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What’s on this week: 10-16 January

20:12 09/01/2020
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

Step into Bozar’s concert hall, take a seat among surround-sound speakers and put on a blindfold. Hearing the music without being distracted is the idea behind Blinded: A Sensational Journey into Music. Musicians will play an eclectic mix of pop, rock, classical, chanson and more, some well-known and some less so. The Blinded project is carried out in partnership with Fondation I See, which helps the blind and visually impaired live more independently. Proceeds go to support training for guide dogs. 9-12 January, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Kimchi is a cousin of sauerkraut, but many Europeans are unfamiliar with the Korean speciality. Everyone has their own recipe, and there are hundreds of possible mixes of spices to choose from. Fermenthings pop-up shop in Laken is giving a workshop on making your own kimchi in English and French, from selecting ingredients to fermenting to recipes using the final product. 14 January 19.30-22.30, Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre 4

If ‘Siberia’ only brings up visions of frostbite and forced labour camps, then go along to the Open Siberia Festival to discover just how vastly diverse this region of Eurasia is. Dance, food, theatre, games and workshops for young and old. Admission is free. 11 January 15.00-22.22, Rue du Meridien 21 (Saint-Josse)

 River Jazz Festival

In January, Brussels hosts not one, not two, but three jazz festivals. Pick your poison among Djangofollies (a tribute to the great Belgian-born Django Reinhardt), Brussels Jazz Festival (where locals intermingle with exciting international names) and the River Jazz Festival (hosted by three stalwart jazz clubs). Some shows are sold out already, so check all the programmes asap. 8-31 January, across Brussels

The Brussels chapter of the international organisation The Arts Society welcomes members and non-members alike to its talks, always in English. Next up is Mad Men and Artists: How the Advertising Industry has Exploited Fine Art, a look at how the arts has provided a wealth of material for creative campaigns. 15 January 19.30 drinks, 20.00 lecture, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert Town Hall, 2 Avenue Paul Hymans

Wondering what the Extinction Rebellion is all about? The environmental activist group that has been a hot topic in the news lately is holding an event to create ‘affinity groups’. It will also provide an introduction to its mission and activities, all in English. 13 January 19.00-22.00

 Apero Afterwork

Apéro Afterwork’s New Year edition is at Brasserie Tennessee in the heart of the EU district. Show up anytime during the evening to join fellow expats for drinks, nibbles and fine conversation. 15 January 18.00-00.30, Rue Joseph II 100

If you’re looking for a new hobby in 2020, check out Art & Wine, where you create the art (and drink the wine). This week, you’ll be led through how to create a diptych that can open and close. English spoken. 17 January 18.30-21.30, Atelier Bonjour, Chaussee de Vleurgat 213 (Ixelles)

Book now: Snap up a ticket to see American violinist Stella Chen, last year’s Queen Elisabeth Competition winner, play a wonderfully varied programme that includes Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, Beethoven’s Sonata for violin and piano no 10 and Brahms’ Sonata for violin and piano FAE. She will be accompanied by another young prize-winner: Russian pianist Boris Kusnezow. 23 January 20.00, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23



Three expert photographers come together for Maroc: Entre traditions et modernité (Morocco: Between Tradition and Modernity), where old and new worlds meet in a country that is at once ancient and dynamic. The exhibition includes a prized collection of photographs taken between 1858 and 1950, a series on the contributions of the Jewish population and intimate portraits from the 1960s. Until 29 March, Mundaneum, Rue de Nimy 76, Mons

What would JS Bach have made of his continued influence on the world of classical music more than 250 years after his death? He would surely be intrigued by this year’s Bach Academy in Bruges, which presents not only his work but that of his sons and his many, many pupils. There are works here by more than 50 members of Bach’s extended musical family, brought together under the title Chez Bach. Among the varied programme is a free carillon concert played from the city’s historical belfry, and concerts by Collegium Vocale Gent, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. 15-19 January, across Bruges

Photos, from top: Courtesy Bozar; Belgian jazz duo Quentin Dujardin and Didier Laloy ©Jean Mahaux; Courtesy Apero Afterwork; ©Charles Henneghien/Mundaneum

Written by Lisa Bradshaw