Festival of Looking // Magic Carpets 2020

welcoming Ireland & local artists 

Through Urban Room Folkestone, the Folkestone Fringe team are stoked to be producing the second iteration of the Festival of Looking! Combining the third year installment of our 2020 Magic Carpets projects; more developments & presentations - both physical & virtual - of our projects such as MySquare & Antidiary which were conceived during lockdown; as well as a wider exploration towards the state of our town today through the lens of both local and global circumstances... are intertwining to create the fests' title & theme - What's happening, exactly? Keep scrolling to learn more.


Welcome to the second iteration of the Festival of Looking.

This year, as we contend with unnerving and momentous changes happening across the world, we are asking ourselves many questions. During this period of lockdown, our homes and neighbourhoods have become our world and many people have suddenly developed a new relationship with their immediate surroundings. You may have noticed a detail on the building across the street, encountered a previously unacquainted neighbour every morning or observed how the traffic surges and ebbs throughout the day. As well as noting the smaller details of our surroundings, it seems that during this time bigger questions are being contemplated. It is a time to reflect on who we are, where we are and how we got here and to challenge the ways of living and thinking that we have just come to accept as ‘normal’.

In What’s happening, exactly? we are exploring the state of the town today, from its rich material fabric to its vital but unsettled relationship with water, as well as addressing wider and critical issues occurring around the world such as Isolation and the Black Lives Matter movement. Through these workshops, film screenings, exhibitions and discussions, we hope to unearth unknown stories of adaptability in the town and create tools which contribute to a hopeful atmosphere of resilience and togetherness. We want to take an active stance to our circumstances, locally and globally, and ask: What’s happening, exactly?


// Magic Carpets // 

A four-year project led by Kaunas Biennial and funded by Creative Europe. The platform unites 15 cultural organisations, from the European Union and candidate countries, who are committed to working with emerging artists and curators by supporting them to develop new projects together. These projects are made in response to local situations and with local people.

The projects are designed to reveal local knowledge and hidden stories as a way to create a greater connection between people and place. For the third year of the project, Folkestone Fringe, in partnership with Urban Room Folkestone and its Festival of Looking, are working with Mary Conroy, nominated by EVA International, Ireland, and local artists Craig Gell,  Aida Silvestri, Leah Thorn, Lee Desai and Nico Dunsbee. The outcomes of their projects will be presented here alongside a series of related projects.


// Urban Room Folkestone// 

The purpose of an Urban Room is a physical space where people can go to understand, debate and get involved in the past, present, and future of where they live, work and play. The purpose of Urban Rooms is to foster meaningful connections between people and place, using creative methods of engagement to encourage active participation in the future of our buildings, streets, and neighbourhoods.


visit each event page to learn where the event is taking place - either physically or online. there are now LIVE opportunities to book your spot! 


This project, hosted by Folkestone Fringe, is part of the “Magic Carpets” Platform co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. This project has generously been supported by Arts Council England.

#MagicCarpets #CreativeEurope | Design: @studio.oiseau.design


download programme here
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download programme here
download programme here
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download programme here

see press release
see press release
see press release
see press release
see press release
see press release
see press release

visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here
visit magic carpets website here

visit URF website
visit URF website
visit URF website
visit URF website
visit URF website
visit URF website
visit URF website
visit URF website
visit URF website

Event

15 September 2020

Mary Conroy | What Are You Made Of Folkestone
Event

16 September 2020

Visible - Invisible
Event

9 October 2020

Aida Silvestri | I AM Fully Human
Event

15 October 2020

Festival of Looking | Launch
Event

15 October 2020

The Antidiary | Writers Takeover: Josie Carter
Event

15 October 2020

Feral Practice | Film Screening x Launch
Event

16 October 2020

Craig Gell | Pent Happenings
Event

16 October 2020

MySquare | Workshop
Event

16 October 2020

Lee Desai | Black Men Are...
Event

17 October 2020

Daniel Tollady | Urban Archive | Folkestone
Event

17 October 2020

Performance: The Plinth Project: The Antidiary - Writing For Our Times
Event

17 October 2020

Craig Gell | Flow Rate
Event

17 October 2020

Dr Duckie & Folkestone Fringe | DIY Hope Machines
Event

18 October 2020

Nico Dunsbee | Walk Write
Event

18 October 2020

Leah Thorn | White Noise *
Event

18 October 2020

pent happenings | Screening & festival closing event
Progress Agency