I am Jimmy Grima, a multi-disciplinary artist-researcher between Amsterdam and Malta and a member of the rubberbodies collective, an independent theatre and art group I co-founded in Malta in 2009. My artistic research revolves primarily around the politics of memory and remembrance, often focusing on the cultural traditions and the embodied and situated knowledge of micro-communities. For this reason, I am interested in archival practices, historiographies, and the relationship between the marginal and the mainstream. My work manifests as drawings, graphics, texts, multimedia installations, theatrical productions, and other events. I am currently developing The School of Winds and Waves (festival Oerol, over het ij, Amsterdam and StrandLAB in Almere) and carrying out a PhD research project at the University of Malta consisting of a re-analysis of early 20th century Maltese theatre through a decolonial lens.
After graduating with a Master’s in Theatre Curation from Das Arts Amsterdam in 2021, I was awarded the 3Package Deal by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. My graduation project Kerogen Voices (2020), departs from the Groningen Gas Bubble phenomenon; the project focuses on human-made earthquakes to tell a story about capitalist extractivist by combining mythology, scientific data, and music. The idea was further expanded through = Explosions (2021), an ongoing artist research which resulted in a Solo Performance. Kaxxa Infernali: Explosions and an Essay. Explosive (hi)stories, Various Artists continue exploring colonial-capitalist human-induced ecological disasters. Here, I trace the intertwined histories of different types of explosions in the Maltese context, from traditional festive fireworks to military target practice carried out by the British colonial administration to the occasional criminally-planted car bombs.
Previously, I led Il-Warda Tar-Riħ (The Wind-Rose Project) (2015), a multi-site research project to recover quasi-forgotten lore about the winds from Maltese farmers, bakers, fishermen, and amateur meteorologists. The project was large-scale weathervanes and a multi-media exhibition il-Pinnuri (April 2016) showcasing parts of the documentation. Video art was held at Spazju Kreattiv In a similar vein, in Song of a Bird (2017- ongoing), I collaborate with the now-outlawed micro-community of Maltese bird trappers to document their knowledge and practice that extends beyond trapping birds into ways of recognising and imitating specific bird songs, anticipating birds’ migratory patterns and intimate knowledge of the land that has been passed down through the generations. This research project, which has to date, comprised an audio-visual installation and live performance of Nassaba: Song of a Bird, shown at Zürcher Theater Spektakel (CH, 2021), Theaterfestival Boulevard (NL, 2021) and Théâtre de Liège(BE, 2022)). This documentary theatre work portrays the delicate relationship between a father and a son, a documentation of a disappearing practice and a personal archive of popular technology of bird-trapping.