What do international jazz artists and fishermen have in common? Ta’ Liesse, the south, south eastern side of the peninsula of Valletta has two sides: fish by day, jazz music by night, it’s bound to pull the right strings with anyone.
Every year in July for just three nights, Ta’ Liesse in Valletta transforms itself and plays host to the Malta Jazz Festival, a festival which has been on an exponential popularity curve ever since its inception over 20 years ago. The festival boasts of having hosted the top names of the international Jazz scene including Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, Diana Krall, Michel Petrucciani, Herbie Hancock and Joao Bosco.
However, for most of the year, Ta’ Liesse lays dormant. There is not a single guitar chord or piano key to be heard, no clinking beer glasses or spellbound crowds, just waves crashing against the silent shores of Malta’s Grand Harbour. But do not despair if you’re not there on those three particular days in July, the place isn’t dead and empty, so don’t pack your lomography devices just yet, there’s hope still.
For those of you who haven’t Googled it yet, Ta’ Liesse is located on the Eastern, South Eastern side of the peninsula of Valletta and for most of the year, it is home to a substantial amount of fishermen who dock their ships there either for minor repairs, or to offload their catch. Others simply sit and wait for the bad weather to clear but what’s certain is that most are usually just docked there for a couple of days waiting to continue their journey across the Mediterranean.
For us lomographers what counts however is that the ships are docked at a stone’s throw away and they’re so well lit due to the open surroundings that it’s very difficult to botch a shot. The fishermen usually don’t mind having someone lurking about taking photos. Some will even smile and say hello, but I would try no to over do it if I were you. It’s easy to get carried away trying to shoot the rusting metal and peeling paint but it’s best to keep in mind that after all these boats or ships are also people’s homes and no one enjoys looking out of their bedroom window/cabin porthole to find a happy snapper staring back at them through his/her view finder.
I can’t say I’ve seen many tourists down at Ta’ Liesse, so you’re definitely bound to take home a couple of shots which you won’t easily find in a random family’s holiday album, therefore happy shooting! Lomo On!