New Film and Global Book Giveaway Mark Bloomsday 2021 Initiative by DFA and MoLI

 New Film and Global Book Giveaway Mark Bloomsday 2021 Initiative by DFA and MoLI

To mark Bloomsday 2021, 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 40 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.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D., commented:

‘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.’

Filming has taken place in more than 40 locations across six continents, from Alaska to Abuja, Santiago to Seoul, Canberra to Chicago.  The short film (2 min 30 sec approx) will be available to view on the DFA YouTube channel) from 1.30pm on Sunday 13 June.

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, our diplomatic network has partnered with hundreds of local organisations including national and public libraries, secondary schools, universities, development NGOs, bookshops, literary cafés, cultural centres, broadcast media and transport hubs, e.g.:

  • In South Africa our Embassy is partnering with NGOs including Africa Book Trust to enhance access to literature for young people in inner-city Johannesburg.
  • In Jakarta, Joyce’s works will be donated to a street library.
  • In Belgium, copies are being donated to libraries in the towns visited by the Joyce family during a holiday in 1926.
  • In San Francisco, the Consulate General has partnered with a local bookshop to give away copies of Ulysses with the purchase of books by other Irish writers.

The Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) is also encouraging readers to join thousands of others in finally picking up Ulysses this year as part of a free online public book club. ‘Ulysses – for the rest of us!’ will run for two months from 16 June 2021, and is hosted by American podcaster Conner Habib. Sign up for free at

More than 30 of Ireland’s Embassies and Consulates are also marking Bloomsday 2021 with a diverse range of physical and virtual events in collaboration with local partners. Joycean fans worldwide can enjoy a virtual exhibition from Germany, a Joyce-themed conference from Mexico, a Joycean Jam in Sydney, a Ulysses recreation in Shanghai, and many more –

check out the full range of activities at

In Ireland the Bloomsday Festival, presented by the James Joyce Centre, is presenting an extensive range of programming from 11-16 June, including a Ulysses Punk Cabaret, Bloomsday Film Festival screenings, Joyce art exhibitions and drawing workshops. Find out more at

Press Office
11 June 2021




A Short Film for Bloomsday 2021

Words from Ulysses by James Joyce


Performers (in order of location)

Abuja: Ibrahim Ezra, actor

Alaska: Jeffrey Ruddy, ‘Northernmost Irish person’

Athens: Yiannis Panagopoulos, actor, director and theatre maker

Austin: Katrina Gaedcke, acting major at the University of Texas

Berlin: Mary Kelly, actress

Bogotá: Juan Gabriel Vasquez, writer

Brasilia: Michelle Alvarenga, Lecturer at the English Department of the University of Brasília & PhD candidate in Irish Contemporary Theatre at the University of São Paulo

Brussels: Jody Quirke, member of The Irish Theatre Group

Budapest: Peter Barnai, actor & Vivien Rujder, actress

Buenos Aires: Agustin Sullivan, actor

Canberra: Bridget Sayer, staff member at the Embassy of Ireland

Chicago: Eva Tormey, Psychology & Art student

Cyprus: Anna Yiagiozi, actress

Edinburgh: Brian Taylor, former political editor of BBC Scotland

Helsinki: Saga Sarkola, film and theatre actor

Hong Kong: Serrini, singer/songwriter, poet and phD candidate

Jakarta: Trinity, travel writer and blogger

Lilongwe: Phindu Zaie Banda, spoken word poet and gender consultant

Los Angeles: Marc-Ivan O’Gorman, writer

Maryland: Teri Cross Davis, Maryland, actress

Mexico City: Melissa Juarez, staff member at the Embassy of Ireland

Moscow: Sofya Lebedeva, actress

New York: Eon Grey, actor

Nairobi: Muthoni Njenga, staff member at the Embassy of Ireland

Oslo: Jean Kavanagh, poet

Ottawa: Ian Ashe, member of the James Joyce Association of Ottawa

Paris: Louise Taylor-Scott, Co-founder of the Cercle littéraire Irlandais’

Riga: Anta Aizupe, actress

Rome: Enrico Terrinoni, Chair of English literature at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia and translator of the works of James Joyce

Santiago: Blanca Lewin, actress

Seoul: Jihyeon Lee Lizzy, Ambassador & former participant in the Ireland-Korea Working Holiday Programme

Shanghai: Zhou Junyi,student at Caoyang Middle School & Zhang Hanyu, student at Thomas International Experimental School in Shanghai

Sofia: Denis Izetov, actor

Sydney: Gabrielle Carey, writer

Tallinn: Illimar Lepik Von Wiren, avid Joycean

The Hague: Ruud Hisgen, Author, teacher and entrepreneur at the Direct Dutch Institute in The Hague

Tokyo: Professor Mika Momoo, lecturer at Seikei University and member of James Joyce Society Japan

Valetta: Cheryl Falzon, National Librarian of Malta and CEO Malta Public Libraries

Warsaw: Alicja Kenny, member of the Irish-Polish community

Zurich: Melissa Bilbao, schools language assistant

Production Credits

Creative Direction: bigO, Eugene Downes & Simon O’Connor

Music & Sound Design: Dunk Murphy

Cinematographer: Simon O’Neill

About the Museum of Literature Ireland

The Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) is a new landmark cultural institution in the heart of Ireland’s capital city. Picturesquely located on the southside of St Stephen’s Green in some of Dublin’s finest historic houses, MoLI’s cutting-edge exhibitions explore Ireland’s incredible literary heritage. Set amidst beautiful gardens, Dublin’s newest museum is an inspirational oasis for visitors to the city centre. The museum celebrates Ireland’s internationally renowned literary culture and heritage from the past to the present, inspiring the next generation to create, read and write. Immersive multimedia exhibitions, priceless artifacts, lectures, performances, free-to-access children’s education programmes, historic house tours, digital broadcasting, research facilities and a courtyard café set in one of the city’s most beautiful and tranquil gardens make the Museum of Literature Ireland a major contribution to the local and international literary landscape.

MoLI is a major partnership and creative alliance between University College Dublin (UCD) and the National Library of Ireland (NLI), supported by The Naughton Foundation and Fáilte Ireland.

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