THE GUY FAWKES NIGHT: FOR THE WORLD, IT’S BASICALLY ABOUT THE MASK

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**Collage prepared from the photographs sourced from the Internet


It’s the Guy Fawkes Night today (it’s the Guy Fawkes Day as well/also the Bonfire Night – the India time – by the British time, it is few hours away while writing this). Names apart, it is basically in the message. And the name Guy Fawkes in the contemporary times reiterates it.

The over four centuries old name, associated with a failed treason plot (or the rebellion depending on which side one was – the Gunpowder Treason Plot) to remove the British king and install a Catholic monarch, on November 5, 1605, has come to be associated with a symbol that has fast become the protest mark to raise the voice against establishments and against policies.

The Guy Fawkes Masks are fast becoming the protest symbol of modern-age political activists, protesters and anarchists, from Middle East protests to Occupy Wall Street, from India to the US.

Over the centuries, the day has had changing perceptions in Britain about celebrating it with bonfire and masked effigies but history is history and it is for Britain, rooted in a Monarchy.

For the world of now, it is basically about ‘it is in the message’. Irrespective of the associated history, the contemporary world knows Guy Fawkes Masks as popularized by the film version of the graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’ released in 2006.

The 10 issues of ‘V for Vendetta’ had their run-time from 1982 to 1989 where the Guy Fawkes Mask of the day found its origin but the mass appeal it needed to become a growing worldwide phenomenon came with its film adaptation.

The film popularized the Mask the world over and the themes the novel and the film dealt with attached with the Mask the elements of activism against oppression. V, the mysterious central character of the novel in a Guy Fawkes Mask designed by David Lloyd, fought to liberate his country from a Fascist regime in a dystopian future. He raised voice against the wrongs and he gave voice to the others.

And the world has never been bereft of issues crying for attention and voices, in developed nations, in developing countries, in the third-world block, in democracies, and in tyrannies. The issues always look for symbolisms to tell the world of their presence. And many such issues have found their symbolism in the Guy Fawkes Masks after the movie was released.

It also reiterates why cinema is such a powerful communication tool to propagate ideas, to spread thoughts, and to popularize symbols.


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 **Collage prepared from the photographs sourced from the Internet


THE GUY FAWKES NIGHT: FOR THE WORLD, IT’S BASICALLY ABOUT THE MASK

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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