We did a play here years ago. A lot of the cast from that play are dead now. We couldn’t save them.”

Natural History of Hope is a collaboration by artist Fiona Whelan, Brokentalkers and Rialto Youth Project.

Natural History of Hope is an unflinching exploration of gender and class inequality and the complexity of womens lives told through real life stories of oppression, resilience, solidarity and hope. It is based the testimonies of hundreds of Women  in the Rialto area of Dublins inner city and was performed by an intergenerational cast of women living and working in that area of Dublin.

The genesis of Natural History of Hope lies in an intergenerational art project (2012 2016) from artist Fiona Whelan and Rialto Youth Project which brought together a diverse group of women to explore contemporary equality issues.

Through personal testimonies, group work, external analyses and the staging of real life events, this project bravely examines themes of inequality, power and hope.

During the process a fictitious character called Hope was born. Hope became the symbol for all of the women and a vessel through which to communicate the many stories.

In 2015 Fiona and Rialto Youth Project invited Brokentalkers to work with them to co-develop this major public performance which sees Hope’s life unfold on stage.

Natural History of Hope was produced by Rialto Youth Project and Fiona Whelan and premiered at Project Arts Centre in May 2016.