23 Sep - 27 Oct 2019 / N/A

Platforma 5 : Kent & Medway

Image: A Hostile Environment 2019, Adam Chodzko


The biennial Platforma festival for the arts by, with and about refugees and migration is produced by Counterpoints Arts. It brings together artists, organisations, funders and others for discussions, workshops and the chance to share practice and showcase new work.

The 5th Platforma festival will take place across Kent & Medway this autumn.

For more information contact


September/October: No Direction Home

Stand-up comedy workshops & performances in Gravesend & Sittingbourne  – Counterpoints Arts in partnership with Ideas Test, Woodville Theatre, Cohesion Plus. No Direction Home is produced by Counterpoints Arts & Camden People’s Theatre.

September/October: Hiphop and spoken word workshops with young people

Led by Oliver Seagar with Pie Factory, Music for Change and Counterpoints Arts.

September-October: Worse Things Happen At Sea, Ramsgate, 10.00-22.00

This art installation by Mooch is a Morse code soundtrack within the Ramsgate lighthouse listing over a thousand names of vessels lost on the Goodwin Sands. Imagine how it feels to be lost in a storm at sea as the Morse distress call reminds you of the perils beyond the harbour walls, over many centuries, to the present day.

14 September-13 October: Home – The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury

An exhibition of artwork created by textile artist Anna Ray and a group of mothers living in Ashford ­ long term residents and recently resettled Syrian women. Over the course of seven months, Anna worked with the group to explore the theme of ‘home’. The aim of the commission was to bring a new community together, to discover commonalities and celebrate differences. Through weekly workshops, the participants worked with drawing, painting, print, felt­making, weaving and stitch. As they made artwork together, the women shared stories of their home­lives, speaking of the joys of motherhood and the challenges they face. Since the project drew to a close last year the group have continued to make artwork together as friends, drawing on the skills and confidence gained from this unique project. Home was commissioned by People United, The Diocese of Canterbury and Ashford Borough Council, funded by Arts Council England. (picture credit: Anna Ray)

3-5 October: Music After Detention: Dover Residency

Music in Detention (MiD), in collaboration with musician Oliver Seagar are running a 3 day residency in Dover, with musicians they worked with whilst incarcerated in the UK’s Immigration Detention System. Until 2015 there was an Immigration Removal Centre in Dover, sited in Dover’s Western Heights Nature Reserve. Some of MiD’s musicians were held there. Includes: 5 October Music After Detention Gig @ The Lighthouse in Deal 20:30 – 23:00

3-6 October: Custom Folkestone presents: Something Held in the Mouth

A four day festival bringing together artists and creative practitioners to present a diverse programme of art,  events, workshops and talks about the poetics of food, the politics of its migrations and the ways in which our bodies hold these stories. The festival convenes dialogues around the way food crosses boundaries and creates connections across the world, as well as exploring the intersections between art, food and local markets to forge new alliances through geopolitical conversations. Events include, 5 October, Community Meal with menu designed by Lucky Moyo + music from Lucky & friends.

7 October: Platforma 5 Launch event at Kent County Council, Maidstone 17.00-18.30

A special event in partnership with Kent County Council for the official launch of Platforma 5 – contact to reserve a free place

9 October: No Direction Home at Woodville Theatre 19.30-21.00

Stand-up performance featuring local people who have attended the workshops, plus special guest headliners. From Counterpoints Arts in partnership with Cohesion Plus & Woodville Theatre.

11 October: Building Partnerships, Huguenot Museum, Rochester 13.00-16.00 – How can museums and heritage organisations engage sustainably with refugees and migrants?

A free seminar from Counterpoints Arts in partnership with the Huguenot Museum and The Migration Museum Project.

11 October: Swale Festival of Light in Sittingbourne, with Cohesion Plus

Following workshops local schools to create lanterns around core values of respect, excellence, friendship and equality led by artists commissioned for Platforma 5, a parade as part of a colourful community festival.

13 October: No Direction Home at Ypres Tavern, Sittingbourne 19.30-21.00

Stand-up performance featuring local people who have attended the workshops, plus special guest headliners. From Counterpoints Arts in partnership with Ideas Test

15-30 October: Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Art Project, Sittingbourne Library

Young refugees and asylum seekers have created an art exhibition inspired by their journeys to Kent and hopes for the future.

