Tue, 03 Aug 2021

More than 30 Irish embassies to mark Bloomsday 2021

Conor Trindle
17 Jun 2021, 03:07 GMT+10

More than 30 of Ireland's Embassies and Consulates are marking Bloomsday 2021 with diverse physical and virtual events in collaboration with local partners.

"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," the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said Tuesday.

The Irish government on Tuesday outlined the following activities outlined for Bloomsday 2021:

  • Ireland's Consulate General in New York has 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 is looking 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 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 is 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, Sweden, 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, South Africa, 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 give away copies of Joyce's work.
  • Ireland's Embassy in Mexico is collaborating 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 cornerstone for a developing Irish studies programme.
  • In Sydney, Australia, Ireland's Consulate is partnering 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, Georgia, 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 Ars Theatre celebrates the women in Joyce's life and work, above all Nora Barnacle, the inspiration for Molly Bloom.
Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason takes part in the first Bloomsday festival to be held at the United Nations in New York

In addition, 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 forty 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, and Canberra to Chicago. The short film be seen 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, Ireland's diplomatic network has partnered with hundreds of local organisations including national and public libraries, secondary schools, universities, development NGOs, bookshops, literary cafs, cultural centres, broadcast media, and transport hubs.

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