2022 is the centenary of the publication of ‘Ulysses’ and, on
Bloomsday (June 16 last), the date on which Joyce set his great, epic novel, it was announced that the European Commission’s Creative Europe Fund has awarded one of its most significant 2022 grants to a highly ambitious new civic and cultural project - ‘ULYSSES: A European Odyssey’ - that unites in a single vision 18 cities across Europe from Derry to Lisbon, San Sebastian to Oulu, Dublin to Budapest and Athens to Groningen.
‘ULYSSES: A European Odyssey’ is inspired by the novel’s status as one of the seminal landmarks in European culture. The project’s transnational scope will be multi-disciplinary and consist of 14 city events animating the democratic public spaces of a modern city in ‘all walks of life’, plus 18 civic cross-sectoral Arts & Society symposia to be held in each city, 30 artist exchange residencies and 18 literary commissions for a new EUROPE-ULYSSES book to be published in 2024.
The project will unfold in each of the 18 cities in the chronological order of the novel’s 18 episodes, opening in Athens in late September, 2022, immediately followed by Budapest, Marseille, Trieste and Vilnius in autumn 2022.
In 2023, initiatives will take place in Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, San Sebastian, Cluj, Istanbul, Zurich, Groningen, Eleusis and Oulu.
The project will complete its journey in June 2024 in Lisbon, Dublin and Derry.
The ‘Future – The Female Vision’ Festival, to be held in Derry on June 14-16, is an all female event to mark Episode 18 (Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy) with artists from all 18 cities participating. Dublin and Derry together will close the ‘ULYSSES: A European Odyssey’ two year event journey.
Jonathan Burgess, festival producer of the Derry chapter, said: “It is a great honour for Derry-Londonderry to close this epic European journey in 2024 and what more fitting a subject than ‘Molly’s Soliloquy’ in the Maiden City.
“We are looking forward to focus on those strong, female voices that are such a force and inspiration in this region.”
James Joyce wrote his novel whilst living in Trieste and Zurich during the upheaval of World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic, completing it in Paris in 1922, the same year as its publication.
The novel is set in Dublin, Joyce’s birthplace.