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What’s on this week: 22-28 March

11:51 21/03/2019
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

The Passa Porta Festival is so rich with interesting people and heady discussions, it can be hard to wait the two years it takes for it to come round again. Your day or weekend wristband gets you into any part of the daytime programme, as you hustle around Brussels, making up your own schedule. Evening performances are ticketed separately. Many talks, reading and debates are in English, such as Goodbye, Hello, a Brexit-inspired lecture concert featuring British authors Ali Smith and Jonathan Coe. Opening night, meanwhile, features British author Reni Eddo-Lodge (pictured), who will discuss her long-time struggle talking about race with white people. This is the tip of the iceberg of Passa Porta, check out the programme and tick your choices now. 28-31 March, across Brussels

Brussels hosts two marches this Sunday: March for Europe begins at 13.00 on Place Poelaert and is in support of the European project one day ahead of the 62nd anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, while the Stop Racism march starts at 14.00 at North Station. 24 March, across Brussels

The Eurantica Fine Art Fair is a great place for browsing paintings, sculpture, furniture and vintage and antique design, with pieces dating from as far back as the 14th century. Visitors can take home truly unique pieces. The special guest this year is Brussels’ Horta Museum, which celebrates its 50th anniversary. It will bring along some exquisite furniture as well as the only piece of decorative art by Victor Horta still in existence, a mirror in a frame of gilt bronze. 26-31 March, Palais 1, Brussels Expo, Place de Belgique 1

Brussels is launching a new event: Digital Spring is free and showcases creative use of technology in academia, business and the arts. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions as they explore augmented reality, coding and how new technologies are being put to use. There’s also a round table discussion on ethics in the use of technology. 23-24 March, Kanal Centre Pompidou, Quai des Péniches

BabyBoom Fair

For expecting or new parents, the BabyBoom Fair will open your eyes to a whole new world. The largest fair of its kind in the country, the number of products and services that await you are mind boggling. There are also a number of quite useful workshops and talks, such as how to make breastfeeding a success, how to change diapers and keeping the baby safe in a car seat. All these are in Dutch or French with simultaneous translation in the other language. 22-24 March, Brussels Expo, Place de Belgique 1

Leave your gender stereotypes at the door for Transendance, a party for transgendered people and gender-nonconformists – and all their friends and allies. It’s a fundraiser for the first Belgian march dedicated to trans rights and visibility. 23 March from 18.00, Barlok, Avenue du Port 53

It’s sometimes impossible to distinguish what Brussels-based photographer Michel Mazzoni is photographing, which is just what he wants you to feel in the solo show Other Things Visible. To him, photography isn’t about representation of the familiar, but about finding the precipice between the figurative and the abstract. Until 14 April, La Botanique, Rue Royale 236 (Saint-Josse)

Who can understand the youth of today? asks every older generation since the beginning of time. The House of European History takes on the subject with Restless Youth: Growing up in Europe from 1945 to Now, which looks at how the younger generations have gone from a group to which history happened to making history themselves. Until 29 February 2020, Rue Belliard 135

 Our Right to Fight

Dream of a more fair and sustainable world? So does the Millenium Film Festival, which features documentaries dealing with the subject. One of the highlights is the opening film, Too Beautiful: Our Right to Fight, a documentary about Namibia Flores Rodriguez, who trains as a boxer at Havana’s most prestigious gym but is not allowed to represent the country at the Olympics because boxing is closed to women in Cuba. Another is La liberté, where residents of Corsica’s open prison become surprisingly candid about their lives and crimes in the face of a sensitive filmmaker. The Millenium festival is committed to catering to the international community, so virtually all the films that aren’t in English are subtitled in English. 22-30 March, across Brussels

Looking ahead: Should you want to attend a session of one of the most prestigious classical music competitions in the world, grab tickets now for the Queen Elisabeth Competition. This year features the violin, with a deluge of young talent descending on the capital. Tickets are still available for all the rounds, including the final. But act fast. 29 April to 25 May, Bozar & Flagey

Laetare Stavelot

It’s time for that festival you’re always seeing photos of: the Laetare Stavelot. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, this little Liège town throws a unique carnivalesque celebration. The stars of the show are the famous Blancs-Moussis, who parade through the streets on Sunday armed with a seemingly endless amount of confetti and … wait for it … pig bladders. They are blown up like balloons, and the Moussis hit you with them. Whatever medieval practice that is based on is probably best not to know. In any case, it’s all part of a Grand Parade, followed in the evening by fireworks and Night of the Blancs-Moussis in the cellar of the village’s lovely abbey. 30 March to 1 April, across Stavelot (Liege province)

Did you know that the moon and all the planets make some kind of sound? This is one of the fascinating realities that make up Bruges’ multi-disciplinary Cosmos Festival, a mixture of movement, music, sound and science. There are talks on the planets and stars, an exhibition of historical Nasa images, a sound installation with said planetary noise and an orchestral suite based on the planets’ ‘personalities’. And that’s not even the half of it. 26 March to 10 April, Concertgebouw, ’t Zand 34, Bruges 

Photos: Laetare Stavelot/Stavelot Tourism, Passa Porta courtesy event, Baby Boom/Romrodinka/Getty Images, Millenium courtesy event

Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Haryo Nindito

Art Portrait Photography Seminar, 31 March 2019.

Mar 27, 2019 21:31