PRESS RELEASE / Thursday 16 November 2023 ulysseseurope.eu
The launch of the Grand Novel Budapest was held on 16 November in the main hall of the Szabó Ervin Library.
The unveiling of an intellectual monument with a book presentation, screening and discussions based on the themes of the creative process.
The host of the evening, Krisztián Nyáry, welcomed the participants of the Grand Novel Budapest creative project and the publisher’s staff, the authors of the book, the representatives of the political bodies of the City Hall and the district governments, the delegates of the institutions involved in the Budapest 150 series of events and the press.
Gergely Karácsony, Mayor of Budapest, gave a speech on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the city and the publication of the book.
He said that the Municipality of Budapest had prepared for the event to celebrate the unification of the three parts of the city in order to show the fantastic diversity and variety that comes from the diversity of the city and its parts. „If we look back on this anniversary in a few decades’ time, the Grand Novel Budapest will surely leave a lasting and tangible imprint on the city today: it will capture the intangible.” The Mayor thanked the dream-team that worked on the book, the 23 authors and the editors for making this special creation a reality.
Krisztián Nyáry talked to the editors of the book, Dóra Péczely and István Tasnádi about the creative process of the Grand Novel Budapest. Nyáry asked Csaba Faix, CEO of Budapest Brand, and Ágnes Kovácsné Koreny, Deputy Director General of the Ervin Szabó Library in Budapest, about the initiative as an exciting venture in community storytelling. Liam Browne (Ulysses European Odyssey) and Máté Gáspár, Artistic Director of Budapest Brand talked about the international context of the Grand Novel Budapest and its development into an all-arts programme. The actors Hanna Pálos and Máté Martinkovics read excerpts from the text.
The audience was one of the first to receive the volumes of the Grand Novel Budapest, and a champagne reception in the Ballroom celebrated the availability of the much-anticipated book nationwide.
On the occasion of the publication of the book and the opening of the City Hall Passage, Budapest Brand surprised its readers with an exciting experience: a special reading theatre event at the City Hall.
On 18 and 19 November, visitors had the chance to explore the chapters of the Grand Novel Budapest on guided walks and to be among the first to discover the City of Texts at the otherwise closed venues of City Hall.
During Budapest’s birthday weekend, four guided literary walks took place, during which groups listened to chapters from 6 to 6 districts.
The stories were performed by TÁP Theatre artists in the exciting spaces of the City Hall, allowing participants to discover both the new literary creation and the previously unknown details of the huge building.
Notes to editors
About ULYSSES European Odyssey
ULYSSES European Odyssey is a three-year, transnational and multi-disciplinary programme inspired by James Joyce’s landmark novel, which runs until June 2024. It includes public events, interventions and symposia in 18 cities in 16 countries: Athens, Berlin, Budapest, Cluj, Copenhagen, Derry-Donegal, Dublin, Eleusis, Istanbul, Leeuwarden, Lisbon, Lugo, Marseille, Oulu, Paris, Trieste, Vilnius and Zurich.
Highlighting the contemporary relevance of Joyce’s work, partners in each city are taking one episode of Ulysses to explore contemporary issues facing Europe, including citizenship and democracy; migration; youth; Europe’s ageing population; social media; food production and sustainability; education; religion and social co-existence; gender freedom; the environment; mental health; and neighbourhoods and community.
Cross-sector symposia in each city will result in chARTer 309, a new democratic exploration of the relationship between arts and society, to be published in 2024. 30 artist exchange residencies are also taking place, and 18 writers from different literary genres and each city have been commissioned to contribute to EUROPE-ULYSSES (working title), a new book also to be published next year.
ULYSSES European Odyssey was conceived and originated by Lead Artistic Partner ARTS OVER BORDERS (Ireland’s acclaimed presenting body for cross-border arts festivals). They have developed the project with Lead Partner Netherlands-based Brave New World Producties (established after Leeuwarden-Friesland European Capital of Culture 2018 with the aim of investing in young artists through international collaborations in non-traditional settings), working with partners in each of the 18 cities. ULYSSES European Odyssey is funded through an award from the European Commission’s Creative Europe Fund.
ULYSSES European Partners:
Arena Ensemble (PT)
ARTS OVER BORDERS (IE)
Blaagaard Teater (DK)
Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Theatre and Film (RO)
Brave New World Producties (NL)
Budapest Brand nZrt (HU)
Commune di Trieste (IT)
Critical+Xwhy Agency (LT)
Fundación Uxío Novoneyra (ES)
gethan&myles and Collectif ildi ! eldi (FR)
Lumo Light Festival (FI)
Museo Joyce Trieste (IT)
Museum of Literature Ireland, MoLI (IE)
ONASSIS Stegi (GR)
Rimini Protokoll (DE)
Teatrul National Lucian Blaga din Cluj-Napoca (RO)
Vilnius City Museum (LT)
Yalan Dünya Films Ltd. (TR)