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What’s on this week: 22-28 October

13:46 21/10/2021
Our top picks of events and activities in Brussels and beyond

The wonderfully creative festival of light installations Bright Brussels has moved from February to the autumn. The popular free event has two routes this year, with installations that often need interaction with visitors to get them glowing or making noise or involved in a competition. A fringe programme includes a lot of fun activities, including a ‘light ballet’ created by the public on the façade of the Musical Instruments Museum and a sound and light show at the Atomium. 28 October to 6 November, across Brussels

EU Commission shenanigans make you laugh anyway, so why not do it in the presence of others at The Schuman Show. The new live sketch comedy event hones in on the fads and foibles of the EU bubble we love to hate (or hate to love). The show is on the last Thursday of every month. 28 October 21.00-22.00, Claridge, Chaussée de Louvain 24 (Saint-Josse)

Performance at Museum Night Fever

Get down to a VJ set along an illuminated path, party with burlesque dancers, hear some slam poetry or zigzag among circus performers during Museum Night Fever. Choose a route among nearly 30 Brussels museums, which entertain you like never before. Shuttle buses get you there. 23 October 19.00-1.00, across Brussels

The ETCetera theatre group offers the intriguing double bill L’île de Tulipatan, an opera bouffe about gender and deception, and A Pair of Lunatics, a Victorian comedy set at a ball in … an insane asylum. ETCetera performs plays in different languages, and these are in the original French and English, respectively, with surtitles in the other language. 21-24 October, Théâtre à Plomb, Rue de l’Abattoir 24

Film still from Harpya by Raoul Servais

Belgian filmmaker Raoul Servais is a virtuoso of animation in Europe, pioneering techniques, in particular combining animation with live action and photography. He took on subjects such as totalitarianism and domination in a style so unique it became known as ‘Servaisgraphy’. Having won innumerable awards around the world for short and feature films, he is now in his 90s and has provided a wealth of archives for the retrospective exhibition Raoul Servais: A World Between Magic and Realism. Admission is free of charge. Until 6 March, BELvue Museum, Place des Palais 7

Brussels-based contemporary sculptor Rachel Labastie uses all kinds of materials – marble, wood, wicker, clay, etc – to create works that are a paradox, asking us to see beyond the meaning we readily give to certain shapes and objects. Remedies acts as both a retrospective and a showcase for new works. Until 13 February, Fine Arts Museum, Rue de la Régence 3

It won the Fipresci Prize in Cannes, the Debut Prize at the London Film Festival – among others – and is up for the Discovery European Film Award. It is Brussels’ filmmaker Laura Wandel’s feature debut Un Monde, and it is opening in cinemas this week. The story of a girl who is helpless to stop her brother being bullied at school, it is being hailed for the marvellous technique of the camera being at little Nora’s level for the entire film. Across Belgium

The Brussels Women’s Club hosts two events this week, a brocante sale and the workshop Find Your Balance with EFT. The latter is a method to restore balance to your body’s energy by using your fingers to tap on meridian points – sort of like acupuncture without needles. The early-bird rate for registering for EFT is extended to Saturday, 23 October, to readers of The Bulletin. Just mention us when signing up. Brocante 23 October 10.00-14.00, EFT 28 October 19.00, Rue au Bois 509 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)

Brussels’ house of French-language literature hosts Habiter Demain (Live Tomorrow), several week of events and activities that look at the 21st century’s climate, social and demographic challenges. Exhibitions, stories and workshops explore alternatives to a dark dystopia. Until 8 December, Maison du Livre, Rue de Rome 24 (Saint-Gilles)

Andy Holden's ‘Eyes in Space’ (cropped)


Did you know that it was a Belgian who came up with the Big Bang Theory? Physics professor (and Catholic priest) George Lemaître introduced the concept of the origins of the universe to his KU Leuven colleagues in 1931, changing our understanding of space and time forever. Now there’s Bang!, a festival that cleverly integrates science and the cosmos with culture to bring us events like a planetarium music festival, a look at how artists have imagined the universe and a star party in a trail of lights. Until 30 January, across Leuven

Ever since Mons was European Capital of Culture in 2015, the city has been dedicated to keeping the spirit of that buoyant year alive, when a wide range of citizens became engaged with activities and with each other in numbers not seen before. This autumn’s Mons Biennial of Art and Culture is hinged around a major exhibition by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, but also celebrates Italian cuisine (marking 50 years since the signing of the Coal Treaty) and the secret nature of the dark, with Night of the Museums, Night of Digital Arts and the compellingly named Night of Mystery. Until 12 December, across Mons

In former times, religious gatherings were one occasion when dazzling dress was fully on display. Ornate and weighty clerical costumes did not shy away from the ‘bling bling’, with gilt thread shimmering and impressing the faithful. The exhibition Habiller le culte celebrates the splendour of liturgical clothing at Tournai’s textile museum Tamat. The Hainaut city was once the centre of a region famed worldwide for its textile industry. Until 28 November, Place Reine-Astrid 9, Tournai

Photos, from top: ©Vertigo/Visit Brussels; courtesy Brussels Museums; still from Harpya ©Raoul Servais Collection; courtesy Lumière Benelux; ©Andy Holden, ‘Eyes in Space’ (cropped)

Written by Lisa Bradshaw