by Kevin Casha Published 01/04/2017
Maltese Societies' member Kevin Casha describes the research and writing of his important book.
Carmel H. Psaila is a person who has definitely contributed in no small way to the evolution and level of Maltese photography. He was extremely influential during my formative years in photography and I learned a great deal from him. His organisational skills, discipline, forward-thinking and international perspective have luckily rubbed off on me. Carmel, or Lino as we affectionately know him, was instrumental in encouraging me to get further involved in local photography. He was an inspiration on what has turned out to be a wonderful road of discovery, taking me past 35 years of constant activity and in-depth engagement with the medium.
A group photograph taken using natural outdoor light, attributed to Gozitan photographer Michele Farrugia; c.1935. (Jane Bonnici collection).
One of my early fascinations was the history of Maltese photography. I was enthralled with one fact which Psaila made me aware of; that Maltese photography saw its birth hot on the heels of the incredible invention of photography in 1839. Through Lino as well, I had the fortune to meet British professor Margaret Harker1 (1920–2013) who regularly visited Malta and harboured a special affection for its people. Professor Harker, an expert photographic educator and historian of international standing, was at that time working on a book on Maltese photographers.2 Psaila was one of those many individuals who were helping out during her painstaking research by suggesting contacts and leads from where she could glean more information and knowledge on local photography. I ended up giving her, amongst other images, a picture which she needed for her publication of the monument of Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena.3
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