London in the 1940's

The City

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Looking at the advertisements and buildings signs it is interesting that there is a strong use of red, yellow and white . This lettering and use of colour will be a source of reference to any lettering or branding on props and styling .

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This is a similar image with  from a different view, it is also
in sepia tones which I like the sky looks overexposed giving 
a hazy appearance  to the sky .

Looking at the delivery vans of the era also gives a reference point to style of writing and the layout of the text . This will help with any props I will need to use in my images . It also allows my research to continue to follow through the eyes of Orwell . This is what he would have been seeing when developing and writing 1984 . 

One of the first parades of army to stand down at the end of World War Two was the home guard who were civilians whom took to the streets after their daily jobs to protect England . 
This was a Parade of 7,000 through London, the streets were filled with onlookers cheering their army on . These parades would have been all over Great Britain and would have been witnessed by Orwell.

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This video shows the victory parade of 1946 through London , it was a procession of the armeoury used in the World War Two . This video also shows a real glimpse of the fashion of the times, with the onlookers on the streets . It is also interesting to see the grainy recording this is something I would like to capture with a modern twist . This will also help with the smoke and dust that I would like to capture in the air . I want the atmosphere to feel heavy , not only because the city is being bombed but because of the controlling nature of the dictatorship .


Russian Revolution

 The Russian Revolution has strongly influenced the writings of Orwell and some believe that the character of Big Brother is a direct reference to Stalin and Emmanuel Goldstein is Trotsky . 
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Leon Trotsky 187-1940

Involved in the underground movements in his teenage years ,Trotsky was exiled from Ukraine
( then part of Russia). In Siberia , Trotsky joined the Social Democratic Party . Trotsky developed a theory of 'Permanent revolution' . Returning to Russia he joined Lenin in the Bolsheviks, which was a major role in the communist take over , keeping the regime alive. When Lenin died, Stalin took over and through Trotsky out . 13 years later Stalin sent an assassin to kill Trotsky , he was stabbed with an ice pick in 1940 .

                                                                           Joseph Stalin 1879- 1953
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An active member from a young age of the revolution against the Russian Monarchy,Stalin was also exiled to Siberia. Once in the Bolsheviks Stalin was able to overthrow his rivals and become leader after Lenin's death . Stalin forced collectivism of agriculture costing millions of lives . Rapid industrialisation brought the Soviet Union into economic wealth during the 1930's in the Great Terror . Stalin purged enemies of the party , resulting in many people being exiled to slave labour camps and some even executed . This reduced the size of the army however Stalin managed to fight off the Nazi party in 1941 but died in 1953 of a stroke .

This gives an overview of the height of Stalin's reign as dictator , the horrendous actions have definitely influenced the writing of Orwell's 1984 . Big Brother will make any member of Oceania disappear if they have thoughts against the party even if they are in the inner party .

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Were the police for Stalin anyone who would criticise the views of the
would be arrested and tortured. If they would not give in to the interrogation
they would threaten to hurt there families. They were not isolated from the
purges of Stalin , many died . This is similar to the Thought Police in Orwell's
1984, the Thought Police arrest the community of Oceania . I believe they
would be very regimented . 



                                                                  World War Two
Gulag were Stalin's disgusting slave labour camps where civilianswould be sent if they had views against the party. 
This is depicted in 1984 with the forced-labour camp and the Ministry of Love . Where they wold torture prisoners until they admitted to crimes that they hadn't even committed .
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Adolf Hitler 1889- 1945
When fighting in World War One Adolf blamed the Jews and the Bolsheviks for the war, Adolf was not alone with these thoughts . In 1921 Hitler became leader of the Nazi party after a stint in prison in 1923, mass communication and violence was used to project his ideology. Hitler gathered many followers in times of economic depression and political uproar .In 1933 ,Hitler was Chancellor of the coalition Government . This is when World War Two began , Anti Jew Laws were put in place , the Jewish population of countries were rounded up and killed . Many of them were sent to concentration camps and worked to death much like in the dictatorship of Stalin . Hitler committed suicide in 1945 . 

Concentration camps 
Concentration camps  used  by Hitler   to imprison Jews , criminals, homosexuals and anyone  who went  against the party views . Deliberate starvation caused malnutrition and killed some prisoners , some were executed and in 1941 gas was used to kill prisoners on mass , which is when thousands died .    

Were  the secret Police of the Nazi  party, there job was to round up the Jews and  any one else who opposed the beliefs of the Nazi party. They built up a strong reputation for intense interrogations  in order to retrieve confessions from the offenders . 
 In the book 1984 it is left to the reader to interpret the torture of Julia or if she even got torture at all. However there is a graphic description of  Winston's interrogation . This is not a section of the book that I would like to interpret ,  but I think it is useful to get an understanding of where Orwell had gained his idea's . This will there  fore  help in the gathering of research for styling , props and locations . 

World War two began late 1939 and did not end until 1945. 

      This brief video condenses the start of the war ,
it tells of the reason for war and the environment such as materials used , styling and facial expression are helpful. 

