The French translation of Hoy no es el día by Josune Urrutia Asua has just been released by Cambourakis Editions under the title Ce n’est pas encore le jour. In this interview, we discuss with the illustrator and researcher holding the ICI / Iméra Chair – Research-Creation in Oncology and Immunology (2023-24) about this comic book that recounts the story of six female artists affected by cancer, and how they fought against stigma and experienced this journey.

mokup livre josune urrutia asua chercheuse en residence imera marseille

“Art, drawing in particular, is a vehicle, a process to understand and share experiences, especially those that put life in danger,” says Josune Urrutia Asua. And that’s what she does in her book. She tells through drawing the experience of each of the female artists who inspired her. They were dancers, poets, writers, sculptors, and photographers. In their fight against the disease, they expressed themselves through their art.

In 2010, at the age of 34, Josune Urrutia Asua was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her loved ones then told her about Beatriz da Costa, Anna Halprin, Aude Lordre, Susan Sontag, Jo Spence, and Hannah Wilke, six artists who, before her, had fought against this disease. Most of these artists, Josune Urrutia knew them. But she knew nothing about their connection to cancer. Curious, she decided to delve deeper into her research. To realize in the end that she was not alone in her situation, that others before her had experienced the same thing.

The lesson she learned from this experience is that “we are connected to each other, we are connected to our ancestors, we are even connected to people we do not know.”

“For me, it was an incredible experience to discover these women who had a similar experience to mine many years earlier and who had said things that I was experiencing in turn about the body, illness, vulnerability. I felt connected to these women who had a similar experience to mine,” says Josune Urrutia.

Currently an artist in annual residence at Iméra, the Institute for Advanced Studies of Aix-Marseille University, Josune “seeks to explore the research lines of the Cancer and Immunology Institute (ICI) in Marseille, diving into the latest advances in the fight against cancer” from this institute.

Two presentations and book signing of Ce n’est pas encore le jour will be organized at the Angoulême Comics Festival (January 25-28) and at the Maupetit bookstore in Marseille (February 20), visit the agenda section of our website for more details.

About our resident research fellow

Josune Urrutia Asua is an artist, illustrator, and comic book artist; she holds the ICI / Iméra Chair – Research-Creation in Oncology and Immunology 2023-24.

Josune Urrutia Asua’s research at Iméra, the Institute for Advanced Study of Aix-Marseille University, highlights the power of drawing and graphic narratives as innovative tools in the field of scientific exploration. Her dedication to making knowledge accessible and her use of creative storytelling bring a human dimension to cancer research, fostering a better understanding of this complex disease.

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