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What's on this week: 12-18 October

21:15 11/10/2018

It’s the third edition of the Brussels Electronic Marathon (BEM), three days of electronic music, parties, concerts, DJ sets, workshops and installations featuring more than 200 artists, 60 events and 33 venues highlighting the incredibly diverse nature of Brussels’ electronic music scene with the participation of about 40 local collectives. As usual, there will be a number of unique venues such as the recently renovated Shot Tower or the Art Deco public swimming pool in the Marolles.
12-14 October

Belgian actor Valentijn Dhaenens, after 300 performances in 25 countries, is back at KVS with Small War Big Mouth, which follows 2,500 years of oration and the dangers that inflaming rhetoric can cause. This past summer Dhaenens won a Fringe Award in Edinburgh. In English with French and Dutch surtitles.
12-13 October

From May to August 1945, the US Army took over a resort hotel in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and turned it into a secret prison and interrogation center called Ashcan, for all the high level Nazi leaders captured alive such as Göring, Dönitz, and Ley. By chance, the documents which include the actual testimony of the Nazis as well as recollections of the interrogators were unearthed and Belgian director Willy Perelsztejn has created a striking documentary/reenactment. At the Cinéma Aventure. In English, French and German with English and French subtitles.

From The Starry Night to Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh has produced some of the world’s most-recognised paintings. It was when he lived in Belgium while failing as an evangelical missionary to the working class that he made the decision to become a painter. And now, in Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, virtual projection technology puts you in the paintings as you learn about the life of the artist, made more famous by his mental illness and untimely death.
10 October to 6 January, Bourse, Place de la Bourse

One of the highlights of Brussels' autumn cultural season is Festival des Libertés, which presents exhibitions, concerts, performance, talks and film all revolving around human rights issues and the notion of freedom in general. Sometimes this is more obvious, such as the play L’Attentat, which finds a Tel-Aviv surgeon of Arab descent stitching survivors of a suicide bomber back together, while other times it is as simple as revolution-inspired lyrics, such as Belgian rap duo Caballero & Jeanjass.
18-27 October, across Brussels

Art et Marges Museum is presenting Women in Outsider Art? which features a selection of the private collection of Hannah Rieger. This is her personal view of the subject and contains 105 famous and not-so-famous pieces that are either created by women (the majority of the works) or are about women. If you’ve never been, you can also discover their permanent collection as well as a retrospective of Brussels outsider artist Jean-Pierre Rostenne.
5 October-10 February.

Jef Lambeau was one of the most talented 19th-century Belgian sculptors but his propensity to sculpt taboo subjects and break classical nude proportions got a number of his pieces banned and hidden from view. One of these is his monumental marble bas relief entitled The Human Passions which got him an award at the 1900 Paris World’s Fair but was hidden from view for decades in a Victor Horta-designed pavilion in Cinquantenaire Park. This Sunday, on the last day of Artonov, the festival that puts live performances in Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings around Brussels, you have an opportunity to appreciate this very early Horta building and discover the genius of Lambeau while listening to a live performance by Ensemble Revue Blanche – voice, flute, viola and harp. 
Sunday 11.30, Pavillion Horta

The ULB’s culture department is presenting Ex Porno - “a scientific, artistic, lucid and amusing” in-depth look by 13 artists at the history and the current state of pornography through drawings, sculptures, videos, films, installations and photography. What does it mean for society that most teens now have their first contacts with sex and sexuality via computer screens and mobiles? The exhibition is set up to greet and guide school groups but access is restricted to those over 16.
From 18 October

Plastic bags are out, reusable bags are in. Would you like to make your own unique shopping bags? On Saturdays until late-November, Brussels Environment invites you to their new headquarters at Tour & Taxis for free workshops open to all ages. You can bring your own fabric or use what they provide to create your bags. The workshops take place on the first floor in the BEL restaurant. Free and no need to register beforehand. From 10.00 to 17.00. More info at

After Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes and Marseille, the Great Plant Sale crosses the border and comes to Brussels. Priced at €2, €5 and €10 these plants are looking for a new home and will be available at the Halles Saint-Géry on Saturday and Sunday.

Tongues are wagging about Belgian director Lukas Dhont’s feature film premiere. Girl, the story of a teenager transitioning from male to female while struggling to become a ballerina, won six prizes at Cannes and now premieres in Brussels on European Art Cinema Day.
14 October 19.30, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Written by Richard Harris, Lisa Bradshaw