Ireland, and indeed the world, celebrates James Joyce’s epic tale of “Ulysess” on June 16, Leopold Bloom’s day and night of wandering through Dublin.
While the story captures the heart of Dublin on a summer’s day in 1904, it has inspired people worldwide to participate in readings, musical and theatrical performances, and much more.
To mark Bloomsday 2023, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Ireland’s global network of Embassies and Consulates collaborated with the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) and dozens of partners worldwide to create this new short film, “YES I WILL YES.”
In an uplifting global song of affirmation, performers from six continents reimagine the iconic last words of James Joyce’s Ulysses: “yes I said yes I will Yes.”
Filming took place from Auckland to Abu Dhabi, Bogota to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur to Kyiv, and Lilongwe to Los Angeles.
Performers include Irish-Zambian artist Denise Chaila, Irish performance artist Amanda Coogan, eminent Brazilian actress and director Bete Coelho, New Zealand-based actress Acushla-Tara Kupe, and acclaimed Chilean actress Gabriela Hernández.
The film features an original score composed by Caterina Schembri and performed by Chamber Choir Ireland.
"Yes I Will Yes" short film for Bloomsday 2023
Irish Embassies and Consulates are also marking Bloomsday 2023 with a range of events in collaboration with local partners.
Joyce fans worldwide can enjoy a 3D Bloomsday installation in Jakarta, an innovative mixed-media interpretation of Finnegan’s Wake in Mexico City, a Portuguese performance of Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy in Sao Paulo, and the unveiling of a newly commissioned building-sized mural artwork by Irish artist Garreth Joyce in Szombathely, Hungary, inspired by Episode 5 of "Ulysses."
In the "James Joyce's Odyssey Podcast" documentary series produced for the Irish Embassy in Paris, authors Laura El Makki and David Federmann delve into an extraordinary work by an author who upset 20th-century literature.
A larger project, "Ulysses European Odyssey (UEO,)" began in 2022 and will continue through this year and 2024. The initiative spans 18 cities in 16 countries, producing artistic responses in public spaces to social and cultural themes identified in the 18 episodes of James Joyce’s "Ulysses."
In Dublin, the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) is offering a rich programme of events for Bloomsday, while the Bloomsday Festival, presented by the James Joyce Centre, embraces an extensive range of programming from June 12-18, including film screenings, art exhibitions, and walking tours of the city.
Ireland's Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin said: "Our 2023 Bloomsday programme builds on Global Ireland’s innovations in cultural diplomacy to celebrate Joyce and Irish culture more broadly, embracing the written word, music, film, and the performing arts.
"The partnerships being activated across the world by our growing diplomatic network help us to reach new audiences through creative collaboration."
You can learn more about Bloomsday 2023 at Ireland.ie/Bloomsday.