Alife and kicking – Speakers’ Corner

I haven’t posted for a while and I’ve missed getting out and about in London with my camera. While I like photographing people in the rain, I’m fed up with getting wet, so while the weather was bad, I’m afraid I stayed indoors and just planned all my shoots! On Sunday I got out to Speakers’ Corner – in Hyde Park – where anyone can turn up and speak to the crowd on whatever subject they like, professing whatever mad or radical opinions they like, if they can cope with the regular hecklers who turn up.

A man looking like a statue at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

A man prays at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

I’m a little hazy on the origins of Speakers’ Corner – on Sunday one speaker said the origins of Speakers’ Corner date from the hangings at Tyburn Fields (what is now Marble Arch) and the speeches the condemned men and women were allowed to make while other sources say it began in 1855 after the Reform League asserted their right to public gatherings in Hyde Park. Whatever it’s origins it can be a hotbed of radicalism – Karl Marx and George Orwell spoke here – or just a bunch of barmy loudmouths but it is an important tradition to uphold – the right to freedom of speech.

As for photography, with all the passionate arguments being made, it is a wonderful place to capture facial expressions:

A woman speaker and two hecklers at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

A young man in a leather jacket heckles a speaker at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

A passionate opponent at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

A man listening at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

A man pulls a face at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London

0 thoughts on “Alife and kicking – Speakers’ Corner

    1. Thank you. Some photos call for black and white treatment while other don’t. I tried it with these and they looked so much better in black and white

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