2020 Program

Free admission until full capacity to all the events.

Friday 2 October

Opening ceremony of the 11th Edition of Ja! Bilbao Festival.


12:00 h.

Inauguración Ja! Bilbao 2018
Opening ceremony of the eleventh edition of the festival with authorities, guests and the general public. Free entry.

Friday 2 October

Conversation: Humour in the pandemic


Book signing after the event

El humor en la historia

Talk of COVID-10 had barely begun and coronavirus was already greeting people from its Twitter account with: “Does anyone want me to follow them?” From the memes with coffin bearers to jokes about the lack of toilet paper, we have turned to humour as a way of coping with uncertainty and fear since the beginning of these difficult times that we are going through. Nothing new under the sun. There are, for example, the paintings of Brueghel the Elder laughing in the face of the death sown by the black plague of the 14th century. Two comedy professionals, Alba Carballal and Dario Adanti —well-versed in pandemics, no kidding— will talk to us about that kind of nervous laughter that has always blossomed alongside epidemics.

Saturday 3 October

Converstion: Humour in mythology


in conversation with CÉSAR COCA

Book signing after the event

A vivir Cadena Ser Javier del Pino Ja Bilbao 2018

In both mythology and the classical tradition, there is no lack of humour, irony and sarcasm. It isn´t even necessary to invoke Iambe, the Greek goddess of laughter and poetry, to show that many mythological gods and figures were prone to joking and messing about in general. The Satyrs, Zeus and Loki are just some of them. Our guests, Carlos García Gual and Berta Vias-Mahou know everything about myths and the ancient world. They will talk about it with their characteristic erudition full of love and humour for mythological characters.

Saturday 3 October

Conversation: The Great Escape


Book signing after the event

El humor en la filosofía

The global confinement we have been subjected to is unprecedented in history. Along with fear, uncertainty and a feeling of vulnerability we find ourselves, in most cases, with all the free time ahead of us that we had yearned for. Having said that, without being able to leave home. How have we made use of that time? There has been no shortage of people who have admitted that they felt unable to concentrate on any kind of fiction, at least during the first few weeks, but it is a fact that the consumption of cultural products, whether books, films or music, increased dramatically during the period of confinement. What role has comical con-tent played here? Or have we just gone for films about the end of the world and all kinds of plagues? The writers Martín Caparrós and Aixa de la Cruz will tell us their impressions with the critical spirit that characterises them.

Sunday 4 October

Show: Magia parrastan



Concurso escolar

Games with cards, balls, ropes, appearances and disappearances, Imañol Ituiño presents his show ‘Magia parrastan’, full of humour and plenty of magic for all the family.

Sunday 4 October


in conversation with CAROLINA ONTIVERO

Javier Cansado Ja! Bilbao

Marta Sanz uses laughter as a diagnostic tool. Among her working materials there is always irony, satire and parody. She uses them to denounce “what pains her” in an apparently less violent way, but which “ends up being really stinging, especially in these times of political correctness”. Marta Sanz is an old friend of this festival and has participated in many of its editions, but she has never done so, as she deserves, with her work taking centre stage. The publication of ‘pequeñas mujeres rojas’ (small red women) , the final part of the trilogy of the unique detective Zarco from ‘Black, Black, black’ and ‘Un buen detective no se casa jamás’, (A Good Detective Never Marries), seems like a good excuse to make this the time to do so.

Thuesday 8 October



Book signing after the event

Mircea Cărtărescu

In 2014, Carlos Alsina, Rubén Amón, Manuel Jabois and the much missed David Gistau would talk about series and books on Friday night in a section of ‘La Brújula’ on Onda Cero which they gave the self-parodying name ‘La Cultureta’. A risky formula for a cultural pro-gramme on commercial radio, which, with a change of members and a parent programme — ‘Más de uno’ (More than one), also with Carlos Alsina—, is still broadcast on Onda Cero. With the same hallmarks —Woody Allen, Mary Beard, the Mafia, the Holocaust, trains— and a growing number of followers including this festival. At the beginning, ‘La Cultureta’ was broadcast from clandestine locations —escaping from Moretti—, but it has never done so from such an exotic place as this festival. With “Father Amón” in charge of this ‘Gran Reserva’ edition, we will be accompanied by the “culturetas” Guillermo Altares, Rosa Bel-monte, Sergio del Molino and Isabel Vázquez.

Friday 9 October

Conversation: Humour in Galdós.


Book signing after the event

El humor en el terror

Benito Pérez Galdós is one of the greatest authors in the Spanish language. Very close to Cervantes, of whose humour he is probably the clearest inheritor. However, the literature of Galdós is also influenced by the picaresque novel of the 17th century and the major au-thors of “good humour” who were contemporaries of his such as Dickens. Refined, ironi-cal, mocking, sarcastic and sometimes bitter, the humour of Galdós doesn´t seek to offend or be caustic, but rather to describe the human tragicomedy to his (so many and so happy) readers. In the centenary year of the death of Galdós, we want to remember the person, the work and above all, an aspect of the work, the humour, which has never been sufficiently emphasised. In order to celebrate this important anniversary, we will have two great experts on the life and work of the person being honoured: Rosa Belmonte and María Elvira Roca Barea.

Friday 9 October

Conversation: Shoot the comic


Book signing after the event

Silvia Abril Ja Bilbao 2018
Woody Allen has gone from being a genius to a monster in barely ten years due to an accu-sation that has been legally dismissed and in which there have been no new developments. What has changed is the perception of part of a society that is increasingly sentimental, vic-timising and sensitive to offence, where reality and fiction are often confused, and causes are embraced which for some people justify the loss of individual rights. Social networks and the internet are there to ensure that everything attains cosmic dimensions. Edu Galán has called this new form of public lynching ‘The Woody Allen syndrome’ It doesn´t exclusively apply to comics, but in recent times many of them have become a target. There can be little defence against such an arbitrary attack. At best you can laugh at it. That is what Raúl Cimas did when he was accused of “ being extremely full of himself”, lying in the stories he tells, and insisting on parody.

Saturday 10 October


interviewed by th BORJA CRESPO

Book signing after the event

Soledad Puértolas

Pantomima Full is formed by Alberto Casado and Rober Bodegas, two guys who hate every-thing around them and who create hilarious sketches about it. They parody the average city dweller aged between 20 and 40 with their hatreds, obsessions and interests in life: “going to terraces, pretty girls and gin and tonics”, basically. Light humour about everyday life, that perfectly depicts the virtues and evils of character and the lifestyle of a generation whose main means of communication is the internet. We will get to know these “little rogues” better through their talk with Borja Crespo. Today we´re going out!

Sunday 11 October

INÉS PARÍS’s Top ten humor sequences

In conversation with JUAN BAS

Book signing after the even


David Foenkinos Ja Bilbao 2018

A new edition of this section where a guest joins the director of the festival to comment on the screening of their ten favourite comedy scenes. This edition will star Inés París, director and scriptwriter for film and television, whose films notably include ‘A mi madre le gustan las mujeres’ (My Mother Likes Women) (2002), ‘Semen, una historia de amor’ (Semen, a Love Sample), (2005), both alongside Daniela Fejerman, and ‘La noche que mi madre mató a mi padre’ (The Night My Mother Killed My Father) (2016).

Exhibitions Ja! Bilbao 2020

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