Poverty Talks: New research project carried out by Joe Whelan in collaboration with ATD Ireland

Walking, Thinking and Talking: An exploration of the lived experiences and hidden geographies of poverty as a participatory arts methodology

On Friday October 6th Dr Joe Whelan from the Department of Social Work and Social Policy in Trinity College Dublin launched new research, website and animation ‘Walking, Thinking and Talking: An exploration of the lived experiences and hidden geographies of poverty as a participatory arts methodology’.  

The launch was held at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, with panel of Joe Whelan and ATD community activists Andrew, Paul, Jimmy and Christina who were among the participants in the research.  The launch began with an introduction by Father Peter Mc Verry. 

See below the new #Talkingpoverty website, full report and animation.

Congratulation to Joe Whelan, his research team and all the ATD community activists involved in this important and necessary piece of research.


Read here an academic article written by Dr Joe Whelan describing the poverty talks research and film.

It was important for me because I was able to walk through the area were I was born and as we walked and talked I was able to show Joe what it’s like, to show him the community and the effect that SED and poverty has on the community. Instead of talking in an office or in some room closed off from the outside world and the community. We were able to talk as we walked like two friends strolling through the community. I was able to point out the disadvantaged communities and the areas within those communities. The method allowed for visual information to be seen it allowed for Joe to witness with his own eyes that which we spoke about. Countless times I have spoken to people about the devastating effects of SED on communities. Most paid little to no attention to what was being said . Walking and talking was a more relaxed atmosphere where it was possible to display and exhibit first hand accounts of our experiences of growing up and living in disadvantaged communities where the effects of SED can be seen. The visual information matched up with our words, the formal and relaxed atmosphere brought about by walking through the area I was speaking about. Words can be powerful if they are listened to but words spoken in context with the visual impact of what I could point out to go alongside the words spoken were undeniable and very visible. Walking and talking allowed the picture to be seen as it was spoken about. They say a picture can tell a thousand words; our walking and talking experience painted so many pictures that should lead to many thousands of words that relay the lived experience of SED and the disadvantaged communities where its effects are more visible during the walking and talking experience . Over all I felt seen and heard for quite possibly the first time in all the time I have spent trying to relay my story and experience to officialdom and services who tend to pay little attention if not at all. Paul.

It was important to me because even though I’m not from Dublin when I was walking past the people that were asleep on cardboard on the street outside a big shop, that was me no matter what city or place I lived in that was me on the cardboard and it shows that no matter where u go in Ireland it’s the divide from the richest to the poorest both living on one street then to walk past the dail I realised this is where Ireland went wrong but this is where it can be fixed with the right people in there then down to trinity with its big wall around, now if connect all the places and the project we were doing we can and we shall break down the walls of S.E.D we can make Ireland something to be proud of again we can make a better future for the next generation, I believe this cuz as we were walking and talking I felt like I was a equal It wasn’t formal like in a office, so my message today is to not discriminate but to treat people equal like I was in this thank you. Andrew.

It’s about rasing our voice an rasing our voice for others and for the generation that we have in the future I am sure if that it will help me to have a better future for the young people. Jimmy.