Inspired by Ray Bradbury’s novel “Fahrenheit 451” and an award winning Periplum group’s performance, I wrote the below poem to apply for a Wex Photographic sponsored competition for a workshop happening during the Norfolk and Norwich Festival event. The Workshop 451 will be run by a photographer Damien Demolder and is going to be documenting the monumental show of light, music and fire by Periplum.

“Fahrenheit 451” depicts everyday life in a futuristic dystopian society, where a totalitarian government considers books a public enemy and is using special forces and firemen to find and burn all the books. The purpose of this action is to equalize all citizens and prevent free thought, rebellion and questioning of the status quo.

The novel was published in 1951 and inspired by Nazi actions during the Second World War, when plenty of books have been confiscated and burnt in public spectacles to warn and scare the observers, to kill any disobedience and will to oppose the official government’s line. The title was created by Bradbury’s being curious at what temperature the books’ paper burnt, so he called and inquired within the firemen forces ,who gave this specific answer.The novel has achieved a cult status together with the George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”.
The poem does not have a title.

Smoke and fire killing
Words and images
Ending in flames
Thoughts and warnings

Seeing and recording
Smoke and fire
Words and images
Thoughts and warnings
To remember and reflect

Fingers crossed, there are only five places at the workshop and the winners will be chosen at random. The May festival’s program is full of dance performances, art exhibitions as well as Open Studios, worth visiting!


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