets of Amsterdam by heart, as if she’d been there a thousand times. Barbro also recalled that, upon arriving, she knew that there was something different about the stairs, and that it was unbelievably hard to control her emotions as all the unexplained childhood nightmares she had battled with started coming to life. Her mother finally had to accept the situation when her daughter kept insisting that on one particular wall their used to be pictures of people. Driven by curiosity, her mother asked a museum caretaker about the wall and he explained that, in fact, Anne Frank did keep pictures of famous actors on that very wall and they had been removed so that they could be encased for protective purposes. After that day, her mother was converted to a staunch believer. The case of Barbro Karlen is not an isolated one. Another famous story is that of Virginia Tirghe, known as the case of Bridey Murphy. Virginia was an ordinary US housewife who made startling revelations when she was put in trance by an amateur hypnotist, Morey Bernstein. Bernstein used a technique known as hypnotic regression which takes a subject back in time, usually to early childhood. What Bernstein did was to take her even further than that: her life before birth. Virginia’s accent began to change to an Irish one and she started to recall memories of her previous life as Bridey Murphy who lived in 19th century Belfast. Attempts to find whether this Bridey Murphy was real were unsuccessful, but a Belfast librarian made an astonishing discovery. During her sessions, Virginia mentioned two grocers in Belfast from whom she used to buy food. Archives revealed that these two grocers had, in fact, existed – exactly at the time and place specified by Virginia.
THE WHEEL OF LIFE
But is this enough to prove reincarnation? Perhaps Barbro had been exposed at a very young age to the story of Anne Frank without anyone’s knowledge and stuck in her mind. Perhaps she had stumbled upon some Holocaust records when she was young and the shock was so tremendous that it affected her mentally. What about Virginia Tirghe? How can anyone know if she too had stumbled upon some story about these two butchers and her subconscious had stored the information without her knowledge? It is a well-known fact that hypnosis is not a reliable source of information because it often leads to fictitious storylines: perhaps this proves that our subconscious has an in-built love for fiction.
“SCIENCE HAS GIVEN CREDIBILITY TO IT BY DOCUMENTING HUNDREDS OF STORIES AND FINDING A COMMON, CREDIBLE THREAD TO THEM ALL”. Dr Ian Stevenson, a psychiatrist from the University of West Virginia, is one of the foremost researchers in this field. After studying more than 800 cases, he says that in the strongest cases reported, details given by the subject about a previous life have been proved to be true and the family of the subject had no knowledge whatsoever of the past-life family. His research also yielded a number of interesting phenomena. The phobias of certain subjects analysed were found to have a strong relation with the previous lives they claimed to have had. For example, Barbro Karlen had a huge fear of uniformed men, possibly connected with the Nazi officials in her past life, if her story is to be believed. Dr Stevenson also explained how, in the most compelling cases he studied, he found that the subjects had a similar physical appearance to the people they claimed to be in past lives and, more interestingly, certain birth defects of the subjects were found to be connected to the manner in which they had died in the previous lives. An example of this occurred in India,
where a young boy claimed that he could remember his past life as a man named Maha Ram who was killed by a shotgun. On his chest the boy had a collection of birthmarks which could perfectly correspond to shotgun wounds. Even though physical evidence is much stronger than a mere recollection, science is yet to find a breakthrough. Could religion perhaps come up with an answer before science does? Most vocal of all about the phenomena of reincarnation is the Buddhist religion, which has the theory of karma as one of its central dogmas. In Buddhist teachings, karma works in a similar way to the law of conservation of energy: just as we know that energy is neither created nor destroyed, so is the morality of our actions. So it is this karma, according to the Buddha, which passes on from one life to the next. For Christians, the theory of reincarnation seems to fly in the face of Last Judgment ideologies, where God is presented as a supreme being who grants eternal life. An important argument against reincarnation is that of cosmic justice. Those who take the theory of reincarnation too far might be tempted to believe that certain people are doomed to a life of disability, depression or poverty as a consequence of their actions in a previous life. This would imply that there is a sense of justice in the way that luck is distributed across the world. Again, this idea is diametrically opposed to Christian teachings about empathy and commiseration. For those who live in western societies, reincarnation may prove to be a line of thinking too hard to fathom. Science has given credibility to it by documenting hundreds of stories and finding a common, credible thread to them all. In addition, science has given credibility to life after death scenarios most prominent in western traditions, using theories from quantum physics and by documenting hundreds of near-death experiences – but that’s something that should be left for some other time. What’s important is that we shouldn’t rush to any conclusions. Just remember that something that appears real isn’t necessarily the truth and something that appears unverifiable anyway should never be discarded as completely false. V
THE CATALAN CRUSH Interview: Lily Aguis
THERE ARE CERTAIN PLACES IN THE WORLD WHICH HAVE A SPECIAL SEDUCTION ABOUT THEM AND BARCELONA IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THEM, ONCE IT GETS A GRIP OF YOU THE DESIRE TO RETURN WILL BE WITH YOU FOREVER. DR. JOANNA DELIA EXPLAINS HOW AND WHY SHE FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS GRAND CITY.
