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Bloomsday 2020

Bloomsday 2020

Dear Friends,

This is certainly a Bloomsday like no other. Challenge drives innovation. All around the world, wherever the language of Joyce resonates, lovers of literature are finding fresh and creative ways to take the usual celebrations online and into the virtual space. While nothing can compare with live performance and human interaction, I think that Joyce, the great moderniser, would be fascinated and proud of all our efforts and of how his most famous work, published in 1922, continues to provoke and entertain, as he intended it, resonating across cultures and across countries, generating shared experiences and bringing the pages to life in a new way for everyone who enjoys and loves the power of words.

Here in Belgium, where Joyce, Nora, Giorgio and Lucia enjoyed a family holiday in September 1926, visiting the coast, cities and museums, taking photos and sending postcards, we would normally be packed in together in 50, Rue Froissart, enjoying a magnificent brunch prepared by the Irish group of the Association Femmes d ’Europe, with whom we are always delighted to partner in support of their great projects for women and girls. There would be the delicious sizzle of sausages and rashers, mountains of steaming potatoes and homemade brown bread, followed by plenty of rich porter cake, all enjoyed to the sounds of the Paudi on the Bodhran or piano and the equally delicious, and often riotous, performances of the Irish Theatre Group.

This year, as we cannot all be together in person, we are partnering with the talented and dedicated team in the ITG to bring you 3 beautiful and passionate short films. These have a particular focus, as I promised last year, on the female vision and voice in the novel. This year, as you may know, the embassy is marking the anniversary of UNSCR1325 on Women, Peace and Security and the anniversary of the Beijing Summit with the theme of #VisibleWomen2020, which has already helped shape our Saint Brigid's Day 2020 event, our Embassy Book Club Reading List this year (Zooming along since March) and will be the focus of our Autumn programme of public diplomacy, all of which we hope you will support.

We are proud to bring you these innovative new films, together with the ITG, in celebration and in honour of Joyce, of Bloomsday and of the female voice, something which can tend sometimes to be forgotten, even in our diverse celebrations of Ulysses, but which is very much present and powerful, as these three very special and unique performances convey. I hope that you will enjoy them and this flavour of Joyce in Belgium. Thank you for your continued support.

Helena Nolan

Ambassador of Ireland


Bloomsday 2020 - Belgian Blooms

If Milly's Letter fails to display, it can be viewed here.

If Martha's Letter fails to display, it can be viewed here.

If Molly's Monologue fails to display, it can be viewed here.

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