Speakers’ Corner comes to Ipswich

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University Campus Suffolk (UCS) is encouraging young people from across Ipswich to practice the art of public speaking by taking to the steps of Ipswich Town Hall and debating the issues that matter to them.

UCS History students brought a flavour of Hyde Park Corner to UCS earlier this year

UCS History students brought a flavour of Hyde Park Corner to UCS earlier this year

The construction of spaces for public speaking and free speech remains important in the twenty-first century, particularly for young people who often feel excluded or marginalised from politics at the national and local level.

The event, supported by the UCS School of Arts and Humanities and Ipswich Borough Council, is part of Local Democracy Week and represents the launch of a long term campaign to bring the work of the Speakers’ Corner Trust to Ipswich. Earlier this year, the UCS History Department held a public speaking performance based on famous figures and themes associated with the iconic Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.

UCS History students will be involved during the event, whilst UCS Film students will be making a documentary report of the event as part of their coursework.

Co-ordinator and UCS Lecturer, Dr Edward Packard, is currently conducting research on the origins of Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, which has inspired his – and his students’ – involvement in this project.

“We have the enthusiastic participation of Year 10 pupils from Copleston, Stoke, Suffolk New Academy and Westbourne, and last Wednesday (10 October) we had over 30 pupils come to UCS for public speaking workshops, including confidence training and the art of dealing with hecklers.”

“The construction of spaces for public speaking and free speech remains important in the twenty-first century, particularly for young people who often feel excluded or marginalised from politics at the national and local level. This event will give them the chance to have their say.”

Ben Gummer, the local MP, will be joined by Labour and other political representatives in the audience at the event which takes place on Sunday 21 October, from 1pm. Passers-by are also encouraged to stop and take part in the conversation on the Cornhill.

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