My essentials: Daniel Borg’s cultural picks

No 24 | Daniel Borg, 30, Actor, Producer

Daniel Borg
Daniel Borg

1. Book

The most recent book I read was “Is-Sriep Regghu Saru Velenuzi” by Alex Vella Gera. I’m not an avid fiction reader, however I picked this book up following the hype generated by the film. The use of language, the political relevance it still holds and especially the expat experience is so perfectly exemplified in this novel. It hit me quite hard because the book verbalised many of the thoughts and feelings I have as a Maltese person who moved to another country and the confused emotions that this brings as well as rediscovering and redefining what it means to be Maltese.

2. Film

‘Titane’ by French director Julia Ducournau. I watched it at home but I highly recommend those who haven’t it watch it at the cinema. It’s a very visual, body horror movie with some very visually powerful scenes and it blew me away. I had never seen anything quite like it. There was a mixed reaction from the people that watched it (my partner hated it), but I think it’s an excellent movie and the uncompromising attitude of Ducournau is what makes it so compelling.

3. TV/Internet

While painting I feel the need to kill the silence in the room since it is a very solitary act so I listen to a lot of podcasts. I find it helps me to not concentrate on the act of painting and allows my subconscious to do the work resulting in a more genuine piece of work. From all the podcast that I listen to (and which probably some would find very boring), I recently I discovered one called Business Wars. It’s basically a history podcast narrating how two business rivals adopted business strategies against each other.

4. Music

I have a small ritual. I always put on the album “The Greatest” by Cat Power while I’m setting up a new painting. This helps me to get in the right frame of mind to start a painting. I do find that the music influences the way I paint and as time goes by I’m getting to know myself more and what music to put on at a particular stage of the painting.

5. Place

USA. There are many things that I’d love to see that I have read or heard about over the years. The United States has produced a huge amount of visual and musical artists and cultural movements that interest me. I’ve been meaning organize a long cross-country trip for a while, but I haven’t been lucky so far as plans were cancelled twice. First because of the unstable environment caused by the US elections and immediately after some pandemic disrupted many things.