How would you describe Barcelona? Barca is vibrant. It is colourful and up-todate yet still hard-core Catalunyan, full of a proud, liberal, metropolitan population with its roots always in perspective. It houses one of the best collections of 20th-century architecture on the planet, and a product and fashion design culture of which any other city would be jealous. >>
I find it strange that, despite the above, it is still most renowned for its beaches which, in the city per se, were actually man-made as part of the Olympics re-structuring.
THE CATALAN CRUSH
.... compared to any other city in Spain? Spain is made up of fiercely diverse regions. I mean diverse enough for them to not recognise one another as equals! There is just no comparison! When was the last time you were in Barcelona? I have visited Barcelona every year for a long time, the last time being at the end of April when I attended a professional meeting and training workshop about minor surgical face-lifting procedures. I always tend to take up the generous offer of my childhood friend Paquita to host me in a small suburb of Barcelona, so that we can chat and catch up until the early hours and I can also immerse myself into real Catalunyan life. What keeps you going back? Barcelona grows on you. Its Latin character feels familiar and its vibrancy never ceases to excite! It’s one of my homes away from home! What is the food like? Although tourists associate all of Spain with the tapas and paella culture, anyone from Barcelona will tell you that these are dishes from other regions. The Catalunyan version of paella is actually a pasta variety called fideua, while a very typical snack is the butifarra, a take on hot dogs as you’ve never tasted them before, apparently, because I have to admit I’ve never actually had one of the latter since I don’t eat meat! I adore their seafood and tend to usually stick to that. Needless to say, I cannot but warn against opting for any of the very obvious tourist traps in the commercial areas. I love the restaurant Chitarra, tucked away in the Barri Gothic area, amidst the queer and quaint little shops, pubs, clubs and other eateries, and I can never seem to avoid sitting at the stainless steel bar at the food market on the other side of the Ramblas, sampling some delicious fresh shellfish and Tinto de Verano, and then walking away with a fresh smoothie from one of the fruit vendors. How would you recommend someone with only a few days in Barcelona spends their time? Explore the area on foot. Walk down the Ramblas and almost immediately turn right into the narrow winding alleys of the Gothic Quarters. I never tire of checking out the joints there, and visiting the many little museums and other landmark sites, while having plenty of breaks sipping chilled drinks in the little piazzas. Then cross over to the left to the Contemporary Art Museum and the food market. On another day, stroll on the promenade at the end of the Ramblas to the right and eventually you come across the Olympic Village with fabulous examples of magnificent buildings by the likes of Herzog and De Moron, and Renzo Piano as well as Jean Nouvel! I would end my second afternoon with a small dose of Gaudi, perhaps by visiting Casa Battio and the Sagrada Familia. Finally, ask the locals for directions to a not too touristy stretch of shore and, after a dip and a stretch in the sun, eat