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What’s on: 27 September to 3 October

17:01 26/09/2019
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

After five editions dedicated to far-away lands, Belgium’s biennial arts festival Europalia returns to the EU for its 50th anniversary edition. Europalia Romania takes on the ambitious task of showcasing the arts and culture of an Eastern European country continuing to recover from a profoundly turbulent 20th century. With the loss of territorial control to Soviet occupation, forced labour camps, severe poverty and a violent revolution, social and political events have largely shaped Romanian art movements. The highlight of the expansive programme is a retrospective of work by modernist sculptor Constantin Brancusi, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. The festival also includes performing arts, music, cinema and literature. It’s based in Brussels but takes in several cities across the country. 2 October to 2 February, across Belgium

The Hangar Electronic Music Experience is back for its second year, this time collaborating with Italian DJs Agents of Time for a project called Cymatiks. Expect a mix of music and visuals ‘to engage the senses and fire up the imagination’. 28 September 18.00-6.00, KeyWest, Digue du Canal 8 (Anderlecht)

The Master's Tools

Ever with its finger on the pulse, the capital’s annual Nuit Blanche looks at the relationship between humans and nature this year – namely the former’s impact on the latter. The super-cool event sees a wide variety of in-situ performances and multi-media projections staged in a different neighbourhood every year. This year’s event can be found at Tour & Taxies. And believe the nuit part – it really does go all night. 5 October, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86c

Lunch with an Architect launches its fifth season with Sou Fujimoto, one of the leading figures of Japanese minimalist architecture. His buildings fully embrace a 21st-century ethos of being sustainable and blending in with the natural surroundings, sometimes looking as if they’ve sprouted from the earth themselves. 2 October 12.00-14.00, Flagey, Place Ste Croix (Ixelles)

Brussels Street Photography Festival

Visitors laugh out loud at the Brussels Street Photography Festival, which offers up some of the most charming, intriguing and enlightening photographs taken over the last year in urban settings around the world. Also a competition, the finalists on show were taken by both professionals and amateurs. The festival promotes street photography as an urban research tool but also as a form of cultural communication as it sees a city through the unique eyes of its own citizens. Besides the exhibition, there are talks, workshops and photo walks. All of the exhibitions and activities are free and most of them are in English. 3-18 October, across Brussels

Concerned citizens are staging the March Along Metro 3 to let local authorities known that they are interested in alternatives to the new line planned from Evere to Forest. They’re not necessarily against cutting another underground tunnel for the line, but want everyone to know what that entails and what other options are open to improve mobility in Brussels. The event includes information and talks. 28 September 10.30-20.00

One of the most vivid omissions from the list of the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature is Virginia Woolf. One of the greatest essayists and authors of the 19th and 20th centuries, Woolf was perhaps the victim of a distinct lack of gender balance in the prize’s 118-year history. In any case, Passa Porta awards its ‘Noble Prize’ every autumn to an author who ‘could have – and perhaps should have’ – won the prize in the past. The evening includes readings and talks, and Virginia Nicholson, the granddaughter of Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell, will be there to receive the prize. (In English, French and Dutch) 1 October 20.00-22.00, Rue Antoine Dansaert 46

A mummy at Crossroads

Travelling through a period often referred to as the ‘Dark Ages’, the Crossroads exhibition lays bare a number of issues related to the middle ages, such as connections, Roman heritage, knowledge, identity, warfare, faith and, as you can see, burial rites. This major show brings together priceless archaeological and fine arts pieces from both Belgium and abroad. 27 September to 29 March, Art & History Museum, Cinquantenaire Park 10

It’s the third edition of Nuits Sonores & European Lab Brussels, an event that is part forum, part dance party. While the kick-off European Lab features conferences, debates, documentary screenings and citizen initiatives that shed light on the political, economic and digital developments in the cultural and creatives sectors, the Sonores puts it all into action, with concerts, performance art and electro raves. 3-6 October, Bozar and other venues

Brussels for Her, part of the international A City for Her movement, is hosting a breakfast business networking event for women. All working women, business travellers, entrepreneurs and students are welcome, but you have to sign up in advance. (In English) 2 October 8.30-11.30, L’Alchimiste, Rue de Savoie 59 (Saint-Gilles)

Adoration

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

The Festival of Francophone Film certainly sees its share of Belgian and French cinema, but also films from further afield, such as Morocco, Switzerland and Canada. The event takes over Namur, with hundreds of film screenings, special guests, parties, workshops and other unique activities like visiting film sets. In Belgian cinema, be sure to check out Fabrice du Welz’s Adoration (pictured), in which an infatuated boy is led into increasingly perilous situations by a young psychiatric patient, and Mathieu Mortelmans’ thriller Bastaard, in which young Daan becomes sceptical of the intentions of a homeless teenager his mother has taken in. 27 September to 4 October

The Festivals of Wallonia, dedicated to classical and new music, see provinces and cities throwing their own versions. In October, it’s Hainaut’s turn, as elements of world and jazz sneak into the programme of concerts, which are staged in historical buildings, concert halls and museums across the region. 2-20 October, across Hainaut

Photos, from top: The Scarlet Princess ©Paul Baila, The Master’s Tools / courtesy Nuit Blanche, ©Aristide Economopoulos - 2019 BSPF Finalist, courtesy Art & History Museum, courtesy FIFF

Written by Lisa Bradshaw