Fierce Festival 2019 / Birmingham, UK / 15 – 20 October

Fierce Press Gang: Acts of Memory

Arriving at St Phillip’s Square we came across Monica Ross with an expression of utter concentration that was highlighted even more in the beautiful sunlight of a clear Saturday noon. Her 41st time reciting the Declaration of Human Rights, she speaks clearly and fluently into the microphone with the cathedral walls in the background. Others who memorized one of the thirty articles stood waiting hesitantly in the side lines, different backgrounds from all over England took part and yet there seemed to exude a very communicative awareness with each other; national friends. You felt the article they chose was memorable to them and with that memorability memorizing the sentence was just the next step to reaching out to the public. Sometimes there was a pause, a slip of the tongue, but that seemed to show how much it meant to them to speak out. Some seemed scared behind the microphone but all were resolute in finishing their piece, and when done relief washed over their faces and pride took its place.