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See Brussels' museums in a different way at Come Back festival

07:00 15/09/2020

More than 40 Brussels museums, from Bozar to the International Puppet Museum, are working together on a joint project to encourage visitors to come back – or discover them for the first time.

The Come Back festival, from 1-4 October, will see each museum invite artists and other cultural organisations to take over their spaces to offer the Brussels audience a programme that is “100% safe, comforting, relaxed and above all, positive”.

The point is to offer a space to artists and associations who have not had the opportunity to express themselves or perform since the coronavirus shutdown began in mid-March.

Through these collaborations between museums and external artistic and event partners, Come Back will present more than 70 events in a multidisciplinary programme of performances, workshops, guided tours, and children’s activities in each participating museum and a number of outdoor activities.

The breadth of the offer is remarkably wide and there really is something for everyone. Here are just a dozen of the possibilities - and these are available in English.

1 October

Balancetoi: Aerial Fabric, Juggling & Jazz: At Geopolis, with the photo exhibition “The Planet through the Eyes of Thomas Pesquet” as a background, the circus and theatre company Balancetoi will present their impressive air silk and juggling skills followed by a jazz concert.

Manneken’s Tracks: At the Garde-Robe du Manneken Pis you’ll find “Manneken’s Tracks” in which artists Emilie Flamant and Stéphanie Goemere encouraged primary school students to let their imagination fly as to what adventures Brussels’ most famous little boy could get up to, resulting in a sound and visual installation.

Musical Trip to the 15th Century: In the newly created KBR Museum at the Royal Library, visitors will make their way to the 15th century Nassau Chapel where, surrounded by manuscripts, artworks, and the Gothic splendour of the chapel, they will be transported to another era by the music created by the voices and instruments of the ensemble.

2 October

Custom Boards Workshop: At the Halles Saint-Géry, the Chalk Custom Board Project will hold a workshop where you can make a custom skateboard. All the necessary materials will be provided and at the end of the session you take your work home with you.

Sprot: At the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, Professor Posterior will get you limber, with a wild aerobics session that she calls Sprot! So if you’re looking for a change of attitude, a laugh and a dose of sweat, this is for you.

Zenne Lied: The Sewer Museum uncovers a hidden gem of the city, the sewer system and the underground river Senne, essential and mysterious. Lotte Van Gelder makes the invisible visible with her waterfall of movements that complement an installation by local residents.

3 October

Gothic Modernity: At the Brussels City Museum, the five-metre-tall original weathervane of Saint Michael which used to stand at the top of city hall spire is a sight to behold on a normal day, but Collectif Acéphale’s digital installation which mixes video mapping, sound drones and lighting, moves it up to a whole new level.

Entre Deux – A Dancer’s Trail: At MoMuse, the Museum of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Justine Copette and her company JC Choreography take you on a dance tour through the exhibition halls of the museum for an original way to discover the museum’s treasures.

Skuomachine X Floop VJ: At MIMA, visual artist duo Floop VJ joins DJ Skuomachine for a hallucinatory mix of music and images in a series of illustrated musical sets here and there in the museum.

4 October

40’s DJ & Spy Documentary: The House of the Parachutist Agents (1940-45) is a truly unique museum so it’s no surprise that the music provider for this show is Mr Serge 78rpm DJ who will be creating a musical atmosphere of the 1940s as the visitor follows the mission of secret agents parachuted into Belgium in a spy documentary.

Feminist & Decolonial Guided Tour: This guided tour conducted by Bamko-Cran vzw focuses on the role women played during the colonial period.

Create Your Very Own Lego Car: At Autoworld, surrounded by gorgeous historical cars, kids, with the help of Key Vision, will create their own dream car with Lego blocks.

Reservations are mandatory and some of the performances occur more than once and on different days - sometimes with language changes - so check at www.comeback.brussels. Additionally, nine of the events will also be repeated after 4 October.

Written by Richard Harris