Something Held in the Mouth

3-6 October 2019
Artists in the programme include Jorge Menna Barreto (Brazil), Leone Contini (Italy), Amanda Couch (UK), Marta Fernández Calvo (Spain), Lucky Moyo (UK), Clare Qualmann (UK), Raju Rage (UK), Daniella Valz Gen (UK), Helen Davison (UK), Dana Olarescu (Romania/UK)

in partnership with Custom Folkestone, Creative Folkestone, Counterpoint Arts, Centre for Biocultural Diversity at the University of Kent and Folkestone Fringe

Something Held in the Mouth was a four day festival bringing together artists and creative practitioners to present a diverse programme of art, exhibitions, events, workshops and talks about the poetics of food, the politics of its migrations. The programme aimed to explore somatically the ways in which our bodies hold these food stories. The festival convened dialogues around the way food crosses boundaries and creates connections across the world. Collectively we explored the intersections between art, food and local markets to think humbly about how artists might create different kinds of alliance through geopolitical conversations.

“But the four points of the compass are equal on the lawn of the excluded middle where full maturity of meaning takes time the way you eat a   fish, morsel by morsel, off the bone. Something that can be held in the mouth, deeply, like darkness by someone blind or the empty space I place   at the center of each poem to allow penetration.” Rosemary Waldrop, The Lawn of the Excluded Middle

Highlights from the program included Picnic Poetico, a collective picnic hosted by the gracious Marta Fernandez Calvo. Picnic Poetico drew on the relationship between language of food and artists in the kitchen, this event was held around a fire and each person bought food and a poem that was enlivened by the food. East End Jam explored the abundant urban Fruitfulness of the East end of Folkestone and ended with a discovery of a rouge apple tree in the wilds of the Folkestone Warren.(Be)Longing) an exhibition of new work by artist Daniella Valz Gen  explored the connection of migrant bodies to the land.

50 Years, 50 Stories 50 Farmers’ Tales is an exhibition created by the University of Kent Ethnobotany department which showed some fascinating practices of food and land custodianship across Kent. And we cooked a community feast designed by Zimbabwean artist Lucky Moyo who performed with his band at a community meal with over 100 people in attendance.