The Maltese do not think freely and properly, author Immanuel Mifsud believes. He admits that he feels that a majority of the population has a problem of not thinking or speaking up for what is right.
“We see our politicians boasting and calling out the population as intelligent, and when the election results come out, they say that the people have spoken. I believe that this is a form of empty political rhetoric. We have a country with the lowest reading rates, and that is a clear indication that people do not think. You cannot think without reading.”
He said that many people are scared to speak out, especially due to party politics, another reason why the majority of the country does not think. “Programmes like these are few, which is a clear indication once again that our country does not think.”
Mifsud was being interviewed on Indepth by The Malta independent Media Consultant Rachel Attard, discussing his most recent publication. It is a collection of short stories named ‘L-Aqwa Zmien’ (The Best of Times).
The award winning author explained why he ‘stole’ the Labour Party slogan with which the PL faced the 2017 election.
“I consciously stole the slogan, I felt that the Labour Party kept up with these antique traditions of coming out with a positive slogan, and constantly brainwashing people with the slogan, in this case that everything is so positive,” said Mifsud.
He explained that ironically, regardless of the slogan reflecting what the Party promised, whilst many people believe that they are living the best of times, in reality there are many who aren’t. “Certain stories reflect on the current situation people are living, mothers living in garages or stories of bullying, all these ugly things happening during our ‘best of times’.
‘L-Aqwa Zmien’ highlights that at this current time, many aren’t living in the best of times. He explained that while there are good things and economically Malta is in a better situation, one cannot say that the population is in the best of times. “We do not hear about these stories enough, I wanted to show people what happens,” said Mifsud. He explained that he is not the only one who writes about such people, that there are many NGOs who provide these people with a voice.
Speaking about his style of writing, Mifsud explained that authors have two fears, one being writers’ block and the other being that they constantly rewrite what they had written previously. “From one book to another, or period to another, I try to change or modify my writing, so yes there is a journalist element to the book, giving the novel a sense of things happening chronologically.”