Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

What’s on this week: 19 to 25 January

11:52 18/01/2024
Abandon any thought of winter hibernation and explore our selection of highly sensory cultural highlights. From contemporary art and soundscapes to film and light trails, there’s no risk of nodding off at these events!

When you hear the word ‘sculpture’, you might see a stone statue in front of you, in a park or square. But not all sculptures are statues. Colourful columns jut from the ground, animals of wire interact and globes light up according to pH levels of bacteria at Sculptura #2, the second edition of the sculpture festival staged indoors and out at Tour & Taxis. There are also a few sculptures scattered around other parts of the city, like in the MigratieMuseumMigration and the Hotel Dominican. It’s a delightful sculptural tour de force for the whole family, and it’s absolutely free. 19 January to 10 March, Rue Picard 11

Lynn Cassiers - The Music Village

Brussels-based singer and experimental soundscaper Lynn Cassiers is leading figure in Belgium’s new jazz and improv scene. The unique vocalist is performing at The Music Village with Broadway Loose, a jazz quartet featuring fellow prominent figures of the European jazz scene, Augusto Pirodda (piano), Manolo Cabras (double bass) and Marek Patrman (drums). Discover for yourself how the long-established ensemble has developed a unique and fresh approach to the American songbook. 20 January 20.30 (doors open 19.30), Rue des Pierres 50

Paradise is Burning - Paradiset Brinner

Immerse yourself in northern vibes at the Polarise Nordic Film Nights at Cinema Galeries. For the third edition of the festival, a selection of nine films are being screened, starting with Swedish award-winner Paradise is Burning on 20 January. It’s a compelling drama about three sisters abandoned by their mother who are determined to avoid separation and foster care. The festival closes with Dream Scenario by Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli. 20 January to 3 February, Galerie de la Reine 26

Semaine du Son (c)Work by Kaja Farzsky

“The far north is an unearthly earth, where much of what those of us in temperate zones were told is universal is not true.” This provocative quote from American writer Rebecca Solnit introduces ICE, the title of this year’s sound festival La Semaine du Son. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and refers to sounds that we don’t hear but which paradoxically work as wake-up-calls, such as the sound of glaciers breaking apart. But there are all kinds of great activities on the programme, from sound installations to workshops to performances to exhibitions and film screenings. The Flanders/Wallonia edition follows next week. 22-28 January, across Brussels

WOM (c) Tempora

World of Mind (WOM) museum has now launched a new escape game for teenagers and adults. Participants are invited to wander around the interactive experience in a bid to evade Mister MOW, an evil illusionist intent on transforming reality into an illusion. Teams have to overcome his traps and send the wicked force to an alternative reality. The fun experience takes place at the heart of the sensory activity trail and costs €20 per group in addition to entrance ticket per person (for two to five players, 16+). From 17 January, Tour & Taxis, shed 4bis, Avenue du Port 86C

PhotoBrussels (c)Michael Ackerman

A whole month is devoted to PhotoBrussels Festival – which is necessary to enjoy just part of the 57 exhibition featuring work by some 300 international photographers. Take a peek at the programme to see what catches your fancy – maybe the often mysterious and always affecting black-and-white shots by American photographer Michael Ackerman (pictured) or Belgian artist Noé Sendas, who manipulates existing work to reveal something wholly different. PhotoBrussels also includes workshops, conferences and talks. 25 January to 25 February, across Brussels


The contemporary art world in Brussels is spreading its wings to incorporate ceramics in all their forms. Reflecting the discipline’s new lease of life, Ceramic Brussels is committed to championing a new wave of artists. Showcasing their work with displays by some 60 galleries and institutions, the new event has three goals: to encourage collectors to acquire ceramics; to promote the art form at a European level; support young artists in a competition to be launched this spring. 25-28 January, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86C

Jess Dermanostra @SophieHubont

Community art initiative ArtDeWand shines a light on 12 amateur artists in Laeken as well as some 30 local businesses in the Brussels municipality. The semi-itinerant exhibition was the idea of tattoo artist, painter and sculptor Jess Dermanostra (pictured), who was inspired to express her passion for the lively quarter. Explore the artworks in shops and businesses all along Rue De Wand. Free entrance. The project is supported by Entreprendre Bruxelles. Until 27 January, centre of Laeken


