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Speakers' Corner: Debate, Democracy and Disturbing the Peace

by Philip Wolmuth
£14.99   paperback  The History Press Ltd (2015)

Speakers Speakers’ Corner is a unique look at the people who come to argue, discuss and preach at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park, regarded worldwide as the home of free speech. Many of the photographs, taken on Sunday afternoons stretching back almost four decades and published here for the first time, are accompanied by excerpts of speeches, heckles, arguments and debates which are, by turns, intriguing, shocking, politically incorrect – and often very funny.
 
In an age in which broadcasters and newspaper editors largely set the parameters of public discussion, such unmediated face-to-face public debate is rare and offers a very different perspective on ‘public opinion’. The speakers and hecklers recorded here, whether serious or light-hearted, religious or profane, are the vibrant heirs of the nineteenth-century campaigners who fought for, and won, the rights to freedom of expression and assembly – vital elements of our democratic tradition.
 
Philip Wolmuth is a documentary photographer and occasional writer based in London. In 1976 he set up North Paddington Community Darkroom, a pioneering community photography project in a deprived neighbourhood in the west of the city. In 1982 he left to work as a freelancer, focusing on political, social and economic issues, and the impact of public policy on communities and individuals in the UK and abroad.

ISBN 13: 9780750961066 | ISBN 10: 0750961066