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The Gates to Dreamland

Honorable Mention, Sound Walk September Awards 2020


A locative audiowalk about Italian scientisGalileo Galilei’s journey towards publishing his final book: the obstacles he faced, his eyesight and bodily health failing, and the changes in perspective that entailed.

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The Gates to Dreamland explores how interpreting our surroundings figuratively, through imagination and motion, can connect us to different places, times, stories and circumstances, finding resonance within our own lives.


It’s 1634, and Italian scientist Galileo Galilei is under house arrest for heresy, after illustrating that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Bodily health and eyesight failing, he must transcend his situation to continue his scientific work.


Follow Galileo’s journey as he attempts to write one final book that will change the study of science forever. A journey that will transform his perspective on the world, connecting distant places and times through imagination and motion.

Find echoes of Galileo’s words at the gates to Dreamland amusement park in Margate. Six lost diary entries that reveal a path forward – a process of overcoming adversity and encountering your surroundings with a different lens. The recordings will appear on the map as you approach the locations of each gate. Your journey begins at Dreamland’s Gate A.

Read the blog series about the making of The Gates of Dreamland:

The Gates to Dreamland was commissioned as part of A Different LENS, a collaborative story mapping project set in Margate, Kent. The project was funded by Arts Council England, Margate NOW 2020 and Kent County Council, and was created in association with Margate Bookie.

A Different LENS explores how we overcome challenging events in our lives, through responses by several Kent-based artists to the writing of visually-impaired authors. Material produced by the artists for the map engages with methods of making the inaccessible accessible through creative means. The map can be accessed via mobile – with users navigating its content by walking at the relevant sites in Margate – or via PC for those unable to walk there physically.


Skills used


“I thought it was great in terms of personalising historical narrative. I really felt like [Galileo] was there telling me, rather than you telling me. So I think that was definitely quite a big achievement in terms of the writing, and also the voicing, because I felt like your voice could’ve been the voice of an actor.”

"It made me feel motivated to do anything. It was rousing.”

“The script was really, really excellently done, actually; it was really engaging.”

“‘Third-eye-opening’ is a way I would summarise it. It encourages you to see with your imagination.”

“It made you see the connections to the larger picture. It gave you a feeling of something bigger than just you. It's hard not to see other people as just means to ends and not real agents in their own right in the world. But a story like this actually puts you in the shoes of someone completely different."

“I've really enjoyed it. It was thoroughly engaging and compelling. A great way to spend half an hour.”

“You're not giving people a guided tour of Galileo's works. You're trying to put yourself in his shoes and collapsing time; I think there's this thing about collapsing time that I love. And it's that collapse of time and timelessness that means that you can be in this place with this person, but it's a completely different time.”

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