Warming up

Ja! will hold its thirteenth edition in Bilbao from 29 September to 11 October 2022. We will celebrate it by laughing at ourselves, lousy luck and the superstition surrounding the number related to disaster. This is reflected in the wonderful poster that Javier Jaén(«Ja-Ja en el Ja!», he said) has designed for this year’s edition. Javier Jaén, graphic illustrator and internationally renowned artist, will be the protagonist of a retrospective exhibition of his work, the first of his career, produced by the festival with the author’s supervision. It will be on show from 11 October to 4 November in the exhibition halls of Bizkaia Aretoa, the University of the Basque Country auditorium. 

This new festival location will be one of the novelties of the thirteenth edition. As in previous years, some of the events will occur in the Sala BBK (Gran Vía, 19). We will be there during the programme’s first week: from Thursday 29 September to Sunday 2 October. The festival’s second week will take place in the Mitxelena Auditorium of the Bizkaia Aretoa at the UPV/EHU (Abandoibarra, 3) from 6 October. After that, it will run alongside Javier Jaén’s exhibition until 4 November. This splendid central space in the city will be available thanks to the sponsorship of the Department of Basque and Culture of the Bizkaia Campus of the Basque Country.

In fact, our 2022 edition will start a little earlier. Ja! is integrated for the first time in Naukas, a science, scepticism and humour festival. The comedian Raquel Sastre, invited to both festivals, will deliver an amusing dissertation on superstition on 16 September as part of the Naukas Bilbao programme.

This year we are also launching an innovative version of the logo, our Ja! logo, which is at the heading of the pages of this equally updated website, one of which is to show the orderly life of the festival from 2010 to date. Over this long period of time, the most remarkable features are the magnificent authors who have participated in the festival and the discussions they have participated in. Whoever wishes to delve deeper into this now has a complete history of the protagonists and the events that have taken place at Ja!, arranged in chronological order. Not only in the video version available on our YouTube channel; now you can also listen to the discussions in the podcasts uploaded on Ivoox (soon, also on Spotify). Videos and podcasts are the direct access through these platforms and also from this website, where the entire programme of the 2022 edition will be detailed in due course – mid-September -, a programme for which we are throwing all the black cats into the ring to make it of interest and maximum enjoyment for the public.

So, bad luck on festival 13? Ja! Fingers crossed; we chipped the ladder leaning against the wall so as not to go under it.

Juan Bas and Carolina Ontivero

Directors of the festival