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What’s on this week: 1-7 October

14:04 30/09/2021
Our top picks of events and activities in Brussels and beyond

The Antwerp Six put Belgium on the fashion map in the 1980s when they showed together at London Fashion Week. Since then, the port city has been considered a fashion capital, but Brussels is making more and more a name for itself. Is there something that pulls Brussels fashion design together? Find out at Brussels Touch, an exhibition at the Fashion and Lace Museum. Until 22 May, Rue de la Violette 12

A new pop-up restaurant is in town, and, while it might not be the only one, it certainly has the best location. Serre is on the roof of the KBR, formerly known as the Royal Library. Enjoy lunch or dinner in your own personal greenhouse with outstanding views of Brussels, for one month only. 1-31 October, Mont des Arts 28

Louis De Funès

The Palace cinema on Anspach has dedicated its first exhibition to the 20th-century French comic actor Louis De Funès. The inevitable winner of every poll on France’s favourite actor, De Funès (pictured) appeared in some 150 movies until his death in 1983. This exhibition was first staged in Paris to great acclaim from the public and critics alike. And it will of course come with a retrospective of some of De Funès’ most beloved films, including Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez and Le Corniaud (The Sucker). 2 October to 6 January, opening event 30 September

Learn about the flora and fauna that make up the beautiful Tervuren Arboretum, part of the Sonian Forest, during the next outing of the Guided Tours for Internationals. The Arboretum is something of an open-air museum, with more than 700 species of trees, from Europe, Asia and America. Check out the sequoias from the west coast of North America, the tallest species of tree in the world. 3 October 10.00

Sylvie Fleury's ‘Tableau no 1’, 1992

“Nothing is serious enough to take seriously,” said the great avant-garde artist Marcel Duchamp. And that is ING Bank’s starting point for the exhibition Hahaha: The Humour of Art at its culture centre in Brussels. The show looks at art movement revolutions memorable for being absurd. Duchamp himself changed the direction of art right before the First World War by tipping a urinal on its side and calling it art. This simple joke had an everlasting impact, with Dadaism, caricature and modernism to follow. Until 16 January, Place Royale 6

The hybrid Nuits Sonores and European Lab Brussels festival is back, with the former mixing music and visual arts in new and inventive ways and the latter providing discussions among European artists and thinkers on how cultural institutions and average citizens can tackle the big issues. It’s an eclectic programme, but don’t think too hard, just dive in. 6-10 October, Bozar and other venues

A still from the film Globes

The bee colony is immortal. It can live forever.’ With this concept – true, but rarely considered –  Brussels filmmaker Nina De Vroome takes us on the journey of the humble bee, from the smallest cell in a honeycomb to the global economy. Her documentary Globes charts the bond between humans and bees, one which if broken destroys not just the economy but our very sustenance. Screening at Cinema Nova, the film is followed by a talk with the director on 30 September and on 10 and 15 October (in French).  (Film in multiple languages, with subtitles in English, French and Dutch) 30 September to 15 October, Cinema Nova, Rue d’Arenberg 3

Sometimes tucked inside private quarters and sometimes hidden in plain sight, some of the greatest architectural masterpieces in the world can be found in Brussels. Putting it all in the spotlight, the Artonov Festival and the Biennale of Eclectic Architecture take place simultaneously. The former brings together the performing, culinary and visual arts for one-of-a-kind activities in all manner of interiors, while the latter features architectural techniques from 1830 to 1914, when eclecticism gained a foothold in the fast-growing capital of a new country. Artonov 3-10 October; Biennale 2-10 October, both across Brussels

Mary Beard

Bozar hosts Writers & Thinkers, a series of talks with a wide range of talents, from the young Dutch phenom Marieke Lucas Rijneveld to iconic British feminist Mary Beard (pictured). 6 October to 13 December, Rue Ravenstein 23

Get tickets now: Richard Powers  With La Monnaie just wrapping up a run of the new opera based on Richard Powers’ brilliant novel The Time of Our Singing, it’s time to meet the author. Snag tickets now to this interview with the American writer of such luminary works as The Gold Bug Variations and The Echo Maker. He’ll also be talking about his new book, Bewilderment. 8 November 20.00-21.30, Pass Porta, Rue Antoine Dansaert 46

Two guys eating waffles


Flanders Food Festival is celebrating the ability to gather together to eat again after long months of solitary meals and closed restaurants. There are special menus, tastings, cooking workshops and an afternoon tea or two among the vast offer. A convenient search bar lets you explore events by place, date, subject or price. A quick look this weekend, for instance, gives us a tasting tour in Mechelen’s Vleeshalle food market, free champagne in Bruges and much more. 1 October to 7 November, across Flanders

Whether you are a professional illustrator or cannot draw a stick figure, you’ll get something out of Drawing Days in Hasselt. Some 50 activities are spread across the Limburg capital in culture houses and museum but also in squares and streets. For those who just want to look, the Window Walk is a must, with 40 artists decorating windows, creating everything from doodles to intricate stories. In museums, meanwhile, you can see special exhibitions where you can try your hand at drawing yourself – with dyes in a lab, say, or with pencils as a model stands before you. And those options are just the beginning. 1-3 October, across Hasselt

Photos, from top: ©Caroline Lessire; courtesy Palace; ©Sylvie Fleury, ‘Tableau no 1’, 1992; courtesy Cinema Nova; ©BBC; courtesy Flanders Food Festival


Written by Lisa Bradshaw