Over 30 Global Bloomsday events hosted by Department of Foreign Affairs
Press release15 June 2021
To mark Bloomsday 2021, More than 30 of Ireland’s Embassies and Consulates are marking Bloomsday 2021 with a diverse range of physical and virtual events in collaboration with local partners.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D., commented:
‘Building on Ireland’s innovations in digital diplomacy over the last year, our 2021 Bloomsday campaign is a global celebration of Joyce, as our diplomatic network mobilise hundreds of diverse partnerships to bring inspiring Irish literature to new audiences on six continents.’
Fans of literature worldwide can check out the full range of activities at Ireland.ie/Bloomsday. Some highlights include:
- Ireland’s Consulate General in New York have partnered with the University of Buffalo in unveiling a new 36-foot vibrant James Joyce mural in the city, creating a landmark for the Irish community and raising awareness of the home of the largest collection of Joycean manuscripts and materials.
- In Mozambique, the Irish Embassy looks to uncover talented local writers with a Bloomsday Poetry Competition, open to all ages.
- The Irish Embassy in London will host a virtual Bloomsday celebration of the life and works of James Joyce with the help of a few very special guests including author Emma Dabiri who will host the event, and actor Adrian Dunbar who will perform a reading by Joyce.
- Ireland’s Embassy in Indonesia are bringing Joyce’s Ulysses to life with a Bloomsday Booth that recreates the iconic Sweney’s pharmacy alongside an interactive exhibit, all displayed in one of Jakarta’s most prominent shopping malls.
- In Stockholm, the Irish Embassy combines Bloomsday with the great national celebration of Midsommar, presenting Molly’s Midsommar, with the best of Irish and Swedish culture brought to audiences’ from the city’s harbour.
- In Pretoria, the Embassy will take part in a cultural event on June 16 partnering with a literary social enterprise and non-profit group dedicated to enhancing access to literature for young people in inner-city Johannesburg, and will giveaway copies of Joyce’s work.
- Ireland’s Embassy in Mexico collaborated with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) to present the Joyce in Latin America Conference, hosting high profile speakers and experts on James Joyce and Irish literature more broadly. One of the conference highlights was the announcement of the establishment of the Eavan Boland – Anne Enright Irish Studies Chair at UNAM. This is the first dedicated Chair in Irish literature in Mexico, and will be the corner stone for a developing Irish studies programme.
- In Sydney, Ireland’s Consulate partners with the University of Sydney to present a Joycean Jam, collaborating with local artistic collective Prankqueans to engage audiences in a celebration of Joyce’s work through cabaret readings, spoken word and song.
- In Atlanta, Nuala O’Connor, author of the acclaimed Nora, joins Emory’s University’s Geraldine Higgins, Consul General Ciara O’Floinn and others on 16 June for ‘‘In Praise of Women’’. This program, a collaboration between the Consulate of Ireland in Atlanta and Arís Theatre celebrates the women in Joyce’s life and work, above all Nora Barnacle, the inspiration for Molly Bloom.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) have partnered to produce Opening Ulysses, a short film created in collaboration with 40 Irish Embassies and Consulates worldwide. Ahead of the centenary of the novel’s publication next February, this specially commissioned film invites global audiences to engage with Ulysses through a playful, virtuosic reimagining of its opening line: Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.Filming has taken place in more than 40 locations across six continents, from Alaska to Abuja, Santiago to Seoul, Canberra to Chicago. The short film is available to view on the DFA YouTube channel.
As an additional initiative to reach new global audiences as part of DFA’s Bloomsday campaign, Irish Embassies and Consulates have also organised a Global Joycean Book Giveaway. Over the Bloomsday period, more than 5,000 copies of Ulysses, Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man will be distributed in 100+ cities on six continents, in 18 languages ranging from Chinese, Japanese and Latvian to Hebrew, Greek and Bahasa. To deliver this, our diplomatic network has partnered with hundreds of local organisations including national and public libraries, secondary schools, universities, development NGOs, bookshops, literary cafés, cultural centres, broadcast media and transport hubs.
15 June 2021
The Opening Ulysses film is available to feature on media and multimedia platforms once DFA and MoLI are credited; please contact DFA Press Office for sharing/download details.
The Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) is also encouraging readers to join thousands of others in finally picking up Ulysses this year as part of a free online public book club. ‘Ulysses – for the rest of us!’ will run for two months from 16 June 2021, and is hosted by American podcaster Conner Habib. Sign up for free at moli.ie/Ulysses
In Ireland the Bloomsday Festival, presented by the James Joyce Centre, is presenting an extensive range of programming from 11-16 June, including a Ulysses Punk Cabaret, Bloomsday Film Festival screenings, Joyce art exhibitions and drawing workshops. Find out more at bloomsdayfestival.ie.