The People Speak is an art collective that primarily takes its practice into the public domain of everyday civic space.
The People Speak creates projects in formats that look familiar at first, such as chat shows, game shows or even a soccer kick-about, but are reconfigured to put editorial decisions and agendas in the hands of the participants.
The work gets groups of strangers talking, thinking and being creative together. As The People Speak byline puts it, the collective creates ‘tools for the world to take over itself’.
In 2008 Peckham Platform (then Peckham Space) commissioned The People Speak and Harold Offeh to make a piece of art for Peckham Square. Instead of coming up with their own idea, the artists decided to help a large group of Peckham residents and visitors make a collaborative artwork.
The People Speak set up “Who Wants to Be?“, an ask-the-audience game show. Participants were asked what they would most like to see in Peckham Square, with their ideas visualised instantly on a giant screen. Rather than a physical artwork, participants agreed that what needed changing most in the area was people’s perception of Peckham. The resulting artwork took the form of an advert for Peckham.
The work was also part of the 2016 Peckham Platform Retrospective exhibition, a timeline of all 20 artists commissions realised by Peckham Platform between 2010 – 2016.