at the most local establishment you can find there. Is there anything that you dislike about Barcelona? Beware of the fact that, should you be caught wandering around the streets late at night, there seem to be no public conveniences anywhere. Most eateries and bars close relatively early and the only venues open are payto-enter clubs. The hoards of tourists seem to just use the walls to relieve themselves, which makes the place smell very unfriendly at night! If money and time was not an issue, where would be your ultimate destination? Mmmmmmm.... I would just want the freedom to hop around from city to city, and from sparkling sea to sparkling sea. There are so many places on my wish list: New York, Vietnam and Cambodia, but hopefully I have plenty of years left to explore this wonderful planet! V BARCELONA ISSUE
Blissful tastes of summer
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For more informat ion please call us on 21 383 383 or visit hiltonmalt ahotel.com
THERE IS NO BETTER WAY TO ENJOY A MEAL THAN TO SHARE A BIG DISH BETWEEN FRIENDS. CHEF JAVIER ROCOMONDE REVEALS THE SECRETS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT PAELLA. PHOTOS: GILBERT BRAY - WOTZMEDIA
ften described as the national dish of Spain, paella originated in an area of Valencia on the eastern coast. There are as many versions of paella as there are cooks in Spain... here are two classics you will love!
SEAFOOD PAELLA Serves 4 Ingredients: 100ml virgin olive oil 1/2 onion, grated 1 tomato, chopped 250g cuttlefish 250g squid 8 mussels 4 shrimps or crawfish 8 strands saffron Â˝ tsp sweet paprika 1 litre fish stock 400g Valencian rice Preparation: Place a pan over a medium heat, pour in 100g of virgin olive oil and, when hot, add squid and cuttlefish. Stir continuously to prevent sticking and once fried, add tomato and grated onion. Cook for 2 minutes then add prawns and mussels, fry for a further 2 minutes, add the sweet paprika, saffron and fish stock and salt to taste and when it starts to boil, add the rice. The paella is ready after the rice has been cooked for 15 to 20 minutes.* >> BARCELONA ISSUE
CALL IN THE PAELLA PRO’S!
T: 7997 5200 Malta
Indulge in the true flavour’s of Spain, with an authentic Spanish paella cooked up on location by our paella master. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy it! We cater for all kinds of private functions, parties, weddings, family meals and more!
WANT TO LEARN HOW TO COOK AUTHENTIC PAELLA?
For more information and bookings please call us on: 7997 5200 or email: email@example.com
call on 79975200 to book your place
madeinspain brings you home the finest spanish delicacies such as jamón ibérico and manchego cheeses, accompanied by fine wines from spain. CALL: 79837838 / 79208451
Jamón Ibérico: (Iberian cured ham) also known as ´pata negra´ (Black hoof) is made from the finest species of Iberian pigs only found in the Iberian Peninsula. The Jamón Ibérico is cured for 24 to 36 months and is the finest type of cured ham which also has significant nutrition advantages, given that it contains 50% more protein than fresh meat. Manchego Cheese: D.O. (Protected denomination of Origin) Cured for a minimum of 6 months and made from whole pasteurized milk of sheep raised in the Castilla La Mancha region.
Paellas Malta and MadeinSpain also collaborate to provide you with a full Spanish experience!!
