In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Flames
It’s hard when you’re French like me to think of something else but politics when you hear the word “Flame”. A flag-tricoloured flame is the logo of the far-right party that has been our nightmare for decades and now threatens to win – which does not seem so surrealistic anymore after the bewildering Brexit and US election results.
Flames should be a symbol for fierce, ardour or love; but to me it is synonym for terror, violence and racism. Hence the inspiration for misuses of flames for this post.
A tragic one: the flames that destroy and kill. The wars, the riots, the absence of peace, as we see on this exhibition that was displayed on Kiev’s Independence Square at the occasion of the first anniversary of the Euromaidan events in 2014.
A questionable one: trying to convince meat lovers to use their barbecues to grill vegetables is not an easy task! I am not the type of evangelist vegetarian, but I do want veggies for myself and that’s not an easy task in meat-loving cultures.
In Masuleh in Iran, I managed to convince locals to grill vegetables. They were puzzled but they did it, and I enjoyed a fantastic dinner of grilled veggies with lime, garlic yoghurt and Iran’s fantastic flatbread.
Serbia is also a country of meat lovers and on festive occasions you’ll always see a pig roasting for hours. And it’s a pleasure to see locals enjoying it so much, however to me it is quite a misuse of flames!
And finally an amusing one to finish with a light touch: eternal flames are very common in Russia where pretty much every city has a war memorial. Needless to say, once it gets a little bit cold, it’s not rare to see locals using the flame to try and feel warmer!
Example in the deep of winter in Arkhangelsk, with the Great Patriotic War memorial:
And on a summery yet a bit chilly evening in Yakutsk, with the Civil War memorial: