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Autumn Reads: Modern Nature announced

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This November, we are delighted to present a brand-new festival for these strange times. Autumn Reads will be a 4-day celebration of celebrated artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman’s diary collection; Modern Nature.

From Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 November we will host a series of socially distanced, online events and activities that explore the themes of Jarman’s diaries.

The new festival has been inspired by the writings of Derek Jarman; Modern Nature is a collection of diary entries made by Jarman after moving to Prospect Cottage in Dungeness following being diagnosed as HIV Positive. Facing a future of uncertainties, Jarman decided to make Dungeness his home and to grow a garden in the barren landscape. Modern Nature is about how he grew a garden from almost nothing whilst facing the end of his own life. The book has an enduring resonance and many parallels with today can be discovered throughout.

In the build-up to the festival, we will be making a short film featuring extracts from Modern Nature. For Folkestone Reads: Modern Nature, Creative Folkestone are looking for 21 people local to Folkestone, Hythe and the Romney Marsh to take part in the film project that will chart the 21 months spanned by the journal. Participants will be invited to read extracts that encompass themes from gardening and plants to art, film, sexuality, pandemic, illness, and death. Click here for more information on how to apply. 

Autumn Reads: Modern Nature will take place this November instead of the usual Creative Folkestone Book Festival. Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and to help reduce the risk to infection, we have decided to postpone this year’s ever-popular event. The festival will now return in June 2021. A full programme for Autumn Reads will be announced in early October.

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