The Equal by Nature project was created by a group of academics (Prof. Joseph Borg, Prof. Raphael Vella and Dr Maria Pisani) working with the NGO the Malta Chamber of Scientists (Karen Fiorini, Emma Clarke and Dr Edward Duca) from varied disciplines to challenge the basis of racial prejudice in our communities. Through hands-on workshops, consisting of different arts and science based activities, participants interrogated the role that concepts like race, identity and belonging play in their daily lives. For these workshops we sought a group of participants from different backgrounds, some local and several migrants from different African countries.
We know that as a biological concept, race makes little sense. Humans are far too complex genetically to be meaningfully assigned to such arbitrary and superficial categories. Nevertheless, the social construct of “race” retains the power to fuel the division and prejudice that many face as a daily reality. Race might be only a social construct, but it is certainly a powerful one. These issues are pertinent in Malta, an island with a complex history of colonialism and a large international community. What makes someone “local”? How do qualities such as skin colour or country of origin influence our perception of each other or the role we can play in our communities?
The project worked to empower the migrant community, using this scientific knowledge, to encourage them to play an essential, creative role in raising awareness that race is nothing more than a convenient theory for some.
Project is funded by Esplora’s STEM Community Fund.