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South East
27 October 2019  -  27 October 2019

Re-imagining of The Landing of the Belgian Refugees


Folkestone Fringe presents:

On the 27th October, everybody is invited to join in an historic recreation of Folkestone’s favourite painting The Landing of the Belgian Refugees by Fredo Franzoni.

To celebrate one of Folkestone’s favourite paintings, gifted to the town in 1916, Folkestone Fringe, producer Audrey Green Oakes and artist Manuel Vason invite you to be part of a photographic recreation at Folkestone Harbour Arm.

We want to bring together a rich and varied mix of people in Folkestone today, so why not come along with your family and friends and celebrate Folkestone, this beautiful painting and the people who live here now.

‘The Landing of the Belgian Refugees’ is on display in the town museum and commemorates the months in 1914 when more than 100,000 Belgians arrived in Folkestone fleeing WW1. They were welcomed with such kindness that King Albert of Belgium said ‘Folkestone had earned the admiration not only of the Belgians, but also of the whole world: yes, the whole civilised world knew how the town of Folkestone had received them with such cordiality which would never be forgotten’.

The Belgian refugees crossed the Channel in any boat they could find. On just one day in October 1914, some 16,000 people of all ages arrived at Folkestone Harbour. The painting is by an Italian artist, Fredo Franzoni, who himself came to our town as a refugee in one of the boats from Belgium.

In these times of change, with Europe always visible from our doorstep, join us to re-imagine this 100-year-old painting for future generations.

When: 27 October 2019

Time: Arrive by 1.00pm, photograph to be taken at 1.30pm* *Don’t forget that the clocks go back 1 hour the night before!

Where: Folkestone Harbour Arm Entrance (old ferry landing point)

What to wear: It’s up to you. In the painting people are wearing a mixture of ceremonial robes and work uniforms and normal clothes, or they’re dressed for a long, cold Channel crossing or smartly to welcome visitors. Come as you’d like.

Presented as part of the 5th Platforma festival, produced by Counterpoints Arts