Fiona Whelan, Rialto Youth Project + Brokentalkers: The Natural History of Hope
The Natural History of Hope was a joint four-year intergenerational art project by artist Fiona Whelan & Rialto Youth Project.http://www.fionawhelan.com/
The Natural History of Hope explored contemporary equality issues for females of all ages in a working class urban context. Their residency in studio 468 saw the development of a temporary community based school ‘New School for Girls’ for 16 women aged 16-45. The ‘school’ was based on the three values of power, solidarity and personal truth. While self-directing their own schooling, they united across difference, examine and grow power. They also engaged a range of external expertise from the fields of gender and equality studies and feminist thinkers.
Following their initial residency period in studio 468 during 2014-2015, socially engaged artist Fiona Whelan, Rialto Youth Project and Brokentalkers Theatre Company were in residence from February to May 2016 in studio 468.
This residency facilitated the successful collaborative performance Natural History of Hope in Project Arts Dublin in May 2016. Based on hundreds of testimonies of women, gathered in the Rialto area of Dublin’s inner city, it was performed by an intergenerational cast of women living and working there.