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    Alcalde de Bilbao


    Juan Mari Aburto. Mayor of Bilbao

    I stand by politics and vouch for it as a public service. The driving force behind our actions is the comprehensive progress of our society, with no one left behind. In the course of my long career in a number of posts in public institutions, that has been and still is my objective in each action I have led, and still lead.

    For some years now the workload has shown more of a tendency to encourage the general public and the social and economic agents of the City to prevent or cope better with unexpectedly serious situations: global pandemics, invasions and wars in Europe, supply shortages, levels of inflation not seen for almost forty years…

    Though the challenges we must face may be complex, just as citizens are showing resilience, at the Town Hall we are also making a contribution to guarantee resistance. These words are just as harsh as the challenges facing us in all areas where we have the capacity to act. One of those areas is culture.

    Culture has always served to shore up intellectually those who must produce ideas to solve challenges at any given time, and it continues to play a vital role at the present time. And, logically, in the territory of contemporary culture, we must pay attention in Bilbao to the programme we find in ZINEBI.

    In our International Festival of Documentary and Short Film we will not find the solution, for example, to the war in Ukraine — if only we could; but this year we will find the urgent testimony of filmmakers from this country invaded by Russia, in a most interesting programme of short films and documentaries made there by artistes committed to their times, who understand that a film does not win the war, but it does open the eyes of those of us who are not seeing the barbarity at close range. Even though news items in the media may no longer make the headlines, ZINEBI will remind us of something that we have not forgotten since February: that a war in Europe is a war at home.

    As the maximum exponent of thought, art has always been the most effective instrument to reflect on our current times. In the world of cinema, ZINEBI is Bilbao’s answer to this.