top of page
  • Writer's pictureLisa Baldacchino

An Artist's Union - A Long Over Due Conversation

Hello Beautiful People!

I hope that you are all well and that you are all having a lovely week. This week this article is not the most positive however what we take from it can be empowering.

A couple of weeks ago a local artist Ruth Borg, who is currently based in Rotterdam, went on Facebook and posted about disregarding ‘the importance of [a] payment being made in a timely manner’. Borg was

talking about the performance Ssslip which was part of the Ziguzajg season. The artist took to Facebook explaining that she was saddened at the fact that she had not been paid for the same show she created and performed last November.

You can read her post here.

Borg also posted later on during the week, rectifying the situation, saying that she had not read the contract carefully and that in fine print there was written that she would be paid after she performed all the shows including those that have happened during the last month. You can read her post here.

Although this happened, this incident sparked up what I think is a long-overdue conversation that all artists in any aspect of theater need to be talking about.

This conversation is called,’ Chasing people and companies for payments and The Lack of an Artist Union in Malta’.

Numerous people commented on Ruth Borg’s post saying how they have been chasing people and/or companies for quite some time for payments. Invoices have been sent however no remuneration was made.

From this conversation, people also commented on the fact of how Malta has no Artist Union

Here is what Philippa Cassar (part of the Sister Duo Band, The New Victorians) replied to this post saying ' A Union is exactly what we need to fight back as one voice’.' You can check out the numerous comments here

In Malta, we are in dire need of an Artist Union.

What is an Artist Union?

An Artist Union is a gathering in which artists are represented and fought for whether it comes to contracts, being paid (on time and appropriately), being treated properly, making sure this freebie culture stops, no artist is taken advantage of and much more.

Why do we need an Artist Union?

Besides the fact that I am a full-time student I am also a freelancer (Stage Management, Assistant Stage Management, and Production Management) I can speak from experience when I say that it has been the case where I have had to chase some companies for months on end for payment where they’ve said that they have forgotten or they say that they thought they have already sent the cheque however you and I both know... they didn’t.

So to answer this question, we need an Artist Union because we need to be treated and treat others fairly. We as artists in ANY ASPECT OF THE ARTS need to come together and fight for what is ours. In Malta, we have heard numerous people say something on the lines of ‘Mhux Malta qeghdin! X’qed tistenna!’ or ‘U iva’. This needs to come to a stop.

Culture Venture decided to delve deeper into this situation in Malta by conducting a survey called Pay The Artist and here are the results.

Do you want to be part of such a conversation? Don't hesitate to get in contact with us!

71 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page