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What’s on this week: 18-24 March

Viva Frida Kahlo - Immersive Experience
12:07 17/03/2022
Immersive art, spring planting, wellness and water activities… Discover our pick of activities for the coming week

Dive into the colourful life and work of the radical Mexican artist in the digital exhibition Viva Frida Kahlo Immersive Experience at the Viage Digital Art Theatre (pictured, main image). Best known for her searing and colourful self-portraits, Kahlo’s work explored themes of identity, the human body and death, drawing directly on the traumas of her own personal life. The first 3D immersion in Belgium devoted to a female artist, this show features 100 video projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system to bring alive the painter’s unique and exotic universe. 18 March-31 August, Boulevard Anspach 30

Pop-up plant sale PUP Plants

Spring is in the air! The Gare Maritime at Tour & Taxis transforms into an urban jungle this weekend with a pop-up plant sale. Belgian company PUP Plants hopes to tempt green-fingered city dwellers with not only its array of seasonal plants, flowers, bulbs and seeds, but also terrace-friendly vegetal walls, vertical-climbing vegetables, miniature fruit trees and green roof plants. 18-20 March, Gare Maritime, Rue Picard 7

Be-Here Self Care day

Be-Here business and community hub is organising a Self Care wellness day on Saturday, packed with free feelgood activities for the mind and body. From yoga and massage to fermentation techniques and culinary demonstrations, there’s 14 different pursuits to experience. It’s also an opportunity to meet young Brussels entrepreneurs at the sustainable centre, located around the corner from Tour & Taxis. 19 March, 11.00-17.00, Rue Dieudonné 4 (Laeken)

Water Days Brussels Environment

Brussels Water Days gets bigger every year, with more than 70 events and activities planned in celebration of the capital’s ‘blue heritage’. From drinking to climate regulator to natural beauty, water will be explored and enjoyed via boat tours, nature walks, workshops, exhibitions and lectures. Learn how to save amphibians, for instance, or steps being taken to improve biodiversity in the Brussels canal. It’s an incredible learning opportunity and ideal for the whole family. 20-27 March, across Brussels

Phoenix Sextet

Enjoy an evening of chamber music and support a fundraising appeal to help refugees in the Brussels Muzieque Ukraine Benefit Concert at Full Circle House. The Phoenix Sextet and its award-winning soloists will perform two late Romantic masterpieces by Brahms and Schoenberg; a preview concert ahead of a series of upcoming prestigious festivals. All profits, including the musicians' fees, will be donated to support refugees from Ukraine via the Red Cross and other involved charities. 20 March, 20.00-21.00, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)

Love Bugs Parade Autoworld

Heralding the arrival of spring rather than its traditional outing celebrating St Valentine’s, the Love Bugs Parade returns to the capital this Sunday for its 13th edition. The procession of vintage 220 VW Cox, Beetle and Combis will be on display on the esplanade of Cinquantenaire Park from 10.00 before a parade between 14.00 and 15.00. Expect a colourful and lively show as the owners don period costume from the 1960s and 70s and blast the horns of the their beloved vehicles. 20 March, from 10.00, Autoworld, Cinquantenaire 11

Irish Film Festival

Three films are on the programme of this year's Scéal Eile Irish Film Festival. Catch Arracht (pictured), the story of a simple fisherman on the run during the Great Famine, the comedy Redemption of a Rogue and the documentary Pure Grit about bareback horse racing on native American reservations by Irish director Kim Bartley. Pure Grit also screens in Ghent. 23 & 24 March, Galéries Cinema, Galerie de la Reine 28

Affordable Art Fair Art22, Gordon Hopkins, Lemon Bowls, oil painting

Find works of original art perfect for you at the Affordable Art Fair, where everything is priced at less than €7,500. If that figure seems daunting, rest assured there is plenty here that costs less than €600, from paintings and sculpture to photography. More than 75 local and international galleries present works by both new and established artists. It’s a treasure trove of choice. 23-27 March, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86C

BIC (c)Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another: language panic. We’re in a group and suddenly forget all those French verbs we learned or that Dutch phrase we memorised for just the right moment. The next workshop hosted by the Brussels Imagination Club tackles the problem of people not speaking up for fear of sounding like a fool. 23 March 18.45-21.00, Full Circle House, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)

