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  • Author or Editor: Valerie Visanich x
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This article refers to nostalgia and the way it is triggered by emotion-bearing symbolic structures and sensory experiences, to make sense of how these are played out in cultural engagement. It examines how the popular cultural event of the festa in Malta, an annual village feast of the patron saint, acts as a platform for nostalgic experiences. With reference to Jeffrey Alexander’s ‘iconic consciousness’, the arguments brought forward are positioned broadly within the notion of symbolic and sensory dynamics during the festa. Additionally, the collective shared experiences of festa enthusiasts, in a Durkheimian tradition, are explored to obtain knowledge on how they make sense of their past and present meanings as well as their feelings towards the village saint and the festa in general. Through the use of interviews conducted with persons who are actively engaged in this event, this article understands how their sense of belonging, both in terms of the material and non-material culture are central in the multimodal nostalgic meaning-making process.

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