Uncommon Malta + Gozo is a contemporary reportage about the Maltese Islands made of words and pictures. It brings together what’s nostalgic and what’s forward-looking about our common identity.
An intimate novel bringing a passionate insight of various contributors and a distinctive design impression by resident British artist Jon Banthorpe. Triggering the mind of Emma Mattei, the culprit of this uncommon project, were writings like those in Granta publications, which are simple absent from the local scene.
“I wanted to create a book of reportage, with strong images. It wasn’t an eureka! idea, more of something that developed slowly over the years.”
Uncommon turned out to be a companion and travelogue. For Emma, it’s the next best thing to being in the company of a local. She describes this as an experience where the reader can relate, review, recreate and reroute:
“‘Relate’ deals with the urban east, ‘review’ forces us to reconsider the overlooked and the banal, ‘recreate’ should get you thinking about creating your own routes and ways of interacting with a place, and once you’re ready to go we provide some of our own routes to inspire you.”
Jon Banthorpe made reference to all the 70s guidebooks with their stark fonts and simple imagery. Himself and Emma opted for a style that would make the book portable and somewhat retro, but yet, a piece of contemporary design. Photography was especially commissioned for the book, unless specified.
“9 year olds and 90 year olds have read through UNCOMMON. It’s quite a broad book that appeals to us as a nation just as much as it appeals to the visitor.”
Uncommon is published by Miranda Books.