Queen Elisabeth free youth concerts

The prestigious Queen Elisabeth competition invites youngsters under the age of 26 to a series of free youth concerts in Brussels, Louvain-la-Neuve and Leuven. Colombian cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia (laureate cello 2017) and Japanese pianist Keigo Mukawa (laureate piano 2021) perform works by De Falla, Farr, Ravel, Pärt and Piazzolla. Cañon-Valencia will also play one of his own pieces and both musicians (pictured above) discuss the repertoire and share their passion for classical music. 22 March, 13.00 & 20.30 (Ferme du Biéreau, LLN); 23 March, 20.15 (Flagey, Brussels); 24 March, 20.00 (LUCA Campus Lemmens, Leuven)

Summertime Compagnie Thor

Summertime is a new choreography by Thierry Smits, conceived during the pandemic and testimony to the human desire for connection. Centred on the theme of solar and chromatic warmth and the elements of light and colour, it’s performed by five dancers and five musicians, representing seven nationalities from across Europe. The choreography is axed around movement, while the music by The WIG Society Chamber Music Ensemble is inspired by a Baroque repertoire combined with new electronic works by Jean-François Lejeune. 24 March-16 April, Studio Thor, Rue Saint Josse 49 (Saint-Josse)

ATC rehearsal pic

Tiny Beautiful Things by the American Theatre Company (ATC) is a four-actor ensemble piece directed by Carrie Ellwanger. Cheryl Strayed’s book has been adapted for the stage by Nia Vardolos; a modern work about the profound experience of reaching out for help. Based on the online advice column ‘Dear Sugar’, penned by Strayed, the play is an emotional journey about drawing hope and healing out of loss, pain, and sorrow. 24 March-2 April, The Warehouse Studio Theatre (Schaerbeek)

Expat inheritance tax and estate planning

The Brussels Women’s Club stages a talk for expats on Inheritance Tax & Estate Planning Tips with tax lawyer Marc Quaghebeur on Tuesday evening. The €10 fee includes drinks and finger food. Registration necessary. 22 March, 18:30, Rue au Bois 509 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)

Rolling Stones courtesy Greenhouse Talent

Book now: The Rolling Stones  Every tour of The Rolling Stones over the last 15 years has been touted as their last, but this one might just be. So whether you have never seen one of the greatest rock’n’roll bands of all time or want to revisit the endless energy of these septuagenarians, grab tickets for the Sixty tour, a reference to the anniversary of their debut. (American drummer Steve Jordan replaces Charlie Watts, who passed away last year.) 11 July, King Baudouin Stadium


Homeward Bound forest therapy

Experience the enchantment of Tervuren’s Arboretum in a Homeward Bound Forest Therapy session. George Biesmans leads regular groups in the local woodlands on Friday mornings to help people reconnect with the natural world. Forest therapy - a form of mindfulness - is the practice of slowing down, awakening the senses and listening to your body. Linguist Biesmans is a trained forest therapy guide. 18 & 25 March; 1 April, 9.00-12.00

Namur Aerodrome Temploux

Reach for the skies in a host of aviation-themed activities at Namur Aerodrome’s Open Day on Saturday. The newly-renovated airfield gathers clubs and companies showing off their various thrilling sports, including helicopter, drone, glider, light aircraft and parachute pursuits. There’s also flight simulators to test your flying skills, a brocante sale and tours of neighbouring aeroplane manufacturer Sonaca Aircraft, not forgetting plenty of fun and games for the little ones. 19 March, 13.00-18.00, Rue du Capitaine Aviateur Jacquet 44, Temploux (Namur)

Docville courtesy Cinéart

Belgium’s biggest documentary film festival takes over Leuven cinemas. Besides the more than 75 films at Docville are discussions with filmmakers, thematic talks and a pop-up café. Some of the movie highlights are Four Seasons in a Day, which explores Brexit through the eyes of passengers on the Carlingford Lough ferry; LEmpire du silence, Belgian director Thierry Michel’s 30-year exploration of violent conflict in the Congo (pictured); and Flee, a brilliant award-winning animated film about one man’s tumultuous childhood fleeing Afghanistan for Denmark. Most films at Docville are subtitled in English. 23-31 March, across Leuven

Anto-Carte, Le Jardinier, 1941, photo  Jacques Vandenberg © SABAM Belgium 2022

After major exhibitions devoted to international artists, Mons’ modern art museum BAM stages a show focusing on one of its home-grown talents, Anto Carte (1884-1954), who nevertheless enjoyed a stellar reputation abroad. Anto-Carte. De terre et de ciel features more than 80 paintings exploring the illustrious artist’s theme of Christian iconography. It’s the first time in 30 years that an exhibition has been dedicated to the Mons-born artist and illustrator whose work is characterised by a focus on the human figure. A series of works originating from local collections are placed in dialogue with the Walloon artist’s paintings. 19 March-21 August, Rue Neuve 8, Mons


Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw