Can we bring Joyce to Luxembourg?
With war and pandemics it is hard to make plans to travel anywhere but after two long years waiting for the European People's Festival to return, the festival will hopefully be taking place in the town of Schifflange in Luxembourg and this will be my third festival in Schifflange after travelling there in 2002 and 2012.
Since 2022 is the centenary celebration of the publication of Ulysses in Paris, I wonder if we can't bring James Joyce to another European city and include some Joycean quotes in all the different European languages.
Joyce himself spoke 17 languages.
The Irish delegation normally perform a mixture of Irish dance and music and the last time we performed in Luxembourg, it was an electrifying performance that had to be abandoned as a thunderstorm rolled in and lighting started to strike nearby.
The idea is to start or finish the show with members of other delegations speaking some Joycean quotes in their own language. Something simple like, "Love Loves to Love Love."
Thanks to UNESCO City of Literature, it should also be possible to give people in the audience a booklet on Joyce and Ulysses. It might also be possible to dress for Bloomsday.
If 2022 sounds too much like 2020 two then one thing worth repeating would be the Bloomsday 2020 video A New Day Will Be that was performed in different languages.
For Bloomsday 2020, The Department of Foreign Affairs produced a beautiful Bloomsday video compiled from clips submitted from missions and embassies around the world.
Democratic presidential candidates Beto O'Rourke and Pete Buttigieg both made an appearance in the short video as does Madrid's Bloomsday Society founder Sara Cantó. Sadly, I didn't make the cut with my own submissions and I know hundreds of people if not thousands of people might have also submitted their own Joycean readings.
Joyce is surprisingly popular around the world and last week a friend pointed out graffiti on a bus in Madrid where someone had scratched Ulises onto the back of a bus seat.
We could put Ulysses in the driving seat of the culture show and manage a performance with the help of all the other delegations that wouldn't even require a word of English.
Love Loves to Love Love/ El Amor Ama Amar El Amor
A Joycean themed show could finish the culture show without speaking a word of English.