The writing on the wall

The Wall

 

Painted over but still visible: celtic cross emblem, one of the most popular symbols used by individuals and organisations to represent Neo-Nazism and white pride. Valletta - Behind the Court of Law.

Painted over but still visible: celtic cross emblem, one of the most popular symbols used by individuals and organisations to represent Neo-Nazism and white pride. Valletta – Behind the Court of Law.


“And this is the writing that was inscribed: mina, mina, shekel, half-mina. This is the interpretation of the matter: mina, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; shekel, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; half-mina, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
– Daniel 5:25-28

In the Bible, King of Babylon Belshazzar organizes a great feast. During the celebrations, his drunken minions profane vessels taken from the temple of Jerusalem. Suddenly, a dismembered hand appears out of thin air and scribbles four words on the wall. Prophet Daniel is called by the king to translate. He foresees the immediate fall of the Babylon and the rules of Persians. That very night king Belshazzar is slain and Persian troops take over Babylon.

In the course of history, many expressions from the Bible have been incorporated into the literature and became part of everyday language. The idiom “writing on the wall” is often associated with the approaching misfortune, or even doom. It signifies a warning that often comes too late. It is a danger that was there for a long time and has been ignored.

Couple passes a political graffitti adorned with a swastika emblem. It has been painted over but still visible. It has been scribbled on the walls of a church. Balluta Bay

Couple passes a political graffitti adorned with a swastika emblem. It has been painted over but still visible. It has been scribbled on the walls of a church. Balluta Bay

Swastika symbol at Manoel Island Marina

Swastika symbol at Manoel Island Marina

Swastika was adopted as a symbol of the Nazi Party of Germany in 1920, who used it as a symbol of the Aryan race. Santa Venera - Triq Il-Kapillan Mifsud

Swastika was adopted as a symbol of the Nazi Party of Germany in 1920, who used it as a symbol of the Aryan race. Santa Venera – Triq Il-Kapillan Mifsud

Swastika carved onto the stone wall in front of MCCA, Valletta.

Swastika carved onto the stone wall in front of MCCA, Valletta.

I have decided to use the biblical story to illustrate this small and ever growing photographic project. For several reasons, in fact. In 2010 my sister and her fiance visited me on the island of Malta and like real culture-vultures we visited all the hot spots on the rock.  I have moved to Malta from Poland in 2006 and have always been amazed with the rich cultural heritage of such a small island. It would have been a fantastic short holidays with the relatives, however everywhere we went, we have noticed Nazi emblems or swastikas either scribbled on the walls or carved into them. It saddened and embarrassed me in a way. Here I was trying to give the best impression of my second home, and some little and swallow coward was ruining the experience for my family.

Since that episode I decided to document the racist messages on the walls of Malta. I don’t look for them on purpose, but when I come across one, I will photograph it.

Carving in stone at the Selmun Barracks. It reads "SAS" and the lettering is a direct reference to The Schutzstaffel ("Defence Corps"), often abbreviated as "SS" with the use of Armanen sig runes "ᛋᛋ" ). SS was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and was outlawed after 1945.

Carving in stone at the Selmun Barracks. It reads “SAS” and the lettering is a direct reference to The Schutzstaffel (“Defence Corps”), often abbreviated as “SS” with the use of Armanen sig runes “ᛋᛋ” ). SS was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and was outlawed after 1945.

Swastika carved onto the stone wall in front of MCCA, Valletta.

Swastika and a graffitti of Adolf Hitler at Selmun Barracks

Swastika emblem carved into the sidewalk on the way to Valletta Waterfront

Swastika emblem carved into the sidewalk on the way to Valletta Waterfront

Don’t get me wrong. Such messages appear through out of Europe. It’s nothing shocking.  What does seem absurd is the fact that Maltese should be heavily averse to fascism or Nazism in any form. During WWII, Valletta (Malta’s capital) was one of the most bombed sites. Malta’s closer neighbour – Italy was under fascist rule which posed a significant risk for the island (which was then part of Alliance alongside US and UK). It is really hard to understand how come the general public ignores the graffiti sometimes in really prominent places.

Grafitti reading "Blacks out" and adorned with a swastika emblem on the Regional Road Bridge in St. Julians. This exactly how the grafitti can be seen from the passing car.

Grafitti reading “Blacks out” and adorned with a swastika emblem on the Regional Road Bridge in St. Julians. This is exactly how the graffitti can be seen from the passing cars.

Grafitti reading "Suwed" ("Niggers" in Maltese) under the Regional Road Bridge in St. Julians. This exactly how the grafitti can be seen from a passing car.

Grafitti reading “Suwed” (“Niggers” in Maltese) under the Regional Road Bridge in St. Julians. This is exactly how the grafitti can be seen from the passing cars.

Perhaps this post will offer some sort of awareness for the authorities and local councils.

Malicia

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