What Does He Need? (2018+)

What Does He Need? is a long-term collaborative project led by myself (artist, writer and educator Fiona Whelan), theatre company Brokentalkers and Rialto Youth Project, with further partnerships with a range of community organisations, schools, artists and arts organisations. Established in 2018, What Does He Need? explores how men and boys are shaped by and influence the world they live in. Operating at the intersection of collaborative arts practice, performance, qualitative research and youth work, What Does He Need? aims to create significant public dialogue about the current state of masculinity.

The project employs multiple modes of engagement including creative workshops, public art works, philosophical conversations and a long-term programme called Boys in the Making, which brings together groups to co-create a boy and explore his needs and experiences as he interacts with the world around him. In 2020/21, a number of public manifestations emerged from the project. These include a poem and animation created with a group of young men, a public poster project presenting a range of viewpoints on the needs of men and boys in different scenarios and at different stages of life, and an audio piece which tells the story of a fictional boy from the day of his birth to early adulthood. The project has been presented in multiple public sites, community spaces and art venues including The LAB and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. This project has its own website. See whatdoesheneed.com