A new civic and cultural project—”ULYSSES: European Odyssey”—that unites in a single vision 18 cities across Europe.
“ULYSSES: European Odyssey” is inspired by the novel’s status as one of the seminal landmarks in European culture. The project’s transnational scope will be multi-disciplinary and consist of 14 city events animating the democratic public spaces of a modern city in ‘all walks of life’, plus 18 civic cross-sectoral Arts & Society symposia to be held in each city, 30 artist exchange residencies and 18 literary commissions for a new EUROPE-ULYSSES book to be published in 2024.
The project will unfold in each of the 18 cities in the chronological order of the novel’s 18 episodes, opening in ATHENS late September 2022, immediately followed by Budapest, Marseille, Trieste, and Vilnius in autumn 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.
In its application to Creative Europe, the organizers of “ULYSSES: European Odyssey” underlined 18 ‘urgent priorities’ in contemporary European society, one for each city and directly inspired by the themes present in Joyce’s 18 book episodes. These include for example: ‘youth, citizenship & democracy’, ‘the role of neighborhood communities in post Covid Europe’, ‘enrichment through immigration’, ‘our creative dialogue with the dead’, ‘our modern-day relationship with food’, ‘the ecological challenges facing our sacred seas and shores’, ‘Shelters and Europe’s ageing population’, ‘The future—a female vision’, etc. These themes will be addressed through the 18 Arts & Society Symposia held by the UEO consortium partners in each city, from which questions and proposed solutions will be sent through to the Grand Symposium of 309 questions (as inspired by Episode 17 of “Ulysses”) in Dublin June 12-14, 2024.
The 18-city consortium of partners comprise a range of established and emerging organizations including three museums, three theater organizations, a civic environmental project, an illumination light festival, two cultural and tourism government authorities, a photography festival, and independent artists and curators in the visual and performing arts and film. The lead partner for the project is “Stichting Brave New World Producties” in the Netherlands alongside the lead artistic partner “Arts Over Borders” in Ireland.