Myk Zeitlin

Myk Zeitlin attended Speakers’ Corner from 1977 to 1983, after seeing an advert in Peace News. His first impression was that Speakers’ Corner was “an offshoot of London zoo.” Myk’s model, aged 20, was Franz Kafka who worked in an insurance office by day and was a radical by night. He was inspired by Tony Allen’s anarchist critique of work to give up his “boring office job” in 1980 and become “full time” at Speakers’ Corner. He busked at Marble Arch and heckled a lot. Most of all Myk was interested in the social scene, which embraced intellectuals like Hungarian Alfred Reynolds. He thinks today’s orators are far more ideological and religious than in the 1970s. Myk recalls “Saint Paul” Hunt’s Sufi parable about a man picking up a strange looking stone, bearing the words “why do you seek more knowledge when you don’t put into practice what you already know.” Myk moved on partly because he wanted to put what he had learnt into practice.

Audio of Myk

"Tony Allen"

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"I tended to like hecklers"

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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.

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© Chris Kennett

Exhibition

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

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© Philip Wolmuth

Radio show

Our radio show can be listened to here.

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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.

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