Welcome to YES

YES is the grand-finale weekend in Ireland’s north west, Derry ~ Donegal, of a 2 year European journey that will have taken place across 18 European cities to mark the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s epic novel Ulysses in Paris 1922 – ULYSSES European Odyssey (UEO) 2022-2024 (www.ulysseseurope.eu).

ULYSSES European Odyssey is the concept of Arts Over Borders’ artistic directors, Seán Doran and Liam Browne (DoranBrowne) with Arts Over Borders as the Lead Artistic Partner of the UEO project.

Our Ulyssean odyssey began in Athens September 2022 and has zig-zagged from Oulu in the arctic circle to Lisbon on the Iberian Peninsula, from Istanbul in the east to Leeuwarden in the Netherlands, from Lugo, the food capital of Galicia, to Vilnius in Lithuania.

YES, inspired by Joyce’s final episode XVIII (Penelope) in Ulysses – commonly celebrated as Molly’s Soliloquy –  is Ireland’s inaugural all-women artists event.  Our hopes are that it will become an annual event and a key legacy of ULYSSES European Odyssey.

YES will take place across 4 days featuring 40 or more events in Derry & north-east Donegal with appearances from over 30 women artists coming from the 16 nations of the ULYSSES European Odyssey project who will be joined by Irish and British women artists in an extraordinarily diverse range of events – dance, music, film, public art and spectacle, visual art, literature, street arts and street food and high level conversational debates.

YES is curated by Shauna Kelpie & Jonathan Burgess (The Sixteen Nations), Martina Devlin (No Ordinary Women), Tracey Lindsay (The Molly Bed), Sophie Muzychenko (The Molly Films) and Margaret Kelly (Cross Border Project Manager for Dance In!, SIRENSCIRCUS and RoUTE 18).

YES has 8 programme strands:

No. 1  Ireland’s first Molly Bloomsday, June 16 – 18 bespoke events from Sunday 8am June 16 to Monday 3am June 17 that transpose the Ulysses 18 episodes to Ireland’s north-west: An Grianán of Aileach iron age sun fort reimagining  Sandycove’s Martello Tower at 8am; Inishowen’s Lisfannon Beach reimagining  Sandymount Strand at 11am; the Fountain Primary School reimagining Dalkey School Episode II (Nestor) at 10am; Derry’s Guildhall Square reimagining  the Lestrygonian’s food Episode VIII at 1pm; Derry City Cemetery reimagining  Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery; and the Little Acorns Bookshop reimagining  Dublin’s National Library! One day only, June 16, 2024.

No. 2  The Sixteen Nations – women artists from all 16 nations involved in ULYSSES European Odyssey, over 30 artists, performers, writers, residencies.   June 13 – 17, 2024.

No. 3  No Ordinary Women (NOW) – five high powered discussions: Women & Leadership (8.30pm – 9.45pm, June 13), Women & Power (7.30pm – 8.45pm, June 14), Women & Climate Justice (former Irish President Mary Robinson, 3pm – 4.15pm, June 15), Women & Resistance (7.30pm – 8.45pm, June 15) and Women & Media (12.15pm – 1.30pm, June 16).

No. 4  RoUTE 18 – Return of Ulysses Trail Exhibits: 18 mini-exhibitions of the 18 European cities events of the last two years hosted by Derry~Londonderry venues and organisations from Derry City FC to Ebrington.  Open for 8 days only June 10-17 2024.

No. 5  SIRENSCIRCUS – The World Premiere of an aural realisation of Ulysses Sirens Episode XI through the framework of John Cage’s Musicircus.  100-200 musicians and participants.  Free to the public.  Sunday Molly Bloomsday 4pm – 6pm June 16, 2024.

No. 6  The Molly Films – Up to 8 individual Molly Films have been commissioned by YES, each featuring one of the world’s leading stage and screen actresses performing one of the eight long sentence sections of Episode XVII (Penelope) known as Molly’s Soliloquy.  Each of the films will be featured separately across the YES 4 days in the Volta Cinema in the YES Hub St. Columb’s Hall (Derry~Londonderry) and as an innovative live art instalation in the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny.  Actors include Fiona Shaw, Dame Harriet Walter, Eve Hewson, Siobhan McSweeney and Adjoa Andoh.  June 13-23, 2024.

No. 7  The Molly Bed – a specially commissioned public artwork by Derry designer Tracey Lindsay, free to view plus the opportunity to leave your personal message under the pillow for The Future : A Female Vision. 8 days only, Ebrington Square June 9-16, 2024.

No. 8  O ROCKS!  Imelda May in conversation and acoustic presentation to round off the inaugural Molly Bloomsday 2024.