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Platforma 5 networking – Rochester
1st May 2019
Home - Anna Ray

Thanks to everyone who came to our third Platforma 5 networking meeting, working towards the fifth Platforma Festival that will be taking place across Kent in October. And many thanks to the Huguenot Museum for hosting us and providing a fascinating tour of their collection.

In the coming month or so, we will publish the initial plans for Platforma 5 – performances, exhibitions, talks, screenings and events.

If you are an artist or organisation interested in taking part, please contact

Meanwhile here’s a summary of the speakers from the recent networking event, many of whom will be involved in Platforma 5.

Gulbenkian Family Day

Gulbenkian (Canterbury) are planning to host a free Family Day as part of Platforma 5 on Saturday 26th October. The day will run from 10am-4pm and will be a series of pop-up performances, workshops, activities, film screenings, arts & crafts throughout the day which celebrate diversity and different cultural voices within the arts, with a particular focus on arts by, about and with refugee and migrant communities. The day will primarily target children aged 4-11 and their families though we would like activities which can be enjoyed by all ages. We want the day to be have a fun and celebratory atmosphere but with opportunities for children and their families to think, engage with and explore issues around diversity, integration and migration.

The event will run in Gulbenkian’s café and foyer spaces with opportunities to use the 340 seat theatre and 300 seat cinema. We’re looking for proposals from artists who might be interested in performing or running workshops/activities/screenings/talks as part of the day.

Please contact Becky Lees with your ideas and outline costs by 31st May.

We are also keen that families from refugee background across Kent are able to attend – if you know of people or groups who will need support to to that, please also let Becky know.

Home – by Anna Ray

Home was commissioned by People United in partnership with the Diocese of Canterbury and Ashford Borough Council in 2018. The project saw textile artist Anna Ray working with a group of women in Ashford, including recently resettled Syrian women, to explore the theme of ‘home’ through a series of art workshops. Together the group created a body of work that was exhibited in Ashford in November 2018. Anna and Domenica (from theDiocese of Canterbury) explained some of the background to the project which you can read more about on the blog.

An image from the project is shown up and there is a video below:

Home from Anna Ray on Vimeo.

World in a Tent

Priti Paintal, Artistic Director of ShivaNova and Equator presented their new project to highlight and promote the cultural heritage of Roma and Nepalese communities in Kent. World in a Tent will be presented in Folkestone 23-25 May and as part of the Platforma 5 in October. For more information contact

Three Mothers – performances & workshops

Matilda Velevitch spoke about the upcoming tour of her play Three Mothers, and related workshops. There will be free performances at The Migration Museum in London early June, and a women-only workshop on 22nd May. Contact

Haven Coffee

Usman Khalid spoke about his new social enterprise Haven Coffee –  serving high-quality coffee while supporting refugees. They serve quality organic coffee, while supporting refugees in a number of ways and are available for events. Contact

No Direction Home

Umsan also spoke about his participation in the stand-up comedy project, No Direction Home, run by Counterpoints Arts (the organisation that manages Platforma) and Camden People’s Theatre. We will be running comedy workshops and performances in different parts of Kent as part of Platforma 5.

Victim Support 

Liz Pallister from Victim Support in Kent explained how she is setting up art drop-ins for anyone affected by hate crime. Contact

Walmer Castle and gardens

Hannah West gave us a virtual tour of the revived gardens at Walmer Castle and explained how they had been working with young people supported by Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) on volunteering opportunities and with local artist, Charlotte Chapman on artwork for the new Learning Centre.

Lilacs in Bloom

Jo C Martindale presented her recent project running seven participatory artmaking workshops with survivors of modern-day slavery and human trafficking that are in receipt of support from Migrant Help. Lilacs In Bloom was the outcome of these workshops and Joy is currently looking for other opportunities to exhibit the work.