The 15th edition will take place from October 10th to 20th in Bilbao. The festival will be held in the same main venues as the previous edition: Sala BBK (Gran Vía 19), a staple venue for Ja! since its inception in 2010, is to host the first week of the programme. The second part will take place in Bizkaia Aretoa – UPV/EHU (Avda. Abandoibarra, 3), in the auditorium of the University of the Basque Country, located between the Guggenheim and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.

As usual, this year’s programme for Ja! 2024 will feature prominent national and international authors, discussing a range of topics related in one way or another to humour. The entire programme will not be released until mid-September, but we can already reveal the main theme of the edition and some of its protagonists.

Kafka as the programme’s main theme and in Javier Jaén’s poster.

Ja! Festival joins in the worldwide commemoration of the centenary of the death of Franz Kafka, the great Czech author who wrote in German his enduring and genuine work, one of the foundations of modern literature.

Kafka’s persona, work, relationships and repercussions will be dealt with from different aspects within the festival’s programme. In terms of subject matter, special attention will be devoted to humour in Kafka’s literature, which is a fundamental and lesser-known feature of his work; it is expected to relate the Kafkaesque to gloomy aspects and anguishing pursuits, disregarding the unique dark comedy that runs through Kafka’s literature. He was known to burst out laughing while reading his own stories aloud to his friends, something he used to do quite frequently.

Cartel Ja 2024

Like previous years, the poster for this 2024 edition is the work of graphic artist Javier Jaén. The artist chose a cheerful palette to contrast with Kafka’s insect-like portrait in a clear throwback to ‘The Metamorphosis’, one of universal literature’s most influential and widely interpreted works.