How relevant is George Orwell’s 1984 to London today?

Photo credit: Zaina Emad and Monica Young

With a general election looming, this podcast will be discussing the warnings George Orwell’s 1984 may have provided for future London…or in ‘Newspeak’- Airstrip One.

This election may be one of the most significant general elections in decades. 

Will the UK choose to stand strong and independent on the global stage or remain part of a firm European economic power-house? Will it choose to be led by a capitalist or a socialist? 

With such big questions to answer and significant changes likely to take place, we’ve been wondering what the UK’s future might look like. 

Sometimes, the best way to understand the future is to take a look at the past. And what better way is there to look back than a novel written in the past looking at the future? 

In this podcast, VoL will be exploring the concepts of Orwell’s 1984 dystopian London society; to see what warnings and eventualities the book may hold for London today. 

We’d like to see Londoners thinking about Orwell’s messages in 1984; so, why not visit notable Orwellian locations in London, and find our top four quotes from the book, which have been scattered across the capital. 

Use the interactive map to get you started on finding them. Once you’ve found a quote, tweet us using the hashtag and tell us your thoughts- was Orwell correct? 

Do his words serve as a warning for London?

Tweet us @voiceoflondonuk using #1984 to tell us your thoughts!

If you’re not an Orwell boffin, or simply want to brush up on your 1984 knowledge before joining our podcast, check out SparkNotes’ video summary:

Editor’s Picks:

Podcast: Monica Young and Zaina Emad | Photo credit: Monica Young and Zaina Emad

Words: Monica Young | Map and pictures: Zaina Emad | Illustration credit: Katie Purkis | Background music credit: Purple Planet