Riots and Rapport

Mayday, Oxford Circus 2001 | David Savage

Riots and Rapport

Mayday Protests, Oxford Circus | 2001 | Photo-Essay by David Savage

Three-thousand people walled in by four-deep lines of riot police for eight-hours. What did I see? A whole lot of rapport and a couple of molotov cocktails.


Rapport & Molotov Cocktails


In hindsight, I mostly used the camera as a tool to pursue a fascination; to frame-up real-life in real-time and capture one of the infinite number of aspects that make up human nature. Getting published was at best a secondary driver, if at all.

Now that I understand more about the brain, what happened in Oxford Circus that day makes more sense than it did at the time. Sure, out of 3000 people, three drunken skinheads chucked a couple of cocktails, both failing to ignite. But what was really interesting was the play of rapport. Conversations sparked in certain spots between police and protestors; conversations that were calm, polite and dotted with small talk. And when the police were ordered to push-forward into the crowd, you could hear them tell their newly met acquaintances, ‘relax, go with it, it’ll be alright’. Other places along the lines were less generous.

Images & Insights

Welcome. I’m combining images and insight to explore themes on leadership, give it a real context and illustrate how it’s expressed in many different ways in everyday life. Some posts are simply thought provokers, whilst others deep-dive with a big question and a touch of brain-science.

Camera to Coach

Prior to becoming a Leadership Specialist over a decade ago, I was a photographer. I travelled with my camera and met people living in very different worlds to our own. It taught me that there are many different faces of leadership, and it taught me to keep-it-real in the training room and place people’s own life experience at the centre of their learning.

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