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Culture beat: 19 June

18:41 19/06/2015
Celebrate the summer solstice with free music and family festivals while saluting the sun in a global yoga gathering. Plus the latest from Mons 2015

Fête de la Musique is a street party celebration of francophone musical talent, now in its 31st year. Around 700 free concerts by musicians of all styles are being staged across Brussels and Wallonia from tonight (Friday) until Sunday evening. Cinquantenaire Park is the major outdoor venue and festival hub with activities starting on Saturday from 15.00, Sunday from 11.00. Bozar hosts its tradition concert with pianist Herbert Schuch guest of honour. Check the programme for concerts and kids’ event in your local commune or province.

Don’t miss a free and exclusive concert in Café Central this evening at 19.00 with Blaine L Reininger, accompanied on a 12-string guitar by the Bulletin’s very own Georgio ‘The Dove’ Valentino. Reininger, a founding member of San Francisco collective Tuxedomoon, is touring solo for the first time in 25 years.

The annual end-of-term party for the community arts school La Roseraie is Esprit de Famille, a festival for all ages. The green space theatre in Uccle (close to Linkebeek) is staging five French-language shows over the weekend that encompass poetry, music and circus as well as theatre. Games and activities will also keep the little ones entertained.  One highlight, the musical Sweet and Swing with Mademoiselle Lily (inspired by Mary Poppins) is also being performed in Huy, Perwez, Namur and Ottignies (from 18 months).

Roll out your mats, slip off your shoes and salute the sun in the first International Yoga Day in Bois de la Cambre on Sunday, from 10.30 to 12.00 (plus a session at the European Parliament). Free outdoor sessions for everyone, including beginners. Recommended dress code: white.


Among the raft of activities being staged for Mons 2015 this summer are two flagship exhibitions, Atopolis (at Manège de Sury until 18 October) and MONSens (at BAM, 20 June until 6 September). Atopolis is an ambitious project exploring cultural identity, curated by Dirk Snauwerts of Brussels’ contemporary art museum Wiels and Charlotte Friling. All the 23 artists on show (Walter Swennen, Benoît Plateus, Francis Alÿs and El Anatsui, among them) are passionate about the ideas of circulation and cultural diaspora. MONSens offers a contrasting view of contemporary art, axed in the creative works of mental patients and those marginalised by society and the traditional art world. The first part of the dual show is a retrospective, L’Art Brut d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, linking psychology and art, says curator Carine Fol (artistic director of Brussels’ Centrale and art historian). The works on display, by Belgian and European artists, trace asylum art, Art Brut and outsider art from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. While they range in style and perspective, many of the paintings, drawings and installations share characteristics such as repetition, minutiae of detail as well as representation of self. They provide a colourful and compelling portrait of this too frequently-overlooked genre of art. The second part of the exhibition, Interaction, curated by Yolande De Bontridder, centres the project firmly in Mons and the mental institution Le Carrosse. Over the past two years, artists of various disciplines have worked with residents (half of them never receive visits), in on-going creative workshops. The results, from giant masks, to sound recordings, installations, performance and a herbal garden, are testimony to the power and fruitfulness of such collaborations. “Not only the residents, but all the educators and staff, are incredibly proud of this project,” said Benoît Duplat, director of Le Carosse. One of its aims, in addition to demystifying mental health, is that the collaboration will continue beyond Mons 2015.

Written by Sarah Crew