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What’s on this week: 17-23 May

09:26 16/05/2019
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

Dozens of events and activities in May culminate this weekend in the Belgian Pride Parade, which winds through the centre of the capital. The LGBT+ community and their friends and allies are invited to the colourful, noisy event that sees floats and groups marching, dancing and waving in celebration – and defence – of queer and non-gender-binary lives. Don’t miss the Rainbow Village, a three-day party that opens on Friday with a western theme, complete with mechanical rodeo bull. Ride ’em cowboy! Village: 17-19 May, Rue du Midi & Rue des Pierres. Parade: 18 May from 14.30, across centre

Dimanches du Conte is a woman-centred storytelling theatre troupe with performers from Belgium, France, Switzerland, Africa and Quebec. The Mue Festival celebrates their 10th anniversary with a programme of performances, talks, installations, film screenings and radio plays that question the traditional stories that shape our understanding of the world – especially where gender is concerned. (In French) 22-26 May, Centre Culturel Bruegel, Rue des Renards 1F

Naturally something like Pint of Science is popular in Belgium – where you can hear local scientists explain stuff like atoms, the galaxy and the brain while you drink beer. You don’t need a PhD to attend these events, which are in English, French and Dutch. And sometimes there are hands-on experiments or games. 20-22 May, across Belgium

Brussels 20km

Last minute types can still sign up for the super popular Brussels 20km in Cinquantenaire Park on Saturday and even on Sunday, the day of the race. Should you not be a marathon runner, the event is still a nice way to spend the day: DJs and live bands rock Bois de la Cambre as well as Cinquantenaire Park, site of the start and finish, where you’ll also find stands and refreshments. (Stop by The Bulletin’s table for a free gift!) The 40,000 runners, representing about 130 nationalities, meanwhile, are routed past the capital’s most beautiful monuments and through lush forests. Enthusiastic supporters can be found all along the route. 19 May, across Brussels

Get to know your neighbours during the day devoted to neighbourhood community. On Neighbours’ Day, the idea is to do something with the people in your neighbourhood. Usually this means asking them over to share a meal or organising a block party, but it can be anything – the idea is to create solidarity in the neighbourhood. The theme this year is biodiversity. Check out tips for a sustainable feast and how to improve biodiversity for everyone on the website or Facebook page. 24 May, across Belgium

Yes, there are some wonderful acts on the bill, from jazz vocalists to jazz guitarists to jazz-inflected drum’n’base. Yes, you can discover some cool bars and clubs among the dozens hosting shows. But the best part of Brussels Jazz Weekend? It’s free. 24-26 May, across Brussels

Susie Orbach

The Full Circle international club hosts renowned British author and social critic Susie Orbach, who lifts the curtain on a notoriously mysterious process – therapy. With over 40 years of experience as a psychotherapist, she refers to therapy as ‘the struggle for truth’. But what is the ‘talking cure’ all about? Drawing on real stories, she attempts to explain how the process works, why it helps people and whether it’s beneficial for everyone. Non Full Circle members are welcome to join. (In English) 20 May 18.30-20.30, Full Circle House, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)

Brussels Light Opera Company presents The Sorcerer, Gilbert and Sullivan’s story of a town gone mad thanks to a love potion slipped into the vicar’s tea. (In English) 23-26 May, De Bosuil Cultural Centre (Overijse)

The Second World War officially came to an end on 2 September 1945. But the liberation of Belgium started exactly one year earlier, when allied troops arrived in the country. So under the name Belgium Remembers 44-45, the country is hosting many events to recognise the 75th anniversary of the liberation and the end of the war itself. Until September 2020, across Belgium

Are you holding yourself back from being the person you want to be, in work, family or in meeting goals, whatever they may be? Our psychological makeup influences everything we do – and don’t do. Join Brussels Imagination Club for the workshop Creating: Become the Alchemist of Your Own Life, led by life coach Filip Roeckens. 22 May 18.45-21.00, Timesmore, Boulevard St Michel 47 (Etterbeek)

Creatures Made to Measure


Humans’ relationship with animals is complicated. While users of social media explode in anger at African hunting trophies, they look away when it comes to the endless suffering involved in farming. With animals considered as beloved pets, a source of food and as stylish decor, designers are faced with the question of whether they should incorporate their bodies – either real or fake – into objects and how and what they should design for animals themselves. The exhibition Creatures Made to Measure looks at the issue from all angles. 17 May to 29 September, Design Museum Gent, Jan Breydelstraat 5, Ghent

Masks have long been associated with the rituals of native peoples, worn for any number of ceremonies, from celebration to death sentences. Whatever the reason, they hide the wearer, creating an air of mystery. This is why masks are seen as somewhat sinister today, employed by every slasher movie killer. The travelling exhibition Masques has come to Belgium and looks at the history of the intriguing objects, with samples from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. Until 20 July, La Cité Miroir, Place Xavier Neujean 22, Liège

Photos: Belgian Pride ©Jean-François Thonon, 20k courtesy event, Susie Orbach ©Andrew Crowley, Creatures courtesy Design Museum Gent

Written by Lisa Bradshaw