PAELLA VALENCIANA Serves 4 Ingredients: 600g chicken thighs or breast – cut into small cubes 400g rabbit – cut into small cubes (optional) 250g fresh flat green beans 200g fresh lima beans (if using dried beans, soak for 2 hours before use) 1 tomato, finely chopped 150ml virgin olive oil 8 strands saffron 1 tsp sweet paprika 1 litre mineral water 1 clove of garlic, crushed salt 400g Valencian rice Preparation: Place a pan over a medium heat, pour in 150g of virgin olive oil and once hot, add chicken and rabbit and fry. When well cooked, add tomato, flat green beans, lima beans and garlic and fry for a further two minutes. Add the sweet paprika and saffron, and then add water until the pan is almost full and allow to reduce by half. Add salt to taste. Add the rice and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. * It is very important that the rice is not cooked for more than 20 minutes. If it appears to be cooking too slowly, increase the heat. SPANISH OMELETTE (Tortilla Española) Serves 4-6 The tortilla can be eaten hot or cold and is frequently served as a snack (tapa) or picnic dish throughout Spain. As a tapa, it may be cut into bite-size pieces and served on cocktail sticks, or sliced into portions (pincho de tortilla). Other ingredients, such as green or red peppers or other vegetables, chorizo, tuna or shrimps, can be added. It can also be made without onions. Ingredients: 800g 6 1
potatoes, thinly sliced or diced eggs olive oil salt onion, diced
Preparation: Fry potatoes and onion in olive oil until soft but not browned. Remove from pan, drain and mix with the eggs and a pinch of salt. Return the mix to the pan and slowly fry on one side, then flip to cook the other side. Serve on a plate or vuelve tortillas – a ceramic or wooden lid-like utensil made for this specific purpose. V These recipes were tried and thoroughly enjoyed by the Vamp team – at Cañas y Tapas, St George’s Bay, St Julian’s. For more information or to book, call 2137 7753 or 2138 0040. www.canasytapas.com.mt
MAKING SENSE OF EXFOLIATION: GENTLY DOES IT Our skin is comprised of many layers, which protect us from infection, the weather and pollution. Environ believes that over-zealous exfoliation can lead to complex problems, especially in very sunny or cold climates, and these problems are expensive and time-consuming to correct, if that is even possible. What your skin doesn’t need is a pile of old skin cells on the surface, and this is why gentle exfoliation is important. Gentle exfoliation removes only redundant cells that have served their purpose and only continue to dull the surface of the skin, build up and either cause spots or else soak up the valuable ingredients contained in hi-tech products. Environ products contain advanced ingredients that gently remove dead skin cells every day without you even knowing it. This means that your skin’s protective ability is never compromised and your products work the way they should. Back to basics: how do I cleanse my skin properly? We know that oil and water don’t mix, so cleansing with a water-based cleanser alone, particularly if you have oily skin, will not be very effective. On the other hand, oil-based cleaners – or pre-cleansers as they are known – are designed to dissolve excess oil on the surface of the skin without drying it out too much. They might feel oily, but because of the way the are formulated, they are really easy to remove. Always follow an oil-based pre-cleanser with a regular cleanser, for a thorough but gentle cleanse. Double cleansing is the first step to beautiful skin and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Toners The one product that has always been controversial in a skin care routine is the toner. After all, toners look and feel like water, so many people skip toning – thinking that they will save time and money – but they are not saving their skin. Simple toners are formulated to complete a cleansing routine, removing all traces of your cleanser. But skin care brands like Environ have made some advances. Toners now contain advanced ingredients that gently remove dead skin cells and improve the uneven blotchy appearance of your skin. They also hydrate your skin and leave it glowing. But the proof is in their use. Once you have used a suitable toner for a month, you will see and feel the difference in your skin. Then there’s no looking back! Your nearest Environ consultant will suggest the best pre-cleanser and toner for your skin. V Sandra Calafato, distributor of Environ® Skin Care Malta Fountain of Youth, 3,Guzeppa Psaila Street, Swatar. Tel. 2131-3208 or 2701 0997. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 072
KEEP YOUR FLAME HOT! BY DR CHARLIE AZZOPARDI: B.PSY.(HONS), MSC. DOCT. SYS. PSYCH
