Walking with Ghosts: a historic artwork

Academics, artists and creatives have been working tirelessly over the past months on an exciting new installation artwork recognising the hisory and legacy of war and conflict on the town of Folkestone. Titled Walking With Ghosts, the ambitious artwork is inspired by, and uses, original film footage from the First World War, as well as photographs, artworks, poetry, letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and testimony on war and its impact from 1914 to the present. It will bring these together in a new multimedia experience including an original immersive soundscape and digital recreation of the ‘ghostly army’ who marched through Folkestone from 1914. 

The durational nature of the artwork is inspired by Fabian Ware who was Director of the Imperial War Graves Commission. In 1926 he estimated that it would take the ‘ghostly army of the dead of the Imperial forces’ 84 hours to march past the Cenotaph. This length of time creates the temporal boundary for our artwork. 

Whilst the artwork will be live for the full 84 hours, the organisers encourage visitors to come at dusk or in the dark, when the ghosts will be most visible. 

Each showing lasts exactly 30 minutes and then repeats, and visitors are welcomed to bring a chair (and warm clothes/blanket!) to sit and experience the whole piece, or to move through the installation in their own time. 

As well as the immersive artwork, there will a range of workshops and events over the weekend. These range from poetry, ropemaking, walks and storytelling and have been curated by Elspeth Penfold in partnership with Fourth Wall Folkstone and a number of community groups. All are free to attend, but must be booked online. https://www.gatewayspartnership.org.uk/programme-walking-with-ghosts  

Walking with Ghosts has been developed in collaboration with local artists, community groups, schools and arts organisations. The project is part of the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, a national programme of 22 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict and created in partnership with Imperial War Museums and 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary. Find out more about the Walking with Ghosts team here.  

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