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Platforma Festival

anna ray

The biennial Platforma festival for the arts by, with and about refugees 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.

Each festival takes place in a different part of England – a national (and international) event, built on local partnerships.

The 5th Platforma festival took place across Kent & Medway.

With more than 40 events and a live audience of more than 10,000 people, Platforma 5 across Kent and Medway was our biggest yet. Everything was done in partnership, and we’d like to thank all those organisations and artists who took part. 

Read the Platforma5-evaluation-report (pdf)

Platforma 6 will take place across Yorkshire in October 2021 – planning us underway and more details will be published soon. For more information contact


Platforma is a network of organisations and artists across England that has been running since 2010. Managed by Counterpoints Arts, we work with partners of all scale – from community groups and individuals to large venues and producers.

Every two years we run the Platforma festival in a different part of the country to showcase work, develop networks and bring a people together to discuss practice. For Platforma 5 we worked with artists, organisations and audiences across Kent & Medway and also linked with others across our national and international network.

We already had a number of strong partnerships and convened three networking meetings in the 18 months leading up to the festival, to learn about work already happening and to discuss what new work people would most like to see. We also wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the issues people were facing either as artists from migrant / refugee background or working with people from those backgrounds. 

Gradually a programme took shape with a wide range of partners across the region. We also made connections to other artists and organisations from across our national network. 

Some of the work we supported and commissioned was focused on a specific community (eg hiphop workshops with young Roma men and women) but we were also keen to bring work to mainstream spaces so that artists could reach wide audiences. Our partnerships with Cohesion Plus, Turner Contemporary, Quarterhouse and Gulbenkian were particularly helpful for this.

Platforma’s work with organisations and artists in Kent & Medway will continue, with a focus over the next two years on helping to develop capacity, networks and support for artists – informed by the results of our post-festival evaluation.

Read more about the Platforma 5 programme

Top Image: from “Home” project workshop by Anna Ray at Turner Contemporary

Poster image: A Hostile Environment, 2019 – original artwork by Adam Chodzko, commissioned for Platforma 5 by Counterpoints Arts



Why Folkestone? by Aida Silverstri, commissioned by Counterpoints Arts / Platforma

(copyright Aida Silvestri)

Why F2

Omens by Henna Asikainen, at Turner Contemporary


henna-omens2 copy


Custom House Community Meal, Folkestone ((Bartle Halpin photography)

Bartle Halpin Photography - Custom-scaled

No Direction Home stand-up comedy featuring Nish Kumar (Canterbury)



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).

Join Platforma