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This video shows the strength of the city during the Blitz , it shows houses, people and transport . The tones of the black and white video is something I would like to capture .
1940 - The Blitz major bombings in 16 cities in England by Germans for 267 days .

London and its inhabitants were not going to be defeated during the war . An image of 1940's London has been reflected in 1984 , the streets bombed and the grey tones of the city.

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Chapter VIII Pg 97.
"There was a pile of plaster lying

 on the pavement ahead of him"

I believe that this is a similar image to what was happening in the Proles quarters of Oceania. Orwell had references from the wars in England and abroad which he had experienced . The smell , taste , touch of a city filled with smoke and dust was something that had become normal to Orwell .

As Oceania is at war with both Eastasia and Eurasia throughout the book , the city of London is constantly grey and dust filled . This needs to be reflected in the images I produce they must reflect the pollution in the air as well as in the minds .

Chapter VIII Pg97 
"A black plume of smoke hung
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 in the sky and below it a cloud of plaster dust."
I would like to reflect this heavy air in my images . This could be achieve by lighting and props. I feel Orwell was reflecting not just the physical state of the city but also the emotion feeling of the community . The proles were the only ones left who were able to have human emotion and this was slowly being wiped out . The black plume and plaster dust shows that the history of the city is quickly decaying and vanishing into smoke. Soon there will be nothing historic left for anyone to remember how life was before Big Brother.

Who was George Orwell ?

1903 - George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in the Nepalese border where his father supervised Opium growth for the British Government, but shortly after moved back to England .

1922 - Junior officer in Imperial Police in Burma.
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1927 - Left Burma to follow his dreams of being a writer .

1933 - Published first book Down and out in Paris and London he went on to publish 12 other books .

1936-7 Went to Spain to fight Franco and the Nazi party Orwell stated that ' Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism'(Orwell,vii)
Showing that his life experiences really shaped his writing.
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1941-43 Works as journalist for the BBC this is where he began to notice the propaganda that was force upon the nation .

1946 - Animal Farm brought together political and artistic writing.

Orwell had strong political thoughts on the British Labour Party and the Communist party of Stalin , Orwell could see that both movements said they were fighting to help the working class when in fact they were being exploited .

1950 - Died suddenly after long suffering with TB.

Reference : Orwell,G. 1954. Nineteen Eighty-Four.Penguin classics .London.

This short timeline of Orwell's life shows that during his life he was witness to some massive changes in the world . There was a constant war that he was either fighting or reporting on which definitely influenced his writing style.

Summary of 1984

The book begins in a world where three countries remain Oceania , Eastasia, Eurasia. Oceania is where the story takes place, the environment is controlled by a dictator named Big Brother , who is never seen but has a party of follows . Everyone must abide by the rules of Big Brother . The city of London is constantly being watched by the party, they are able to do this through camera's, microphones, helicopters and the thought police. The extent of the control is depicted through the children of these families who tell the party if there parents are thinking anything corrupt about the party . They would then be arrested by the Thought Police and sent to The Ministry of Love ( the polar opposite) this building is built like a pyramid, no windows, highly guarded and a place of torture.   

Winston works in The Ministry of Truth correcting the past so that Big Brothers predictions of the future are always correct. Winston has reservation about Big Brother . Throughout the working day there is a 2 minute hate and this is where all employees go to and watch Goldstein on big TV's who once tried to overthrow the government with his underground rebellion, something Winston would love to join . Goldstein is never seen much like his rival Big Brother which leaves the reader questioning is he even real? Is this country really controlled by two fictional characters ? One day during this two minute hate Winston notices Julia and instantly hates her as she looks like a follower of the party and he thinks she has no thoughts of her own against them.

A small note saying 'I Love You " from Julia to Winston changes all this , it shows that she is willing to take a risk as no written words can be passed around everything should be on a computer and any pieces of paper to be burnt . After this Julia and Winston begin to meet and it is from these meetings it is clear that Julia has been breaking the party rules her own way by having sexual encounters with party members . It is during one of these meetings that Julia and Winston get caught there has been a television watching there every movement and there both get sent to the Ministry of Love to be tortured. When Winston is about to die through all the torture he eventually breaks and screams that they should be doing this to Julia . Winston then gets released , knowing that one day he will be shot and vanish of the face of the earth , by the next person doing his job . 

The Brief

I am currently studying Make up and Hair design at Southampton Solent University and have recieved a  project brief  named, Interpreting Narrative.  This blog will be used as a digital sketchbook to record my findings , research, plans and ideas . I did begin the project with a written sketchbook but I found that 1984 has been constructed on the future of technology, and I feel I can visually project this on a blog.
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I choose George Orwell's novel as have I previously read Animal Farm. I became fond of how Orwell takes a realistic issue, such as totalitarianism and transforms it into a fictional tale. Orwell's writing leaves the reader asking questions about the world we live in and what the future holds. As I have read 1984 in 2013 it is clear to see how true Orwell's predictions of the future really are . Although the book is called 1984 it was actually published in 1949, I will be taking my research from the eyes of George Orwell . I want to visualise what he was seeing at the time, what he had experienced in order for him to make such a strong judgements on the future, and for it to be so right !