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YES Festival

Various Venus, Derry~Londonderry, County Derry-Londonderry
Promotional Poster for YES Derry - the final episode in the Ulysses European Odyssey


The inaugural YES Festival will take place in Derry~Londonderry and north Donegal from 13-16 June 2024

The YES Festival is the culmination of ULYSSES European Odyssey 2022-2024, an unprecedented international project funded by Creative Europe and the Department of Foreign Affairs Ireland for Arts Over Borders. ULYSSES European Odyssey has seen partners in 18 cities across Europe take Joyce’s novel as the starting point to explore contemporary issues, from migration to the environment, disability to mental well-being.

Female artists from cities involved in the project will travel to Ireland for the YES Festival to present work in venues and public spaces across Derry~Donegal. The programme will include theatre, dance, visual arts, installations, film, writing, photography, textiles, circus, music, rap and song.

YES Festival highlights include:

Molly Bloomsday, an 18-hour cultural journey across Derry~Donegal, re-interpreting Leopold Bloom's journey across Dublin and that of ULYSSES European Odyssey across Europe.

The Molly Bed, a large-scale interactive public installation, with a digital screen as headboard conveying messages by women from around the world.

SIRENSCIRCUS inspired by John Cage's Musicircus, which brings together the public, musicians and nonmusicians to create a powerfully joyous sonic experience.

An unprecedented event on Derry’s historic 17th century walls, bringing together marching bands from both traditions.

Dance In! – a participatory event inspired by the women that worked in Derry's shirt factories, and a dance performance responding to the famous Derry Girls mural and the hit television show.

The Return of Ulysses Trail – each of the 18 ULYSSES European Odyssey city partners will send exhibits from their projects for presentation at venues on a trail from Derry City Football Club in the west of the city to Ebrington Square in the Waterside east.

Sunday 16 June, which has been dubbed Bloomsday by Joyce fans after the book's central character Leopold Bloom, will be renamed Molly Bloomsday in celebration of his wife and to mark the end of ULYSSES European Odyssey.

The same day, there will be the world premiere screening of The Molly Film, a new film featuring Fiona Shaw, Harriet Walter, Cush Jumbo, Miriam Margolyes and four other internationally renowned stage and screen actresses, each reading one of eight long sentences that form Molly Bloom's stream of consciousness monologue. In Penelope, the final episode of Ulysses, Molly’s soliloquy begins and ends with the word ‘yes’ and has provided inspiration for many artists (including, for example, Kate Bush’s song The Sensual World). More details about the film and the other actors involved will be announced shortly. 

Artists travelling to Derry~Donegal from mainland Europe for the YES Festival include:

Actor and playwright, Hanin Georgis, Copenhagen, Denmark

Artist and filmmaker, Lilli Kuschel, Berlin, Germany

Choreographer Gizem Aksu plus dancers, Istanbul, Turkey

Circus artist Hanna Moisala from Oulu, Finland

Dancers Jolanda Bazzi and Laila el Bazi, Leeuwarden, Netherlands

DJ and music producer Miss Trouli from STEGI.RADIO, Athens, Greece

Electronic music DJs and producers VRGN and Fo, Eleusis, Greece

Photojournalist, reporter, and documentary filmmaker Monika Bulaj, Trieste, Italy

Queer visual activists Ioana Ofelia and Daniela Groza, Cluj, Romania

Singer Zoe de Souza, Lisbon, Portugal

Tapestry artist, Catherine O'Connor, Dublin

Textile artist Morta Joynait, Vilnius, Lithuania

Visual artist Gethan Dick, Marseille, France

Writer Noémi Kiss, Budapest, Hungary

The YES Festival is produced and curated by highly respected producing team ARTS OVER BORDERS Ireland, who have received co-funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs Ireland and have developed ULYSSES European Odyssey with partners in the following cities: Athens, Trieste, Vilnius, Budapest, Marseille, Paris, Berlin, Lugo, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Cluj, Zurich, Leeuwarden, Eleusis, Oulu, Lisbon, Dublin and, finally, Derry~Donegal.


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