Ja! Bilbao 7th Edition

28th September – 9th October 2016


ladies and gentlemen, to the seventh edition of the Ja! Bilbao Festival. While last year the unofficial theme was taboos and the limits of humour, this edition we have chosen another, linked to the last one, that is also relevant at the moment and causes controversy. We are talking about the weak yet simultaneously rigid orthodoxy of political correctness. We are talking about political correctness as a restraint and a veiled form of censure (often self-censure) of critical and free humour; of the freedom of satire, which for those of us who earn a living from humour is our (modest) academic freedom.

This matter is examined from several perspectives, but always as something to be opposed to, in a large number of the events on the programme. This begins with John Cleese himself, our winner of the 2016 BBK Ja! Bilbao Award. Recently he has expressed his worry in the media that any steely satirical comment will be classed as cruel and ruled out or sanctioned, which is an attack against the essence of humour and its scope of action. In turn, Elvira Lindo will deal with intrusive correctness in a monologue about her own experience as a comic writer that will be entitled “An inconvenient woman”. Patricio Pron and Adam Soboczynski (author of The Book of Vices) will take about virtue and correctness as new vices; Marta Sanz, Edu Galán and Manuel Rodríguez Rivero will talk about satire; and Joaquín Reyes and Ernesto Sevilla will show how incorrect they remain by reviewing the zany humour of “Muchachada Nui” and “La hora chanante”, programs considered to be the direct successors of the mythical and irreverent Flying Circus that Monty Python´s John Cleese belonged to.

I cannot stop mentioning the exhibition on the work of Max, in the Edificio Ensanche, that you can enjoy during October. I think that it will also be of interest to you and will liven up the rest of the programme. Once again we have racked our brains in order to come up with it.

Good health, incorrectness and free humour (or was it love?). Happy Ja! Festival

Juan Bas
Festival Director

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