The Word Defiant at Blickling Hall

Banned, redacted and burned; drowned, superseded, defiant and neglected. All powerful words from Blickling Hall. Words used to depict the fate of many books worldwide in their magnificent series of seven hard hitting installations by Theatre Company Les Enfants Terribles.

I always enjoy blogging about book related events so when I stumbled across this creative display at Blickling Hall in Norfolk, certainly for me it pinpointed the enormous influence of books throughout time as I moved around this majestic home.

So why has the book, a mere inanimate object continually been at such risk of ridicule and destruction in one way or another?

Books offer knowledge, opinions, experience and imagination, the ingredients of freedom of choice; and it’s those that find freedom of choice threatening that seek to destroy.

I’ve selected just a few photos of the thought provoking installations which might peek your interest.

Redact it!

Here, the straight black lines of the kitchen corridor mimic the redactions The Pentagon ordered to be made to U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer’s publication of Operation Dark Heart (an account of his five-month tour in Afghanistan) in 2010. I loved the idea of the redactions rebelliously being played out in Morse code in the background.

Blickling 5

Burn it!

Amidst the darkened war torn cellar, the ashes represent the thousands of university library books burned in Iraq in 2014. The books and pages represent those that were saved following the liberation in 2017.

Blickling 6

Supersede it!

Hundreds of redundant maps tumble out of the oriental dresser as the all too familiar robotic sat nav instructions play in the background as a stark contrast to what used to be.

Blickling 7

There were four more of these bold statements to ponder but I don’t want to give too much away as it’s far better to appreciate them in person to discover your own interpretations.

Although this exhibition covered a mature topic it was one that kept the children’s attention too, especially as they were encouraged to explore the rooms in search for the hidden book worms. Within the grounds we also uncovered this secret trail of children’s book quotes. It took us a while to find it hidden amongst the trees!

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@lonerganbooks

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