ULYSSES : A European Odyssey
September 2022 – June 2024


18 cities in Europe rewrite James Joyces Ulysses together. Thanks to a €1.78 million subsidy from Creative Europe for a 33-month cultural project, 18 European cities under the leadership of Brave New World Productions will create a new artistic translation and representation of James Joyce's Ulysses. Noorderlicht, the Groningen based platform for contemporary perception, is the Dutch partner in this ambitious project.
In 2022 it will be 100 years since James Joyce's Ulysses was published. On Bloomsday (June 16), the date Joyce began his great, epic novel, it was announced that the European Commission's Fund Creative Europe has awarded one of its most important grants for 2022 to a highly ambitious new social and cultural project - ULYSSES: A European Odyssey (UEO) - which brings together 18 cities across Europe, from Vilnius to Lisbon, from San Sebastian to Oulu, from Dublin to Budapest and from Athens to Groningen.

Ulysses Cover: National Library of Ireland

In awarding its grant to the 18 City Partners, Creative Europe wrote:


‘The need to rediscover Joyce’s “Ulysses” as a European masterpiece with a powerful contemporary message is especially well outlined.  The project excellently addresses the cross-cutting issues of social inclusion, diversity and gender equality through the series of the actions primarily dedicated to these topics. The detailed concept of the project can be assessed as likely to trigger change and innovation given the large transnational actions covered by the consistent dramaturgy related to the European cultural heritage and masterpieces of European literary works.’ 

Multidisciplinary scope
ULYSSES: A European Odyssey is inspired by Ulysses's status as one of the milestones of European culture. The transnational scope of the project will be multidisciplinary and will consist of 14 urban events that bring to life the democratic public spaces of a modern city in "all walks of life". In addition, there will be 18 cross-sectoral social symposia (one in each city) on art and society, 30 artist exchange stays and 18 literary assignments for a new EUROPE-ULYSSES book, which will be published in 2024.
The project will take place in each of the 18 cities in chronological order of the novel's 18 chapters, starting in Athens at the end of September 2022, followed immediately by Budapest, Marseille, Trieste and Vilnius in the autumn of 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-Londonderry.

18 cities, 18 urgent priorities
In their application to Creative Europa, the organizers of ULYSSES: A European Odyssey highlighted the 18 “urgent priorities” in contemporary European society that Ulysses itself emphasises. One for each city and directly inspired by the themes in the 18 chapters of Joyce's book. For example: "Youth, Citizenship & Democracy", "The Role of Neighbourhood Communities in Post-Covid Europe", "Enrichment Through Immigration", "Our Creative Dialogue with the Dead", "Our Contemporary Relationship with Food", " the ecological challenges facing our sacred seas and coasts", "refuge centers and the ageing of Europe", "the future - a female vision", etc. These themes will be addressed during the 18 symposia on art and society organised by the partners of the UEO consortium in each city. From there, the questions and suggested answers will be forwarded to the large symposium in Dublin with 309 questions in total (inspired by Chapter 17 of Ulysses) in Dublin on 12 and 14 June 2024.
The consortium of partners from 18 cities is made up of a range of established and emerging organisations, including three museums, three theatre organisations, a citizen environmental project, a light festival, two government agencies for culture and tourism, a photography festival and independent artists and curators in the field of visual arts. and performing arts and film. The lead partners for the project are the Brave New World Producties and Arts Over Borders in Ireland.
All information on the UEO cities, including project dates and program details, will be released in September 2022.

- Arts Over Border,s Dundalk, Ireland

- Onassis Foundation, Athens, Greece

- Museo Joyce Museum, Trieste, Italy

- Vilnius Miesto Muziejus & XWhy Agency, Vilnius, Lithuania

- Budapest Brand, Budapest, Hungary

- Collectif ildi! Eldi, Marseille, France

- Rimini Protokoll, Berlin, Germany

- Donostia Kultura, San Sebastian, Spain

- Teater Grob, Copenhagen, Denmark

- Gulen Gurler Hurley, Istanbul, Turkey

- Create.Act.Enjoy Association & Teatrul National din Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

- Noorderlicht Festival, Groningen, Netherlands

Chorus, Eleusis, Greece

- Lumo Light Festival, Oulu, Finland

- Arena Ensemble, Lisbon, Portugal

- Museum of Literature Ireland, Dublin, Ireland