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What’s on this week: 16-22 July

13:47 15/07/2021
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

Join the friendly fun at L’Afrique en Couleurs, a celebration of the many sights, sounds and colours from the African continent. Concerts, dance, food, workshop and fashion should keep your whole family busy during this free annual event on the canal in Laeken. 23-25 July, Quai de Heembeek

Amateurs and professionals mingle at Carte de Visite, a fun and inclusive exhibition of work by artists of all levels who live or work in Brussels. Each of the 235 artists is allowed to exhibit three works, be they paintings, drawings, sculpture, photos or any kind of multimedia. Most of them are on hand to chat with visitors, hanging about with their works on one of the six floors of the glorious Vanderborght atrium. 16-19 July, Espace Vanderborght, 50 Rue de l’Écuyer

A view of the Swinging Books exhibition

Sün Evrard of France is a master bookbinder, and the lovely Swinging Books, an intervention in the Erasmus House’s permanent collection, matches her unique craft with selections from the museum’s 16th-century collection. And they are indeed swinging, as they hang from the ceiling. Walk among them in this marvellous example of an old world craft made modern. Until 24 October, Rue de Formanoir 31 (Anderlecht)

After 16 months of pandemic and several weeks of (more or less) summer, are you saying that your bicycle is still in the garage? Well, pull it out and pump up those tyres because Bike for Brussels is releasing a new cycling route through the region every week. The idea is to take to your bike to explore neighbourhoods, green spaces and border areas. Further afield, Limburg has another addition to add to its cycling through water and trees attractions: Cycling Through the Heathland, which takes you along paths in the Hoge Kempen National Park. Veve le vélo!

Foire du Midi

Brussels big annual fun fair is back for its 140th edition. Foire du Midi strings along Blvd du Midi and Blvd de l’Abattoir for nearly two kilometres, stuffed full of rides, games and more junk food than you can possibly eat, but you’ll try anyway, won’t you? Head’s up: There is a one-way circulation plan, and you have to wear a facemask. It is also split into four sections to break up the crowds a bit. 17 July to 22 August

Recyclart Holidays is back in the art centre’s roomy inner courtyard. A bamboo-laden stage hosts concerts and performances of all sorts, while the summer bar serves up libations, and the kitchen cooks up vegan delights. Until 30 July, Rue de Manchester 13 (Molenbeek)

The Rise of Korean Comics

The Comics Art Museum hosts the major exhibition The Rise of Korean Comics, covering more than 100 years of comics history in South Korea. In collaboration with the Korean Cultural Center of Brussels and the Korea Manhwa Museum in Seoul, the museum offers the most comprehensive overview of manhwa (comics and print cartoons) and webtoons (a format developed in the country specifically for the internet) ever staged in Europe. Until 9 January, Rue des Sables 20

The biggest and best dance festival in the world was famously cancelled by the mayor of Boom last month, much to the surprise and disappointment of organisers and fans. But at least there’s Around the World, a digital version, which proved to be a big hit last year. Besides the best electronic artists in the world, the festival features circus acts and fortune telling. And visuals that will blow you away. 16-17 July

Book now: Gate by Couleur Café  Sadly Couleur Café cancelled its edition this summer, but it is launching an alternative. Gate is happening at the StudioCity Gate in Anderlecht and blends the normal festival’s soul, roots and world beats we hold dear with a bit of rap and jazz rock. The two Sundays are reserved for sporty, artistic and culinary activities. 26-29 August & 2-5 September, Rue de La Petite-Ile 1 (Anderlecht)

A photo from the exhibition Herman

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

“You always see your parents together. You see the interaction, the role that everyone assumes, the bickering, how they are as a couple, always together, a duo, inextricably linked, the constant dance in the house.” Belgian photographer Diego Franssens didn’t recognise his father, Herman, after his mother died and so began photographing him. Herman now rarely leaves his house and garden, and this collection of photographs shows how, when a long-time partner is gone, the mourning never really stops. Until 26 September, Guislain Museum, Jozef Guislainstraat 43 (Ghent)

After being forced to cancel last year, the Watou Arts Festival invites visitors back for this unique art parcours through the little village of Watou, part of the municipality of Poperinge. Discovering the nooks and crannies of abandoned spaces, hidden parks and old farms is half the fun of this event, which finds artists and poets staging their work in situ, in ways that range from delightful to surprising to unsettling. Until 5 September, across Watou and Poperinge

The highly creative art collective Rooftoptiger always makes a splash at festivals with their monolithic, interactive installations. BabelBühne has become a permanent fixture in Antwerp, a ‘usable sculpture’ dedicated to multi-lingual events. Wednesday activities are devoted to little kids, Thursdays to open-air cinema, Fridays to concerts and food. Check the calendar for more events. Until 26 September, Archipel site (across from Lange Lobroekstraat 77), Antwerp

A girl crowdsurfs at Brackrock music festival

And finally … don’t forget to check The Bulletin’s ultimate guide to summer music festivals!

Photos, from top: Courtesy Teroubi; courtesy Erasmus House; courtesy Brussels City; ©Lee Doo-ho, Im Kkeokjeon/Sports Chosun, 1991; ©Diego Franssens; courtesy Brakrock

Written by Lisa Bradshaw