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What’s on this week: 12-18 March

15:45 12/03/2021
Our pick of Brussels’ best activities – online and off – for the coming week

Last year the Klara Festival was meant to launch on the same evening that the government announced the first lockdown. Little did any of us know that a year later events would still be staged online. But the Brussels festival celebrating classical and new music is looking to inject some hope into our hearts with its tagline Es ist noch nicht alles verloren – all is not lost. Fully digital this year, the festival is made up of not just concerts but creative audio-visual productions and musical theatre. Many new compositions feature as part of the festival’s dedication to supporting composers and musicians in this most disastrous of times for culture. Sign up on the website for free access to the full digital programme. 13-22 March

On what would have been Belgian artist Roger Raveel’s 100th birthday, Bozar presents a retrospective of his work. One of the country’s most significant 20th-century artists, Raveel really cut his own trail in the art world, peppering it with both abstract and figurative works and mixing a pop-art sensibility with images inspired by the rural area of East Flanders in which he lived and worked. 18 March to 21 July, Rue Ravenstein 23

Bozar has also just released a digital version of its landmark 2010 exhibition A Passage to Asia, a journey highlighting the abundant cross-fertilisation of ideas and cultures that nurtured an Asian-European partnership for more than 25 centuries. 

 A Volkswagen Golf

In Volkswagen Milestones, the Autoworld museum looks at modern history through the lens of specific models of Volkswagen: the Bug, the Golf and the brand new ID.3 electric car. Each mirrors a specific era but also marks a radical change from the previous one. Until 28 March, Parc du Cinquantenaire 11

You’ll need a friend and two mobile phones to play Who Killed Charles De Brouckère?, a murder mystery game that gets you interacting with spots in the Brussels neighbourhood named after the 19th-century lawyer and statesman. Was it his wife? His son? The housekeeper? Hunt for clues and determine who committed the dastardly act. (in French)

 An image from An Accent on Love

The Geopolis centre for photojournalism presents the ambitious exhibition An Accent on Love. Staged in three locations, it is a treatise on the state of love and relationships around the world, including LGBTQI communities in East Africa, BDSM in Belgium and Algeria’s ‘dikis’, clandestine places where young people meet to flout the age-old tradition of marriage before sex. Until 11 April in Marolles

The latest Pilar, a festival regularly staged by VUB’s House for Art & Science, is dubbed The Echo Edition. It includes virtual reality concert sessions and the exhibition This Too Shall Pass, curated according to the interesting premise that every act of remembrance is to some extent an act of imagination. Until 31 March

 Work by Christophe Coppens

If you were creating work for an exhibition about 2020, what would you call it? Belgian artist and fashion designer Christophe Coppens chose A Lovely Little Shitshow, and the results – drawings, paintings and little dolls acting out dramatic scenes – are on show at Zwart Huis gallery. 14 March to 30 April, Rivoli Building #20, Chaussée de Waterloo 690 (Uccle)

Open-air activities are highly recommended at the moment, and Brussels by Foot certainly fits the bill. See the capital in a whole new way through these alternative guided tours in English, French and Dutch. Regular tours in English include Brussels: 1,000 Years of Struggle, Celebrity Brussels and Art Nouveau.

You can find poetic quotes across the city of Liège during the Corps de Textes literary festival, but the rest is online this year. Readings, documentaries and performances abound, with South Korea as a special guest country. (In French) Until 14 March

 A gold and rock crystal snuffbox, with enamel butterflies


Thank god for obsessions for we would not otherwise have gotten to see the remarkable objects that make up the exhibition Masterpieces in Miniature at Antwerp’s diamond museum. The wealthy 20th-century couple Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert spent over 40 years amassing a collection of nearly 1,000 items of fine silverware, gold (snuff)boxes, enamels and mosaics made in Europe between the 16th and 20th centuries. Normally housed in London’s V&A Museum, the entire collection is visiting the continent for the first time. Until 15 August, Diva, Suikerrui 17, Antwerp

The inaugural event for Le Pavillon – Namur’s new space dedicated to digital and creative cultures – explores the complex relationship between humans and machines. The interactive exhibition Humans/Machines questions the implications of AI technologies on society. Visitors discover the world of deepfakes, anthropomorphic robots and algorithm-generated environments. The venue, originally Belgium’s pavilion for the 2015 World Fair in Milan, has been given a second life atop Namur’s historic citadel. 13 March to 13 June, Esplanade de la Citadelle, Namur

Photos, from top: ©Jury Heinsch; courtesy Autoworld; ©Frédéric Noy, courtesy Global Peace Photo Award; ©Christophe Coppens, courtesy Zwart Huis gallery; ©Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection


Written by Lisa Bradshaw and Sarah Crew