08-09/2013 Helsinki

Ahmet Öğüt

Fahrenheit 451: Reprinted

Ahmet Öğüt’s Fahrenheit 451: Reprinted brings together fire fighters and the freedom of speech.

The title refers to Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and the film version by Franҫois Truffaut (1953). In the novel and film, firemen destroy books by burning them. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper ignites.

Öğüt’s work reverses the concept and brings forbidden books to people with the help of a fire engine and its crew. The artist has chosen a selection of books that have been banned on seemingly absurd or unexpected grounds. Participants can select a book of their choice and the fire crew will print a copy for them using equipment placed in their vehicle.

Fahrenheit 451: Reprinted was touring Helsinki and Espoo 24 August-1 September 2013, with a base at Lasipalatsi Square.

Together with: 

ntamo & Leevi Lehto


Fahrenheit 451: Reprinted was a part of Checkpoint Helsinki’s Chimney Project and the program of the Helsinki Festival. 

The artists were selected by:

Vesa-Pekka Rannikko
, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Ari Björn, Minna L. Henriksson, Miina Hujala, Villu Jaanisoo, Jussi Koitela, Ilari Kähönen, Christine Langinauer, Päivi Maunu, Inkeri Suutari and Magdalena Åberg

Crew of the firetruck: Jaakko Väätäinen, Jaakko Liesivuori, Kimmo Kosonen, Tero Turunen (Länsi-Uudenmaa pelastuslaitos, Mikkelän pelastusasema, Espoo) and Markus Laitinen
Costume design: Emine Ekmen
Costumes: Noora Salmi
Graphic design: Pia Männikkö
Production assistant: Essi Ojanperä
Production: Tiina Erkintalo and Saara Karhunen

Thank You: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Jussi Kivi, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Erkka Nissinen, Pilvi Takala Ulpu Tiuri and Jukka-Pekka Takala, Mari Spirito, Reijo Alaoja / City of Helsinki, Public Works Department, Mika Honkasalo, Petri Kärkkäinen / Stara, Helsinki City Rescue Department / Käpylä Rescue station / Raimo Pajunen, Kai Ekholm / Sananvapaus ja sensuuri verkkoaikana -research project


Too Pacifistic

Juhani Aho: HERMIT OF PEACE 1916)

Juhani Aho’s Hermit of Peace (Rauhan erakko) is a short, pacifistic-utopian story about a man who protests against the horrors of the war and the brutality of the world. Six pages of it were censored during World War I, including the sentence: ”A human being should not be slaughtered or made to slaughter for any ideology, no matter how grand it may be.”

Wrong Outfit

Sait Faik Abasiyanik: BIRTAKIM INSALAR (1944)

Birtakım Insanlar (A Set of People) was confiscated by a war time military court in Turkey. This was done on the grounds that one of the heroes in the book was depicted wearing a military greatcoat.

Too Anti-War

Aristophanes: THE CLOUDS (422 BCE)

Aristophanes’ play The Clouds and other classical plays were banned by the Greek military regime in 1967 because they were considered too anti-war.

Too Supernatural

Emily Brontë: WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1847)

Now considered a classic, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights was met with disapproval on its initial publication (under the nom de plume of Ellis Bell) due to its “supernatural” content and depictions of violence and passion. It was re-issued after the author’s death edited by her sister Charlotte. At least one film version of the novel has also faced a ban.

Too Realistic

Minna Canth: THE WORKER'S WIFE (1885)

Minna Canth’s play The Worker’s Wife (Työmiehen vaimo) is a critique of male alcohol consumption and male dominance within marriage. Like other realistic writings of the time, it faced accusations of being immoral.

Animals Should Not Speak


Lewis Carroll’s nonsense-classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was banned in China in 1931 because of its depiction of talking animals. According to the authorities, it equated animals and humans; “Animals should not use human language.”

Obscene, Yet Not Obscene

James Joyce: ULYSSES (1922)

Ulysses represents the numerous works of fiction that have been censored due to their immoral and obscene content. The journal that originally published the 13th chapter of Ulysses was confiscated in the USA, and after its release, the book remained banned for significant period in the USA and UK. In 1932, an American court withdrew the ban, stating that ”Ulysses is not pornographic.”

Published in the Wrong Country

Aleksis Kivi: SEVEN BROTHERS (1870)

An entire edition of this Finnish classic, printed in Petrozavodsk, was destroyed on the orders of the Finnish Army during the Continuation War (1941–1944) along with other books printed in the Soviet Union. Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers (Seitsemän veljestä) was first published in the Finnish Literature Society’s series of short stories. The publication of the remaining sections was postponed due to the negative response to the earlier installments.

Too Radical

Jack London: THE CALL OF THE WILD (1903)

Jack London’s early novel The Call of the Wild, said to be his most widely read title, was banned in the USA for depicting the Great Gold Rush of the West Coast in a manner that was deemed too realistic. In the 1920s, it was banned in Italy and Yugoslavia, and later burned in Nazi Germany for being too radical.

Wrong Colour, Wrong Name


The Texas Board of Education removed Bill Martin Jr.’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, a children’s title, from its 3rd Grade reading list because its brief text includes the verse “I see a red bird”. This was considered ideologically suspicious, especially because a Marxist theorist and professor of philosophy of the same name (although a different person) had published a book titled “Ethical Marxism”.

Not Banned, Yet Banned


The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels was banned in Turkey in 1971 under Articles 141 and 142 of the Criminal Code, which defined communist propaganda as a criminal offence. The articles were abolished in 1991 but the book remains banned in prisons and state schools, with the authorities citing the repealed articles.

Wrong Future

Yevgeny Zamyatin: WE (1921)

Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We depicts forbidden love in society of the future and has been considered the inspiration for later dystopias, such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Censorship plays a central role in all these novels, and they have also been censored and banned. Immediately following its publication in the Soviet Union in 1921, We became the first book to be banned by the Soviet censorship bureau Goskomizdat due to its critique of the political establishment.

Wrong Word

Anne Sewell: BLACK BEAUTY (1877)

Anne Sewell’s Black Beauty was banned in South Africa in 1955 because the word 'black' is used in the title. Set in 19th century England, the book was assumed to be about black rights, even though Black Beauty is a horse.

Too Moral

Leo Tolstoy: The Kreutzer Sonata (1889)

Leo Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata is a tale of jealousy and violence that portrays a conflict between sexual desire and moral norms, defending the latter. It was banned immediately following its publication in Russia, and later in the United States, because of the sections depicting obsessive jealousy. Theodore Roosevelt, the President of the United States, labelled the author a ‘sexual moral pervert.’