Happy Relationships are increasingly becoming important in people’s lives as societies head towards individualism and consumerism. Lack of time, increasing working hours, children, bills, ageing parents, the various stresses of life, and so on, all contribute towards the increased difficulties in maintaining happy, healthy and lasting relationships. Whether you succeed or not greatly depends on you and your partner. No matter how difficult maintaining a good level of love is, many couples succeed. Here are some shared secrets for success. LET YOUR PARTNER KNOW S/HE IS YOUR NO. 1 Show and express your loyalty. Nothing strengthens a relationship quite like seeing your partner defending and protecting you, especially against close friends or family members. It’s the one for all and all for one principle. Loyalty can also be expressed by giving your partner feedback about his or her behaviour. Of course, negative feedback will always be given in private, away from the scrutinising eyes of others. Moreover, people usually don’t like being corrected and the nicer – and more lovingly – you do it, the more likely it is to be accepted by your partner. SUPPORT YOUR PARTNER Partners need each other for support. Whether it is because of the children, or because of work, or for any other personal 074
matter, the secret key is having a good pair of ears with which you have to listen without judging. Support is the one single factor that encourages people to grow. Knowing that there is a supporting and encouraging partner in the background makes people take greater leaps in life, thus enhancing the chances of greater fulfilment. Think about it this way: supporting your partner means she or he will be a happier and better person. And you don’t want a grumpy, sad partner, do you? BE READY TO COMPROMISE One key secret to a successful relationship is compromise. Meeting halfway on things expresses your love and care to your partner. It is a sign that you really care about his or her viewpoint and that you are willing to work on making him or her happy. Every so often, make a point of doing something that you normally would not agree to do or feel like doing – just for the sake of making your partner happy. When you fight, make sure your partner is OK afterwards. And during fights, don’t hit below the belt or say things that you will regret. What you say can never be unsaid. Be creative and take the initiative When you keep your partner surprised by your actions, you regenerate that ‘new love’ feeling time and time again. So, when your partner asks if you want to try that new restaurant – say yes! If he/ she asks if you want to try a new hobby, go for it! It’s a good idea to come out with surprises yourself. Suggest going for a walk, send some nice unexpected messages, make unexpected calls or propose some fun games to play. The more initiative and surprises, the better, as they all demonstrate interest in your partner and in the relationship. Maintain a healthy dose of individuality Apart from being partners, people are also individuals. Personal time and space are essential to growing individually. Everyone one needs private time to do the things they want to do. Some might think that couples should be doing everything together, but this often leads to partners complaining, due to a sense of suffocation and frustration. Sometimes you or your partner may just need timeout to release emotions after a bad day, instead of bringing them home. Learn to notice and accept when your partner needs some individual time. This shows that you are committed to not only your
relationship, but your partner’s long-term happiness as well. Doing things together is obviously important, so finding the right balance for you between togetherness and individuality is paramount. FIND THE RIGHT WAY TO LOVE Love is definitely a crucial component of successful, long-term relationships. But love isn’t enough. The trick is how you can show your love in a way that your partner understands as love. So much love is lost or misunderstood because the couple is tuned to two different frequencies. So the first thing is to find out how your partner expects to be loved. If you don’t know, ask. Little things that may appear insignificant often have the greatest impact. Writing that quick love note as a surprise, or giving a spontaneous hug or kiss, holding hands in public, and so on, may have a very deep impact on your relationship. As simple as it may sound, this sort of thing is probably the most commonly overlooked and ignored. So it is very good if, every morning, you think about that one thing you can do to make your partner’s day a happy day. There is no greater sign of love than letting someone know he or she is on your mind. BE SENSITIVE AND FLEXIBLE TO YOUR CHANGING CONCEPTION OF LOVE Love goes through changes, at times quite radical. That is the ‘feeling’ side of love. Yet love is not only and simply a feeling, it is also a commitment to the other person. The least you can do is discuss your fluctuations with your spouse or partner. Be honest about how you feel. You will probably be surprised to discover that even your partner goes through such changes. The fact that you are able to talk about such things increasingly connects you. Love changes over time and these changes can only be understood by clarifying them with each other. The above are small hints as to how people can make their relationship better. They are like lubricant oils to the engine of love and have to do with a deepened commitment and love between partners. Don’t believe that love is all about giving without expecting anything in return. That’s not only a myth but also unrealistic. So think about what you can contribute to make your relationship better and your partner happier, while expressing your expectations clearly. Good luck and work hard.
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