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What’s on this week: 13-19 September

14:00 12/09/2019
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

A favourite for families and comic geeks alike, the Comic Strip Festival and accompanying Balloon’s Day Parade take over the centre of Brussels again this weekend. The procession of giant balloons in the shape of beloved strip characters will wind around the centre of town with a couple of new editions this year – Toto from the French comic Les Blagues de Toto and the famous Citroën 2CV that belonged to Boule’s parents. You can even watch the balloons being inflated on Place des Palais before they head out. Across the street is the Comic Strip Festival’s International Pavilion, with strip artists from around the globe on hand to talk about and sign their work. Dozens of activities spread around town are seriously diverse, from a talk by generations of Blake & Mortimer creators to designing your own playing card. Festival 13-15 September, Balloon parade 15 September

Roving party Love is in quite a location this month: The Beyond Bruegel exhibition at the Palais de la Dynastie. Boogie to Innellea, Attari, Blossom Culture and more as clever plays of light flash across the exhibition’s screens. 13 September 22.00-5.00, Mont des Arts 5

A film dedicated to the Justice Palace that isn’t about the scaffolding? Yes, following stops in Dallas, New York and England’s south coast, Palais de Justice can finally be seen in the city that made it all possible. London-based video artist Carey Young sees the building with much fresher eyes than we, using it to propose an alternative narrative of law in which women seem to control the justice system itself. Until 19 October, La Loge, Rue de l’Ermitage 86 (Ixelles)

Cinema Palace

Take a tour of literary history in the heart of Brussels or learn a little engraving in Molenbeek during Heritage Days. The free event is dedicated to exploring the capital’s traditions and history in broad terms, and this year’s theme is A Place for Art. Activities and events are arts-oriented, then, with some of them very hands-on. The programme is endless and can be explored via interest or municipality. A few eye-catchers include behind-the-scenes looks at Cinema Palace and Beursschouwburg and a bus tour of street art in Anderlecht. 14-15 September, across Brussels

The annual Renaissance Festival envelopes visitors in the time of Erasmus in Brussels oldest Gothic buildings. Enjoy music and dance, crafts and food, all it for free. It’s a great way to spend Heritage Days (above) if you don’t already have plans. 14-15 September, Maison d'Érasme, Rue de Formanoir 31

Explore the world of beer at Wanderlust, Brussels Beer Project’s craft beer festival. This sixth edition of the open-air tasting event sees 14 breweries gathered together from diverse brewing countries like Brazil, Quebec and Poland. You’re guaranteed to find something new. 14-15 September, Place Sainte-Catherine

Brussels Poetry Festival

Science and religion have been battling it out for centuries, and this edition of Brussels Poetry Festival is bringing the two together in the best possible location – Europe’s largest Planetarium. This year is the 100th anniversary of the International Astronomical Union of Brussels, so the free festival decided to look at stories of creation, as well as global myths and traditions. International poets and performers wrote original works within the theme, and Planetarium technicians translated them into dome projections. Get ready for some dialogue – in multiple languages – between science, religion and heritage (with a bit of decolonialisation and a break-down of white masculinity thrown in). 13-14 September, Avenue de Bouchout 10

While Car-Free Sunday is on everyone’s lips this time of year, it’s actually the culmination of the Week of Mobility, which launches on Monday. There are a whole bunch of activities, including coaching on riding a bike in Brussels, mobility-related exhibitions and CityGame, in which four-member teams compete in trying out all the capital’s mobility options. It all ends with Car Free Day on 22 September. 16-22 September, across Brussels

The Korean Cultural Center’s annual Belgian-Korean Comics Exhibition always offers bold and memorable visuals, and this year’s Inner Eye is no different. This time, strip creators and graphic novelists were asked to explore self-reflection in the development of characters. Until 1 November, Rue de la Régence 4

Looking ahead: Generation X icon Brett Easton Ellis will chat with Belgian journalist Ine Roox later this month in Bozar. With tweets that go effortlessly viral, the 50-something American author of such cult classics as Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction and American Psycho, has bridged the digital divide quite nicely. His new book of essays is focused on the millennials – who he calls Generation Wuss. Watch out Brussels. 22 September 20.00, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Stilt-walkers in Namur


The sun is set to shine on this weekend’s Fêtes de Wallonie, the region’s annual celebration of folklore, free concerts and festive fun. Regional capital Namur is the hub of the merrymaking with a five-day programme featuring more than 150 musical performances, including Alice on the Roof and DJs Kid Noize and Henri PFR, while Charleroi, Liège and Andenne also boast headlining concerts. One folklore highlight in Namur is a traditional combat between stilt-walkers set to the rhythmic beat of drums. Be warned: drinking copious amounts of beer and local alcohol péket plus singing in Walloon dialect are mandatory. Bone fièsse as the Walloons say! Until 16 September, across Wallonia

As Europe looks back to the D-Day landings of 75 years ago, an exhibition in Zeebrugge does the same. Operation North Sea 1944-45 at Seafront maritime theme park follows the liberators from Normandy to the Flemish coast in a crucial operation that brought the Allies access to the port of Antwerp and liberated the Scheldt river. Photos, maps, videos and other displays tell the story, with pride of place going to a 15-ton anti-aircraft gun from the HMS Roberts, which was involved in the 6 June landings in Normandy. Until 3 January 2021, Vismijnstraat 7, Zeebrugge

Photo credits from top: Courtesy event/Facebook, ©Bernard Boccara/Beci, Courtesy event, ©Albert Blond

Written by Lisa Bradshaw