Ja! Bilbao 8th Edition

27th September – 8th October 2017

Juan Bas
Cartel 2016 Ja Bilbao


ladies and gentlemen, to the eight edition of the Ja! Bilbao Festival. Max has created this fantastic illustration for us of a smiling Humpty Dumpty with a sharp “Ja!” between his jaws that is really annoying the Grim Reaper. It really suits the festival line-up: Alice and the unsettling Cheshire cat as imagined by John Tenniel. This leads us to the great American writer who is receiving the Ja! Bilbao BBK Prize this year. Joyce Carol Oates has admitted that her literary vocation was sparked by this book. She did not want to be Alice, she wanted to be Lewis Carroll. When we informed her about the prize, she said that is was a fantastic surprise and that she was delighted to accept it. It seemed appropriate for our aims that a European festival, with humorous literature at the forefront, should highlight the black and modern humour (which is also unsettling, like the cat) found in a large part of her extensive work.

The feminist facet of Joyce Carol Oates is linked to another of the main commitments of the programming this year, dedicated to a rebellious and resistant woman, who used humour to combat the dark period she lived through in her youth. I am referring to the exhibition to mark the centenary of the birth of the poet Gloria Fuertes, which is coming to Bilbao following its successful display at the Fernán-Gómez Cultural Centre in Madrid.

Accompanying the prestigious writer Oates, we will have lots us writers with us this year. They include Luis Landero, Javier Cercas, Harkaitz Cano, Juan Pablo Villalobos and Antonio Orejudo. We also have the unclassifiable free agents Ignatius Farray and Juan Carlos Ortega. We have Tricicle, who will talk about their wordless humour, and Javier Gomá and Miguel Zugaza who will converse about an appealing subject: humour in painting. Below you can see all of the stars on the day by day programme, which we have created with excitement and care to make it both interesting and satisfying for you.

Good health, emancipation and joyous Ja!

Juan Bas
Festival Director

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