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What’s on this week: 22-28 November

14:25 21/11/2019
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

OK, it might be a little early, but it’s freakin’ cold outside, so there are worse things than warming up with some glögi (mulled wine) at the Finnish Seamen’s Mission Christmas Fair. Anyone who visited the Finnish street at last year’s Winter Wonders is aware that the snowy country knows how to put on cosy at this time of year. You’ll find traditional Christmas decorations as well as designer products from such names as Marimekko and Pentik. The courtyard will be kitted out in holiday cheer, complete with Finnish culinary specialities. 27 November to 1 December & 4-8 December, Rue Jacques de Lalaing 33 (Etterbeek)

Straight from New York, Punk Graphics: Too Fast to Live, to Young to Die takes visitors through the apex of the punk period through its graphic arts. Iconic fliers, posters, album covers and other illusrations show how the cultural movement of the 1970s to the mid-80s left its mark on even the most mainstream of graphic artists of today. Until 26 April, Adam Design Museum, Place de Belgique

The Brussels Writers’ Circle hosts a couple of launch events for its new anthology of poetry and short stories. Contributors will read from the work and sign copies at Waterstones and Munpunt next week. 26 November 17.30-19.00, Waterstones, Boulevard Adolphe Max 71; 30 November 19.00, Muntpunt Café, Rue Léopold 2

Open Door

The sudden drop in temperature is good timing for Cinema Mediterranean, a festival devoted to film from (much warmer) countries bordering the eponymous sea. There is an excellent selection this year, with many good movies to watch out for. Consider The Unknown Saint, a quirky crime caper in which a thief returns to the spot in the Moroccan desert where he buried a huge sack of money a decade earlier, only to find a shrine built on top of it. Or Open Door, a rare feature film from Albania, and a road movie at that (pictured). The festival also hosts parties, debates, concerts and a special programme for young people. 29 November to 7 December, across central Brussels

It’s an all-Dvořák evening with the Karski Quartet performing the Czech composer’s String Quartet no.13 in G major followed by the International Chorale of Brussels performing his mass in D major. The Karski Quartet takes its name from Jan Karski, the legendary World War II resistance-movement figure. Karski Quartet will be Artist in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium for the 2019/2020 season. The concert is in aid of the Community Help Service. 22 November, 20h, Eglise Ste. Alix, Parvis Sainte-Alixe, 1150 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre; 23 November, 20h, Eglise des Dominicains, Avenue Renaissance 40, 1000 Bruxelles.

Ten Brussels microbrews gather in the See U space at the old federal police barracks for U Beer Bazaar. Sample their wares, as well as those of several food projects. There’s also live music, and entry is free. 21-23 November 16.00-23.00, See U, enter at Avenue de la Couronne 227 or Rue Fritz Toussaint 8

Spirit

Most of us are familiar with the brilliant graphic novel series Maus, but what few people realise is how many superhero comics in the 20th century were conceived, written and drawn by Jewish people. The Avengers, Superman, Captain America … while they are not about the Holocaust like Maus, they are about personal struggle, physical power and protecting the innocent from pure evil. The exhibition Superheroes Never Die: Comics and Jewish Memories presents more than 200 original comics and drawings to tell the story of Jewish vengeance in ink. Until 26 April, Jewish Museum of Belgium, Rue des Minimes 21

It’s the Winter Bar grand opening weekend at nightlife hotspsot Plein Publiek. Winter cocktails, gluwein and waffels await you in the salon or on the heated lounge terrace. 22-24 November, Palais de la Dynastie, Mont des Arts

Brussels Imagination Club hosts the workshop Your Mind is a Team: The Chihuahua Framework of Mental Health and Behaviour. Workshop leader Valerie Van Kerckhove has researched every topic with a link to mental health (Neuroscience, psychology, coaching, nutrition, meditation, etc) to come up with a model that helps identify negative behaviour and provides the tools to manage it. 27 November 18.45-21.00, Timesmore, Boulevard St Michel 47 (Etterbeek)

Gospel for Life

A real sensation for both the eyes and ears, the glorious Gospel for Life choir wakes up abbeys, churches and cultural centres across Belgium with a show of lights and uplifting music. The first stops in Brussels are this weekend at the magnificent church of St Michael College in Etterbeek. The choir later visits Uccle, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and Saint Josse. Until 21 December, across Brussels and Wallonia

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

Antwerp’s riverside Mas Museum looks at the global fascination for Japanese pop culture in the exhibition Cool Japan. Unique historical pieces show how Japanese icons like Hello Kitty, samurai and yokai (creepy monsters) come from a long tradition and how ancient and contemporary Japanese art continue to infiltrate the rest of the world. Until 19 April, Hanzestedenplaats 1, Antwerp

Photos, from top: RPBMedia/Getty; courtesy Cinema Mediterranean; Will Eisner, ‘The Spirit’ (cropped), watercolour on cardboard, 2001, photo by Ann Eisner, courtesy Gospel for Life

Written by Lisa Bradshaw