Loranne Vella

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Loranne Vella

Loranne Vella born 10 July, 1972 is a Maltese writer, translator and performer, today living in Brussels.

Biography and Education

Loranne Vella was born in Victoria Gozo, Malta to Mary Grace Monseigneur nee Ellul.

She was raised by adoptive parents Teodosia Floria Vella nee Farrugia (1937-2010) and Joseph Vella (1926-2012)

She attended the following institutions for her Education.

  • Thi Lakin School, Attard (1975-1976)
  • St. Joseph School, B'Bajda (1976-77)
  • St. Joseph School, Paola (1977-1984)
  • Sandhurst School (later known as Sir Adrian Dingli School)
  • Pembroke (Sept-Dec1984)
  • Maria ReginaJunior Lyceum, B'Bajda (1984-88)
  • Ġan Franġisk Abela Sixth Form, Msida (1988-1989)
  • University of Malta, tal-Qroqq - 1989-90
  • Foundation Course 1990-1991
  • B.Comm (incomplete) 1991-1995
  • B.A. Hons in Theatre Studies (Mediterranean Institute) and English as secondary subject 1995-2000
  • M.A. in Theatre Studies.

Personal Life and Places of Residence

Places of Residence:

1973-1977 - Ħamrun, Malta, 1977-1996 - B'Bugia, Malta, 1996-2005 - Mtarfa, Malta, 2005-2008 - Luxembourg, 2008 - Present (2019) - Brussels, Belgium

Married to: Simon Bartolo[1] (1996-2011), Ramon Zerafa (2012-2019)

One child - Samuel Zerafa (son of Ramon Zerafa) born in 2012

Profession and Career

  • English and Drama teacher at St. Aloysius College, B'Kara (1995-2005)
  • Translator at the European Parliament, Luxembourg (2005-2008)
  • Translator at the Economic and Social Committee, Brussels, Belgium (2009-present)

Works and Collaborations

Artistic Career

Co-founded Aleateia Group Theatre in 1992 with Simon Bartolo, Victor Debono and Russell Muscat, and trained and performed at the Valletta Campus Theatre (then known as MITP Theatre - Mediterranean Institute Theatre Programme) till 2005. The group was formed while all were University Students finding the need to put into practice the various theories and disciplines encountered in their studies as well as discover their own methodology of work and discipline.[1]

Between 1993 and 1994, co-founded and co-edited the literary journal "Readers and Writers" at University of Malta (5 quarterly issues). She started writing the first volume of the Fiddien Trilogy (Sqaq l-Infern)[2] with Simon Bartolo in 2004 (published 2007). The second volume - Wied Wirdien[3] - came out in 2008, and the final volume - Il-Ġnien tad-Dmugħ - in 2009.

In 2010 began her solo career as writer with the publication of Magna Mater for young adult readers. The novel was written during the year her mother was diagnosed with cancer which led to her demise in June 2010. The "mother" element in the whole novel was a direct consequence of this. The novel is dedicated to her memory.

In 2013 she was asked to collaborate with photographer Ritty Tacsum. She wrote a short story in 4 chapters inspired by her work, titled Dawn l'erbat ikmamar l'għandi (These four rooms of mine, translated into English by Ramon Zerafa). The launch of the book, a performative public reading of the story, took place during the exhibition itself, with Ritty's installation and exhibits as backdrop.

This was the first time Vella combined literature, photography and performance in one event, an exercise which was repeated in the subsequent book launches (Rokit - 2017, Mill-bieb 'il ġewwa - 2019). It is also the fundamental principal behind the performance art collective which she co-founded with Sephora Gauci in 2017, Barumbara Collective - to create performative events in collaboration with artists from other art forms.

Between 2014-2017 she translated several children's stories from French into Maltese (known as Rumanzini) and one from Spanish into Maltese.

Between 2012-2017 she wrote Rokit, her most ambitious literary work so far.

In 2019 she collaborated with artist Trevor Borg and wrote a story for children inspired by his work presented at the Venice Biennale as part of the Maltese Pavilion. The title of the story is Smajna Isimna Taħt l-Art published in November 2019.

Recognitions and Achievments

In 2016 Loranne was awarded the Terramaxka Prize for her translation of Abril Calero’s Violeta (Vjoletta, Merlin Publishers, 2015).

She was the winner of the 2018 National Book Prize in the category Novels in Maltese and English with her book Rokit (Merlin Publishers, 2018)