I often get asked what I like about being a photographer. I usually cite something suitably ethereal such as “opportunity to be creative” or “way of fuelling the desire to create art” *snorts*. The truth is far more mundane: I like people. I like observing them. I like getting to know them. I like connecting with them. Photography provides a reason (and a tool) to observe and connect with people. Even when you are not shooting people, you are still dealing with people – the owners of a place you want to shoot in, the creators of a thing you are shooting, the person who is employing you for a shoot.
Connecting with people is particularly pleasant, when they are an equally creative bunch. Just like the guys behind the Bloomsday Survival Kit. They are a team of artists with backgrounds in theatre, animation, dance and fine art, and for the past two years have established themselves as a literary art project around the annual Bloomsday celebrations in Dublin. Initially they came up with the eponymous Bloomsday Survival Kit, a bag of props and goodies to enhance Ulysses-lovers’ enjoyment of the Bloomsday experience. In the past year their activities have blossomed into a whole pandora’s box of performances, readings and other offerings that provide opportunity to engage with the work of James Joyce. I accompanied them on part of their way with some initial photography – a shoot which I discussed previously here.
Now they want to take the Bloomsday Survical Kit a step further. After the success of this year’s readings and performances, the four survivalists are hoping to turn Bloomsday into a street carnival. In their own words:
“Imagine Bloomsday as a fantastic Mardi Gras-like street carnival celebrating Dublin.
At it Again! bring James Joyce’s Ulysses to life through quirky products and interactive events. We make Ulysses fun, accessible and contemporary. Our manuals, kits & events travel the world promoting Irish culture abroad.
We have the guts, passion, skills and know-how to make our Bloomsday vision a reality.”
For that they need funding. No, I am not asking you to send money in a brown envelope – but you could give them your vote in the Arthur Guinness Projects. Check out their plans for a bigger, better, more fun Bloomsday celebration. It promises to be a right old romp – James Joyce himself would have enjoyed it, I am sure. Voting doesn’t cost you anything – just a click with the mouse. If you are really generous, you could vote every day, for as long as the Project site is open for voting.
As someone who has accompanied the Bloomsday Survival Kit from the margins – I did a photo shoot with them at the start of their project in 2012, I (literally) held the camera for their wonderfully funny “Glasnevin Shuffle”-Video, and I most importantly supplied a battered old suitcase for their 2012 shows (…) – I can vouch for their energy, creativity and literary sense of mission.
Click and help. Here.