In May 2013 we offered a series of creative platform for public speaking, wearing placards across the city to stimulate conversation on street corners and finding ways to ‘offer the mic’ to passers-by.
What does it take to help people to feel comfortable and confident to speak up, to share their concerns and their passions?
In 2014 this learning was developed into a project called Changing Places, an innovative quirky outdoors participatory event blending performance, public speeches and spoken word with facilitation and public engagement. This was developed with Time Wont Wait and Croydon Speakers Corner and presented at Croydon Heritage Festival.
We created fictional characters who presented a series of highly opinionated perspectives, in order to stimulate debate. The idea was that the overt theatricality of the event would encourage people to feel ‘safe’ to speak and facilitators walked through the crowd with microphones to ensure that people were clearly invited to respond.
On top of these theatrical perspectives, we introduced authentic speeches voiced by students from Croydon College, on a range of issues from youth crime and teenage pregnancy to climate change.