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  • Writer's pictureGail Debono

SMITE PROJECT LAUNCH IN APRIL


The SMITE (Stereotypes & Mass Information Together explored) project will launch in April 2022 with two online panel discussions, taking place on 7 April from 9.30am to 11.30am CET and 19 April from 2.00pm to 4.00pm CET.

The theme of these panels will be


Moving Beyond the Single Story:

Combating Social Exclusion through Media Literacy and Critical Thinking


Our focus will be on looking at how single narratives about specific groups of people, which feature repeatedly in the media, create prejudice and what can and should be done to combat it.


Below please find more details about our panelists.


Part 1: A debate on the effects of incomplete stories on attitude towards each other to help raise public awareness on the impact of incomplete stories published on social media and blogs. This discussion will feature:


Mariella Pisani Bencini as a well-known author, presenter, and TV producer. Her name is also synonymous with her weekly television programme ‘Meander’, promoting the art and cultural scene in Malta for the past 27 years. In December 2021 Mariella was presented the Malta Society of Arts Gold Medal Award 2021 by H.E. the President of Malta, George Vella for her extensive contribution to the arts and culture sector.


Mohamed Ali “Dali” Aguerbi as a theatre artist and an LGBTQI+ activist from Tunisia based in Malta. He worked with various organizations on minority rights in both countries. Dali joined the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement MGRM in 2018. He currently acts as a committee member, leading the project Rainbow Bridge addressing the LGBTIQ+ migrant community’s challenges. As an artist, most of his work is about the intersection of storytelling and performance with everyday politics and resistance. He collaborated with various international artists as a performer and co-creator.)


Mario Gerada as a social worker by profession; for most of his professional life he worked in the fields of development and migration focusing on policy analysis, campaigning, and project coordination. He also worked as a researcher on several research projects which looked at discrimination and violence on the grounds of minority and marginalized groups. He also led research on food security and sovereignty.

Mario wrote the project Ħwawar u Fjuri introducing ethnobotany as a method to engage migrant people in Malta in conversations about ‘integration.’

Mario has an MA in Christian Spirituality from the University of Malta. He is regularly invited to lecture about René Girard’s Mimetic Theory and thinking.


Gail Debono as the current President of the Malta Chamber of Psychologists and guest lecturer at the University of Malta on Forensic Psychology. She is also a humanist celebrant providing an alternative to religious ceremonies and is forming part of the Executive Committee of the Malta Humanist Association.

Gail works full time as Forensic Psychologist at CSA. Next to this she also runs her private practice. Gail also was on the psychological team servicing the Sea-Watch crew, a German operated NGO dedicated to the rescue of migrants at the Mediterranean, with briefings before they set out for their rescue missions and debriefing sessions upon their return.


Part 2: panelists share insights and thoughts on single stories, media literacy and critical thinking from a media, human explorer, and an individual perspective. This discussion will feature:


Rajan Nazran as an award-winning explorer, content producer, poet and entrepreneur. Over the last 15 years he has travelled to 58 countries plunging into the human experience behind identity and supporting sovereign nations. He is Senior Partner of NazranRoth Ltd and Chief Explorer for the Global Indian Series which is the world’s largest living encyclopedia of people of Indian origin.

Rajan is also International Chairman of the Ugwumba Centre for Leadership Development in Africa, and the international Sports Director of the Zejtun Corinthians Football Team of Malta He has been endorsed by over 5 Heads of state, specialist security councils and his work has been featured in leading international media including TIME, Manager Magazine, Capital Magazine, Indian Express and the Miami Herald.


Matthew Caruana Galizia as the director and co-founder of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, named after his mother, Daphne, who was assassinated in a car bomb attack in the course of her investigations into high-level corruption in Malta. The Foundation pursues the aims of full justice and accountability both for Daphne’s assassination and her investigations. Matthew earned a joint postgraduate degree in journalism from Aarhus University and City University London and was a Carnegie-Knight fellow at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good. In 2017 Matthew was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in together with his former colleagues from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for explanatory reporting.

Herman Grech as the editor-in-chief of Times of Malta. A multi-award winning journalist, and regular contributor to international news agencies, for the past 25 years, he has served as deputy editor, head of media, online editor and co-presenter of TV programme Times Talk. Herman has been a vocal advocate for integration and the need for media literacy and critical thinking. He is also a theatre director and script-writer, the most recent of which is They Blew Her Up, a play focusing on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination


Maali Boukadi as a Maltese Tunisian Senior Staff Nurse at Mater Dei Hospital. Maali worked as a cultural mediator and as a Medic in the detention centres. She is presently managing an NGO that aims to encourage women migrant integrate and become part of the society.

To attend these online panels, please register at https://smite.mt/participate/

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