czwartek, 17 listopada 2016

Big Brother is watching you!

Znaleziony obraz         

           John Fiske said in "Reading the Popular" the popular text produces meanings that can become relevant in everyday life. The example of this can be seen taking under consideration cover of the book written by George Orwell - "1984". The range of colors is very limited - the artist used only red, black, dull yellow and dark orange. The choice isn't random as colors refer to the narrative and produce very strong meaning.

          Even if people haven't read the "1984" they still probably came across the slogan placed in the top part of the cover. "Big Brother is watching YOU!" - nowadays is mainly known from the famous TVshow, so the cover and book produced element which got popularised and its meaning can be perceived differently in various social groups (if someone doesn't know the book they won't know that their favourite TV show wasn't the first one to invent the idea of Big Brother). There are also multiple poems and songs inspired by the book or the slogan - that shows us various meanings and elements produced by the culture.   

 The cover is a great example of mixing popular culture with high one. It's kept in the pop art vibes but it bears as well strong similarities to the capitalist propaganda posters, which were really popular during Stalinist regime. It links the meaning to historical background to which it may refer. It suggest us that the cover is actually a satiric comment about the political situation back then”-specifying the time isn't needed as the man bears a strong similarity to Stalin. Just look at that moustache plus the choice of colors - coincidence? I think not! Additionally looking at the cover we can see that the man together with the red line behind him forms a cross - it may suggest an ending, death - probably death of our privacy as Big Brother is watching us!
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania stalin poster       
                    Moreover the man looks like an evil robot so he isn't looking after us, but just watching every our move, spying. He doesn't have a pupil in his eyes which makes them look like tiny lights. He seems to be mad, but at the same time we can notice that he is smiling - does he enjoy watching us? If so... It makes the cover even creepier and adds more to the creation of the character – he is clearly a psychopath. Placing him in the middle of the picture implies that he is the  Brother watching us and enjoying doing it as well.

            It's time for the colors! Red – color of blood, war and danger - a background of the part with slogan implies that the  Brother watching us will bring  nothing good. Dark red line behind the man on the cover refers to anger and leadership –  if someone watches us every day he wants to take control over the population. Dark orange in the back of the man implies deceit and distrust –  how can you trust somebody that wants to take over population =  whole world. Black,  main color when it comes to the “man part” – refers to death, mystery and fear. That would explain why it's so hard to specifically say who is on the cover –  the Big Brother?  Someone who helps him? Or Stalin? There is no one,good answer to it, everyone can see it differently.  

wtorek, 8 listopada 2016

“A great story doesn’t have to end with success”

Znaleziony obraz                Liz May, curator of Farnham Museum, launched an exhibition to honor the memory of David Johnstone and John Hoare on the 50th anniversary of their courageous try to cross the Atlantic in a boat called the Puffin. It was the first attempt of the 20th century to row across the Atlantic. Last time the men were seen alive was on the 11th of August 1966. As an adventurous person and a reporter at local newspaper David Johnstone was always looking for a next thing that would interest him. During one of the interviews he said “If we don’t have a go, we shall live the rest of our lives wondering if we might have made it – and knowing that only fear persuaded us from the attempt”.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania david johnstone john hoare                 “Most of the locals haven’t heard about that story before the exhibition” said Liz mentioning that a big group of people knew about the successful journey of John Ridgeway and Chay Blyth. Their attempt to row the Atlantic ended with a success. There is a road, school and a bakery in Farnham named after John Ridgeway. Chay Blythe after that journey made a career out of travelling and exploring. As most of the local people knew about Ridgeway and Blythe there was no interest in the tragic history of the Puffin. “It was a story that deserved to be told” said Liz May “A great story doesn’t have to end with success. What is courageous is that they didn’t give up.” The curator of Farnham Museum finds this story particularly interesting  as the men were given plenty of opportunities to stop their journey. From the rescued journal of their travel can be seen that they knew they were probably going to die, that were not going to succeed, but kept going.
Znaleziony obraz                Everything that is placed in the exhibition was donated to the Farnham Museum by David Johnstone’s mother in 1968. The boat itself was found in October 1966. A bottle with pills, a net, a food can, clothes, shoes, a map and technical equipment. Every item that was found on the wreck can be seen on the exhibition, apart from journey journal, which contains of 149 hand-written pages. It is in Farnham Museum, but it is too fragile to be put into exhibition. Last record was written on 3rd of September, just before hurricane struck the area. The journal was an inspiration for Merton Naydler, Johnstone’s family friend, to write a book about the tragic history of the Puffin.
Znaleziony obraz                Apart from that exhibition, there is no memorial in Farnham, which celebrates the memory of Johnstone and Hoare, two men born in this city who tried to row the Atlantic. Until the 24th of December visitors  Znaleziony obrazcan get to know the story of the Puffin visiting the Farnham Museum. It is opened for visitors from Tuesday to Sathurday, 10am-5pm, free entry.

                In the end the Puffin did cross the Atlantic. A British ocean rower, Graham Walters, set off in 2006 to give the historical boat another chance to row the Atlantic. This time the attempt ended with success. Now the Puffin is a part of exhibition in the Exter Maritime Museum.