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ULYSSES European Odyssey (2021)

Irish Embassy Paris gathering
Cineál Tionscadail
Literature, Festivals
ULYSSES European Odyssey (2021)
Irish Partner
Arts Over Borders; MoLI
  • Irish partners: Arts Over Borders, Donegal; Museum of Literature Ireland, Dublin
  • Lead Partner: Stichting Brave New World Producties
  • Municipality of Trieste (Italy)
  • Vilniaus Museum (Latvia)
  • Noorderlicht (Netherlands)
  • Arena Ensemble (Portugal)
  • Create.Act.Enjoy (Romania)
Funding Strand
Cooperation Projects Large Scale
Year Funded
Funding Amount

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ULYSSES European Odyssey (2022 - 2024) is inspired by a European literary masterpiece, James Joyce’s Ulysses (published in 1922), which in turn was inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. Together the three are connected as projects that respond to seismic moments in human history: the Trojan War (c.1200 BC), The Great War and Spanish Flu (1914-20) and our own time of pandemic crisis and the current existential climate catastrophe threatening our planet.

ULYSSES European Odyssey (UEO) consists of a new European network of 18 partners co-producing a single public project comprising 3 Acts of 18 scenes inspired by Ulysses across public spaces in 18 European cities of 16 different countries. The participating cities are Athens, Trieste, Vilnius, Budapest, Marseille, Paris, Berlin, Lugo, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Cluj, Zurich, Leeuwarden, Eleusis, Oulu, Lisbon, Dublin & Derry/Donegal.

The project is a multi-disciplinary response that will see each city engaging with a chapters from the novel Ulysses and with contemporary European social themes identified in that chapter. There is a focus on each event engaging with a public space, inspired by Joyce’s belief in public space as a civilising influence. The project is shaped Into three Acts and 18 scenes:

  • Act I 2022 – Cities I – VI
  • Act II 2023 – Cities VII – XV
  • Act III 2024 – Cities XVI – XVIII

Each city partner across its 16 European countries will also host a cross-sectoral symposium exploring the relationship between the city and a chosen ARTS & SOCIETY theme inspired by Ulysses - migration, democracy, mental health, environmental pollution, social co-existence, sexual equality, freedom of speech, amongst others.

An exchange between cities of 30 emerging artists will also occur. The project will culminate in the publication of a book, Europe-Ulysses (working title), in which 18 innovative writers (one from each city/region) will be commissioned to write a response to their city and theme.

‘We’re delighted with the award from Creative Europe as we wouldn't otherwise have been able to embark on this incredible multi-disciplinary journey with our 18 European partners through James Joyce’s Ulysses, involving 18 cities in 16 countries. Since conceiving the project in 2019, it has already been a mammoth experience of development for our organisation through exploring the contemporary relevance of Joyce's landmark novel looking at a range of issues affecting Europe today as well as supporting new opportunities for 30 young and emerging creative talent and 18 writers commissioned from across Europe. UEO is a three-year cultural programme running until the end of 2024 and will leave a legacy through a new ULYSSES book and a new 'chARTer 309' for the future relationship between arts and society.’ Seán Doran & Liam Browne from ARTS OVER BORDERS Ireland

YES Festival 13-16 June 2024

YES Festival 13 - 16 June 2024

The YES Festival 13-16 June, 2024 is a new multi-arts event which will see women artists from across Europe will travel to Ireland to present work in venues and public spaces across Derry and north Donegal. The programme will include theatre, dance, visual arts, installations, film, writing, photography, textiles, circus, music, rap, and song.

The festival is the culmination of ULYSSES European Odyssey, an unprecedented international project supported through Creative Europe, which since 2022 has seen partners in 18 cities in 16 countries across Europe take Joyce's novel as the starting point to explore contemporary issues.

The YES Festival will see women artists from across Europe travel to Ireland, to present work in venues and public spaces across Derry and north Donegal as part of the Creative Europe project, ULYSSES European Odyssey.

Find Out More

  • ULYSSES European Odyssey Website
  • Arts Over Borders. Arts Over Borders is based in Derry and is Ireland’s presenting body for cross-border arts festivals inspired by Irish writers. Their bio-festival model is a bespoke format which takes its inspiration from the genius of a single artist and is curated with a strong sense of place, both rural and urban, throughout border communities and landscapes.
  • Museum of Literature (MoLI) Dublin is a partnership between University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. Discover Ireland’s rich literary heritage from past to present in the historic UCD Newman House on St Stephen’s Green in the heart of Dublin. Experience immersive exhibitions, view treasures from the National Library of Ireland, or relax in their tranquil gardens and café.

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