Photofusion Member | Jan Enkelmann
Jan Enkelmann: Serious Conviction
Once the site of riots, tumultuous demonstrations and public meetings of groups that weren’t allowed to gather anywhere else (the communists), Speakers’ Corner is where Marx, Lenin and Orwell found their audiences. Today it is either ignored or seen as a playground for eccentrics, religious fanatics and oddballs of all kinds.
While the latter is certainly true and the majority of speeches have religious backgrounds, my feeling is that it has always been that way – and there are still a number of speakers desperately trying to keep the tradition of meaningful political debate alive.
Some veteran speakers draw a regular crowd, as do the religious dogmatists. These mix with local Sunday afternoon strollers, tourists and groups of foreign students eager to practice their debating skills under the supervision of their teachers or tutors. And then there are the hecklers and hangers-on who do their best to stir up the proceedings.
In the current political climate and with the many religiously motivated conflicts around the world, a visit to Speakers’ Corner will give you a glimpse into the motivations behind every one of these conflicts and present the beliefs and standpoint of each of the parties involved, however extreme they might be.
Jan is a graphic designer and photographer living and working in south London. He moved to London from Germany in 2000 and has been living in and around Brixton ever since.
He concentrates on documentary, reportage and travel photography.
His book Happiness (co-authored with his wife Maren) was published by Bucher/Prestel in 2007 and has won the ITB Travel Book Award.