This is a joint statement issued by the Kamra tal-Periti (KTP), Society of Architecture & Civil Engineering Students (SACES) and the European Architecture Students Assembly Malta (EASA Malta).
We condemn, unequivocally and in the strongest possible manner, the brutal assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and extend our deepest condolences to her family and colleagues.
Caruana Galizia’s death is a stark harbinger of the dire future our society faces if it fails to uphold the rule of law and ethical standards. Our participation in the National Demonstration held last Sunday, 22 October 2017, signified our commitment to ensure every professional’s:
- duty to uphold ethical behaviour;
- right to exercise their profession without fear of reprisal;
- duty to hold institutions to account;
- obligation to speak out when institutions fail;
- duty to ensure equality and equity in their respective industries;
- responsibility to seek the common good.
We are all called to act as responsible citizens, and all the more so in the case of professionals. Our profession, in particular, has the privilege of mirroring the mood of society in the built environment it leaves for generations to come, a lasting testament to the principles, priorities and attitudes that are the ethos of a nation at any point in time. For what is architecture if not an embodiment of our collective values. Yet we also have an obligation to take a stand and refrain from slavishly accommodating the needs of capital and private interests when these ignore the needs of society at large – for it is to society that we must bear our ultimate responsibility.
It is also the duty of all professional organisations and civil society to insist upon the development of institutions and processes that guarantee equality among citizens. Elements of corruption and money laundering should have no place in the building industry, or any other industry in the country. In this sense, we reaffirm our commitment to facilitate dialogue between the legislator and the industry, so that future generations can be proud of their environmental and built heritage because it will speak of a society that valued beauty above greed, quality over mediocrity, rectitude over corruption, correctness over shoddiness and sustainability over short term gain.
Last Sunday’s demonstration brought to the fore society’s concern with the maladies that pervade it. It is the obligation of each one of us to combat these maladies so that they do not take hold of our industries, our society and our country. To quote the words of Jane Jacobs, American journalist, author and activist on urban design and
“There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.”