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What’s on this week: 1-7 April

13:30 31/03/2022
As the Easter holidays begin, we highlight family activities, from maritime adventures to a treasure hunt and museum capers, as well as our usual round-up of new shows and activities

Exploring Man’s quest to conquer oceans, this travelling exhibition the biggest one to trace the history of navigation has now embarked in Belgium. Une Grande Histoire de la Navigation takes visitors on an immersive journey through the ages with animations, sets and over 200 scale models and objects. With water covering some 70% of the earth’s surface, the desire to conquer the element drove scientific and technical discovery. This 1,500m2 exhibition space offers a glimpse into this thirst for knowledge and travel. 2 April-31 August, Brussels Expo, Place de la Belgique 1 (Laeken)

Charlotte Perriand Le Grand Misère de Paris 1936 (c) ADAGP

The lockdown of 2020 brought into sharp focus our need for green space and a connection to nature. French modern architect Charlotte Perriand pointed this out nearly 100 years ago in photographic montages in which she criticised the lack of vision in creating urban landscapes. How do We Want to Live? Politics of Photomontage features these photographic frescoes, which insist on a transformation of daily life. 1 April to 28 August, Design Museum Brussels, Place de Belgique

Project Palace (c) Bozar

It was 100 years ago this week that Brussels mayor Adolphe Max approved the construction of the Palais des Beaux-Arts. Project Palace: A Centenary is a months-long celebration at the arts space we now know as Bozar. One artist will set up shop in the building and create work inspired by its architecture, while another will take a critical look at its relationship to colonialism in an exhibition inviting 10 artists to reflect on the centre’s past and present. The opening weekend sees a screening of work by Belgian film pioneer Henri Storck. That’s just a few of the activities that run into the summer. 1 April to 21 July, Rue Ravenstein 23

Kids activities (c) Fine Arts Museum

The Easter school holiday means hunting down activities to keep the kids busy. Over in the caverns of Coudenberg Palace, you’ll find a treasure hunt and a murder mystery game (with real ghosts), while the Ten Noey cultural centre in Saint-Josse hosts all kinds of free shows and storytelling sessions, in multiple languages. While at the Fine Arts Museum, kids aged eight to 12 can learn about the old masters through fun games and activities. And The Little Prince exhibition is still on at Brussels Expo, a playful and interactive immersive show for all ages.

Marie Darah Festival Lezards Urbains

For its 17th edition the Festival Lezarts Urbains, presents a programme focused on inclusivity. Showing that street culture is not confined to men, the programme features the increasing number of women on the scene. Joining forces with KVS, the festival showcases a culture too frequently marginalised. Discover a range of productions and dance styles plus bonus appearances from rap and slam artists, battles, talks and workshops, including a free one by slammer Marie Darah (pictured). Two headline acts are BLIND by Hendrickx Ntela that questions freedom of thought, and UNMUTED by Sisterhood, a collective of women of African descent. 2 & 3 April, KVS, Quai aux Pierres de Taille 7

L'heure d'hiver film festival Beirut (c) Cinema Galeries

Cinema Galeries L’heure d’hiver film festival puts a different international city in the spotlight every year. This year it is Beirut, with a unique programme of several decades of shorts, features and documentaries about or set in this beleaguered city. 4-17 April, Galerie de la Reine 28

Korean Treasures re-discovered (c) KMRH

Finally going on display for the first time in Belgium are a series of Korean artifacts returned to their country of origin by the Royal Museum of Art and History. Following a showing in Korea in 2021, they’re now back in Brussels for the free exhibition Korean Treasures in Belgium Re-discovered. Celadons, Folding Screens, and Diplomatic Archives. Among the rare artworks and objects are six ancient celadon gourds (example, pictured), a bronze kundika, a gilt-bronze case for acupuncture needles, along with other valuable items such as a diplomatic archive from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The latter includes an original version of the Belgium-Korea Treaty of 1901. Until 13 May. Korean Cultural Center, Rue de la Régence 4

Gudule - Brussels Urban Winery

Community hub Be-Here is organising a Brussels Artisan Market every first Saturday of the spring months. It’s an opportunity for the public to meet the centre’s entrepreneurs, Greenbizz and some 20 artisans in the capital, including Gudule, Brussels urban winery (pictured). The free event is equally family-friendly with a bouncy castle for the little ones and musical entertainment by Peter Veyt. 02 April 11.00-19.00, 4 Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre (Laeken)

Glenn Wool

English Comedy Brussels invites Glenn Wool (pictured) to perform his headlining act The Tiny King of Winter at its Tuesday evening show. One of the most sought-after comics on the circuit, The Guardian describes him as “effortlessly funny with affability other comedians can only dream of”. Dutchman Edo Berger will be warming up the crowd. 5 April, Aloft Hotel (Etterbeek)

BWC spring market

Looking for a unique or unusual gift for yourself or someone special? Visit the Brussels Women's Club Spring Market where you'll find hand-made jewellery, delicious home-made cakes, jams, English books, Easter treats and decorations, plants and garden items, brocante and more. And while you're browsing, reward yourself with a pitstop at the fair’s cafe, serving a variety of goodies. 2 April, 10.00-14.00, Rue au Bois 509 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)  


Floralia (c) Visit Flanders

That annual splash of beautiful colours can be seen again at Groot-Bijgaarden Castle as the annual Floralia Brussels returns. The glorious castle grounds are home to literally millions of blooming flowers every April, encompassing every spring bulb variety there is. They line paths, surround fountains and are part of delightful landscape designs. Don’t miss the greenhouse, tower and chapel, also open to the public. Visitors will find a cafeteria in the greenhouse, too. 2 April to 3 May, Isidoor Van Beverenstraat 5, Groot-Bijgaarden

Grottes de Han

Among the many theme parks and family attractions now open for the season is the Grottes de Han near Rochefort, in Namur province. The extensive site offers multiple activities, including underground caves exploring geological treasures, a wildlife reserve with big mammals, a tourist train and a busy programme of activities, from sound and light shows to concerts. There’s also camping, glamping and hotel facilities available on-site. 2 Rue Joseph Lamotte, Han-sur-Lesse

CHINE_extrait de film Le détachement féminin rouge 1961 (c) Harvard film archive - China film Museum

One in five women in the world is Chinese, yet until now not a single exhibition has been dedicated to them. Chinese Women: A Modern Adventure takes a new look at China and presents a rare portrait of the nation’s women and how its perspective of them radically altered in the 20th century. Some 70 objects are on display, from authentic clothes, jewellery, photos and propaganda posters to contemporary works, including Zhou Wenjing's sculpture Red Series N°3. Personal testimonies recount the lives of women while also tracing the history of the country. The beautiful grounds of this château museum, featuring English-style gardens with rare trees, orchards, fountains and sculptures are well worth exploring. 2 April to 23 October, Musée Royal de Mariemont, Chaussée de Mariemont 100, Morlanwelz

The Convert (c) Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

Get tickets now: The Convert Opera Ballet Vlaanderen presents a brand new opera based on the book of the same name by Belgian author Stefan Hertmans. In English, the opera relates the story of a young noblewoman in the 11th century who defies her family and follows her heart, across continents and religions. Opera Vlaanderen productions sell out quickly, so buy now. (In English with Dutch surtitles) 24 April to 19 May Opera Antwerp, 27 May to 4 June, Opera Gent


Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw