What Does He Need? (2018+)

  • What Does He Need? (2018+) is a project by artist/writer Fiona Whelan, theatre company Brokentalkers and Rialto Youth Project, exploring how men and boys are shaped by and influence the world they live in.
  • What Does He Need? aims to create significant public dialogue about the current state of masculinity.
  • What Does He Need? operates at the intersection of collaborative arts practice, performance, qualitative research and youth work.
The core methodological device that is central to the research phase of this project, is the co-creation of a boy by a group of people, who take responsibility for naming their boy and guiding him through life, exploring his experiences and needs. In each case, the boy that is created is from the specific place in which he is made, drawing on the knowledge and lived experience of his makers. There are two creative processes in which these boys are created - one for adults and young adults, the other for children and young people. To date, 13 boys have been created by different groups, ranging from a group of five year old boys to a mixed gender adult group. These include Luke from Greek Street flats, Finn from Queen Street flats, Finn, Conor-George and Stevie from Dolphin House and Kroose from Fatima.   In 2020/21, a number of public manifestations emerged from the project, responding to the emergent body of research generated in the practice. These include 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. See whatdoesheneed.com To date the project and its partners have received funding and support from:
  • Arts Council Artist in the Community scheme for Rialto Youth Project, Fiona Whelan and Brokentalkers, 2018
  • Arts Council Arts Participation Project Award for Fiona Whelan, 2019
  • National Youth Council of Ireland – Artist in Youth Work residency for Fiona Whelan and Rialto Youth Project, 2019 & 2020
  • IMMA invited residency for Fiona Whelan, 2019
  • Arts Council Arts Grant for Brokentalkers, 2019/2020
  • Create / CAPP and Grangegorman Development Agency residency for Brokentalkers, 2019/2020
  • Arts Council Theatre Artist in Residence Award for Brokentalkers and Fiona Whelan, 2020 in partnership with Dublin City Council Arts Office and Project Arts Centre
  • IMMA residency for Fiona Whelan, Feidlim Cannon & Gary Keegan, 2021-22

What Does He Need? one day immersive workshop for adults

The first creative research process is a one-day immersive workshop, developed by Fiona Whelan and Brokentalkers in partnership with Rialto...

→Read more

What Does He Need? programme for children/young people

The second creative research process is a dedicated programme developed by Fiona Whelan and Rialto Youth Project.   The programme, designed for...

→Read more

To Be Frank – a dance-theatre piece (April 2020)

To Be Frank is a dance-theatre piece exploring how men and boys interact with and are shaped by the world...

→Read more

What Does He Need? at The LAB (Dec 2020-Jan 2021)

  Responding to the central question ‘What Does He Need?, this iteration of the project takes form as a public poster...

→Read more