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What’s on this week: 12-18 June

17:15 11/06/2020
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

The response to Belgian artist Charles Kaisin’s Origami for Life action was overwhelming, with more than 20,000 people carefully following the instructions and sending in their origami bird to Kanal Centre Pompidou. Foundations and private concerns put up a collective €5 for every bird received, with the more than €101,000 proceeds going to Erasmus Hospital. Kaisin’s huge installation bringing all the birds together can be seen this weekend at Kanal, in the presence of Kaisin himself and against a backdrop of music by Chamber Music for Europe. It’s free, and no reservation is required. 13-14 June 10.00-18.00, Quai de Willebrock 7

Clubs are not going to open until September, so The Lockdown Rooftop Livestream continues. The next couple of editions see Tom Smeyers and Ricky Razu, respectively, on the decks from a Brussels rooftop. Great views and beats guaranteed. 13 & 14 June 18.00

Breast cancer foundation Think Pink Belgium is throwing a virtual yoga festival in the lead-up to International Yoga Day on 21 June. More than 40 lessons will be provided by yoga instructors from across the country. Separate lessons will be given in French, Dutch and English. Lessons are free, but donations are encouraged, with proceeds going to yoga projects in breast cancer clinics. 15-21 June

The trio behind Family Brewers

The Family Brews shop in central Brussels is back open and has resumed its language-friendly Thursday night Meet the Brewer events as well as its Hoppy Fridayafter-work tastings. The first delves you deep into one brewer’s beer(s), while the other lets you pair a few with nibbles. A cosy, friendly environment guaranteed. Rue des Harengs 2

The expat-owned TicTac Art Centre is slowly opening up dance classes again, with respect for coronavirus measures. The language-friendly Kids’ Dance Class on Saturday morning is split up by ages (6-7 and 8-12). No dance experience necessary, and parents are decidedly not allowed (but they can hang out in other spaces in the colourful building). 13/20/27 June, Rue Emile Carpentier 34 (Anderlecht)

For those of us still hesitant to hang out with groups of people, the Jacques Brel Foundation is re-opening and offers an audio walking tour that you can do on your own. In English, French or Dutch, discover connections to Brel in the city centre, hear his comments and songs and listen to anecdotes from 15 people who knew him or were influenced by his life and work. Inside the foundation is an exhibition and a projection room showing films by and about the legendary Belgian singer. Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés 11

 Belgian Avant-Garde

In 1922, five Belgians – a poet, an architect, a musician and two painters – launched the broadsheet 7 Arts to champion the cause of geometric abstraction. Strong lines and colours had to be the structural foundation of every work, which could be used for urban planning as much as for the visual arts. The exhibition 7 Arts: Belgian Avant-Garde guides visitors through six key years of abstract art and its lasting influence on the Brussels we know today. Until 19 May, Civa, Rue de l’Ermitage 55 (Ixelles)

Whether you are a “those were the days” kind of person or more of a “the good old days weren’t always good” type, you’ll find much to like about the BELvue’s engaging new exhibition Those Will Be the Days. It has been assembled by 30 ‘citizen curators’ rather than museum professionals to explore different views of Belgian heritage of yesterday, today – and tomorrow. Until 23 August, BELvue Museum, Place des Palais 7

A puma prowls in the Hollywood hills

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

In 1888, a group of adventurers, scientists and explorers set out to discover the world. They trekked through impenetrable jungles, reached the poles, plunged into abysses, conquered the Himalayas, discovered the secrets of the animal world and looked toward the stars. They soon began to photograph and recount what they saw in a modest bulletin, eventually known as National Geographic. The exhibition The Legendary National Geographic in the extraordinary Stavelot Abbey, recounts the fascinating history of a publication in its 132nd year. Until 24 January 2021, Cour d l’Abbaye 1, Stavelot (Liège province)

Photos, from top: ©Nicolas Lobet/Kanal Centre Pompidou; courtesy Family Brews; courtesy Civa; ©Steve Winter/courtesy National Geographic/Stavelot Abbey

Written by Lisa Bradshaw