16-27 October: Why Folkestone? by Aida Silvestri, Folkestone

A new exhibition for Platforma 5 by the internationally-exhibited photographer Aida Silvestri. Presented alongside her whose previous workEven This Will Pass.

18-25 October: Lilacs In Bloom by Joy C Martindale, Jarman Building – University of Kent

A participatory artwork made in collaboration with survivors of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

18 October – 8 November: Platforma 5 @ 101 Social Club, Margate

As part of their Autumn/Winter programme, 101 Social Club in Margate presents a series of installations, screenings and talks

21-25 October Platforma 5 takeover at Turner Contemporary & 101 Social, Margate

A week-long programme of artist-led engagement & talks linked to 2019 Turner Prize exhibition. Co-commissioned and co-curated by Counterpoints Arts and Turner Contemporary.

Including: 23 October – “Creating an Archive” : Exploring the history of arts, refugees and migration projects in Kent. How might we work collectively to bring this archive to life? Led by Julie Neville and Douglas Noble.

21-26 October: Platforma 5 at Gulbenkian, in partnership with Counterpoints Arts

21-22 October: Pop culture / Young People / Migration & Social Change – retreat, Gulbenkian Pop Culture and Social Change is a pioneering project from Counterpoints Arts exploring how the power of pop culture can be harnessed to shift the way we talk, think and feel about migration and displacement. (Invitation only)

21 October: Pop culture, arts & activism – Gulbenkian 18.00-19.00: A free session open to all, linked to our pop culture retreat. Followed by: 19.30pm Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. – film screening, Guklbenkian
A 2018 biographical documentary film about English rapper, artist & activist M.I.A.. Directed by Steve Loveridge

22 October: Popjustice scratch!, Gulbenkian 17.00:
A free performance, open to all, by participants in the pop culture retreat.

23 October: Tongue Fu, Gulbenkian, 19.30
Tongue Fu is one of the UK’s leading spoken word shows. It is a riotous experiment in live literature, music, film and improvisation. Featuring top poets Anthony Anaxagorou, Rachel Rose Reid, Julian Knxx. Hosted by Francesca Beard

24 October: No Direction Home stand-up comedy with guest headliner, Gulbenkian.
After a sell-out gig at the Southbank Centre in London, and guest headliners including Nish Kumar and Romesh Ranganathan No Direction Home bring a hilarious line-up of comedians from refugee & migrant backgrounds to Canterbury for this one-off gig. Special guest headliners to be announced!

25 October: The Last Tree, Gulbenkian
A new feature film, written & directed by Shola Amoo. Presented as part of Black History Month by Kent University Union.

26 October: Platforma Family Day,  Gulbenkian, from 10.00
Artist and performer-led workshops, performances and fun for the whole family, around themes of home, identity and migration.

26 October: Rafiki Jazz – Up Close!, Gulbenkian, 20.00
Acclaimed by Songlines magazine as ‘The best of British’, Rafiki Jazz bring their diverse and eclectic sound to Kent for a unique Platforma 5 performance. A collective based in the north of England, comprising musicians from around the world, their latest album, ‘Har Dam Sahara’, draws on the beauty and poetry of Pakistan & Senegal’s mystic Sufi traditions and ancient Middle Eastern Coptic, Arabic & Hebrew roots.

26 October: They Came In Crowded Boats, Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate, 13.30

The Margate Film Festival presents a selection of short films that explore the motivations, challenges and perceptions of global migration and refugee stories.

26 October: Shiva Nova presents Romany Diamonds, Quarterhouse Folkestone, 19.30

Three generations of one traditional Gypsy Roma family playing acoustic magic with fire and soul; amazing audiences with back-to-front violin playing and soul-searching ballads followed by musical Gypsy mayhem. Plus: The World in a Tent Roma exhibition will be in the foyer all day hosting workshops in Roma music from 4pm-5pm and dance from 5pm-6pm for everyone to join in!

27 October: Platforma 5 presents …. Quarterhouse, Folkestone

A series of presentations from artists who are part of the Platforma network in Kent and across England, followed by discussions and networking.


Platforma arts and refugee network supports and develops arts by, about and with refugees and migrants from marginalised communities. It brings together groups and artists / performers of any background or political status (e.g. refugees and non-refugees). Platforma is run by Counterpoints Arts in partnership with organisations across the country

Platforma 1 took place in London (2011), followed by Manchester (2013), Leicester (2015) & Newcastle and the North East (2017).

23 Sep - 27 Oct 2019


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