Heiko Khoo

Heiko Khoo joined the Labour Party Youth at seventeen. While studying at Portsmouth Polytechnic he spoke at street meetings, for which he was once arrested. His first memory of Speakers’ Corner is from his Malaysian-Chinese father’s shoulders, aged three or four, watching a Marxist speaker with a red scarf. In 1986, he ended up on a similar platform. He used the Tory hecklers’ stereotypes about Communism in his performance, in order to undermine them. Heiko talks about his involvement in the East German revolution in 1989. In terms of political consciousness, he thinks, the fall of communism actually improved public thinking about capitalism’s place and its alternatives. Speakers’ Corner is “a second home” and “a community of the space.” Religious speakers there, he says, rely too heavily on “fire and brimstone” without argument; conspiracy theorists emasculate themselves by over-reaching; but he is not in despair about the public. His relationship to Speakers’ Corner is “more didactic than revolutionary” at the moment.

Audio of Heiko

”Incarnation of the enemy”

Listen to clip

“You can’t come with a script”

Listen to clip

Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London.

About the project

Sounds from the Park is a unique oral and visual history of Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park: the UK’s last great open air oratory site.

Read more about the project
© Chris Kennett

Exhibition

Our exhibition can be seen online here or read our booklet about Speakers' Corner.

See the exhibition
© Philip Wolmuth

Radio show

Our radio show can be listened to here.

Listen to the radio show
Young man talking at Speakers' Corner, 2013 © Sophie Polyviou

Education resources

History and Citizenship resources for Key Stage 3 and 4. Complete with a timeline of events at Speakers' Corner and other resources.

Download education resources