Mons en lumières

The first festival of lights in Wallonia is set to  illuminate the city Mons during the midwinter season. Mons en lumières celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Surrealism movement with a free 3km light trail evoking art and poetry. The itinerary includes 25 light installations and projections, designed in collaboration with local artists and businesses. It also features guest Scottish artist, poet and sculptor Robert Montgomery. 25-28 January & 1-4 February 18.30-midnight, Mons city centre

Plant Hunters (c)Meise Botanical Garden

While these days the focus of ecological improvement is on native plant species, in the 19th century it was the opposite, with “plant hunters” taking to faraway lands to bring home exotic species. Once a bastion of the rich, now everyone can grow orchids, azaleas and begonias in their back gardens. In a special exhibition, Meise Botanic Garden introduces us to these adventurous plant hunters, who were responsible for making Belgium a prosperous hub of horticulture. Until 14 April, Nieuwelaan 38, Meise

Africa Museum

What should happen to art and cultural objects taken from countries that have been colonised? Should they stay put in the western museum where they landed, or be given back from the country from which they were taken? The Africa Museum is just about the perfect place to consider these questions, with much of its collection coming from the eponymous continent, particular during the colonisation of the Congo. ReThinking Collections takes a look at provenance research and addresses issues related to this contested heritage. 19 January to 29 September, Leuvensesteenweg 13, Tervuren

Nutcracker (c)Courtesy Franceconcert

If December was just a wee bit too busy to get to the ballet, you have another crack at seeing The Nutcracker this month. The traditional production brings together dancers from around the world for the family-friendly tale of Clara and her beloved toy nutcracker, which comes to life on Christmas Eve and takes Clara on a magical adventure. 21 January 16.00, Lotto Arena, Schijnpoortweg 119, Merksem (Antwerp)

Andersen tales

What better family escapism than this immersion in the world of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales at Waterloo Cultural Centre. The French-language modern and poetic interpretation of the Danish author’s classic stories, Contes de Papier, is a musical spectacle that combines theatre, shadow puppets, singing and piano. For children 4+. 20 January 15.30, Salle Jules Baston, Rue François Libert 28, Waterloo

Belgium’s heavy midweek snowfall may have caused chaos for the country’s roads and transport systems, but it did enable ski stations to open in Liège province. Downhill and cross-country skiers as well as tobogganists headed to the slopes and trails in Ovifat, Weywertz, Losheimergraben and Mont Spinette. If you fancy hitting the pistes this weekend, follow the site Ost Belgien site for up-to-date information. Multiple locations in East Belgium, Liège province

press photo

Revisit some of the sporting, cultural and political highlights of 2023 via Namur’s annual press photographers’ retrospective. Eight local photo journalists show some of their best shots from last year, including folklore festivities, sport highlights, mud baths and more. Presenting their work and telling their stories at the free exhibition are Jacques Duchateau, Bruno Fahy, Mathieu Golinvaux, Jean-Christophe Guillaume, Vincent Lorent, Florent Marot, Jean-Pol Sedran and John Thys. Until 11 February, Galerie Beffroi, Rue du Beffroi 13, Namur


Book now a meditation session at exhibition Bill Viola. Sculptor of time. After the first two dates quickly sold out, an additional one has been added to meet demand for this moment of reflection in a highly original setting. The sessions are given by Liège studio By Altuna and are followed by a visit of the outstanding show of video art and installations by the pioneering US artist. €16 adults; €10 under 26s. 18 February (18 January & 11 February sold out), La Boverie, Parc de la Boverie, Liège

Discover more upcoming events at The Bulletin's events page.

Photos: (main image) Sculptura 2 ©Work by Gleb Dustavidskiy; Paradise is Burning - Paradiset Brinner; Semaine du Son ©Work by Kaja Farzsky; PhotoBrussels ©Michael Ackerman; Ceramics Brussels Art Prize BALLACCHINO Audrey banquet du soir Pascale Cholette; ©Jess Dermanostra @SophieHubont; Plant Hunters ©Meise Botanical Garden; Nutcracker ©Courtesy Franceconcert; Dominik Kest Ost Belgien; By Altuna ©Enjoy Agency

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw