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What's on this week: 23 February-1 March
Bright Brussels continues this weekend with 10 light installations in the Sainte-Catherine, Dansaert and Quay neighbourhoods (www.bright.brussels) - but it’s not the only light festival illuminating the winter days in Brussels. In Schaerbeek, the festival is called Citizen Lights and it takes place in the Avenue Louis Bertrand neighbourhood where many of the buildings of outstanding architecture will be creatively illuminated. There will also be light installations by Belgian and international artists as well as a lantern parade, and illumination of the stained glass decorating many of the houses and light and sound pavilions.
Meanwhile, in the Grand-Place, there is a light bridge, an exhibition of Chinese lanterns. 2018 is the year of tourism between the European Union and China, so the European Commission and the Chinese Mission, in collaboration with the City of Brussels, are organising this festival. The exhibition Light the Heart of Europe will consist of hand-crafted, giant colourful lanterns, one of China's World Intangible Cultural Heritages. These lanterns are inspired by both Chinese and Belgian culture and life, including the Atomium. Additionally, red lanterns will be featured in the Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries until 15 March.
Until 28 February
At Bozar it’s Afropolitan, three days dedicated to art, creativity and thought, on the theme "Black Artlantic". The programming of the festival is inspired by British sociologist Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic concept, and honours artists and intellectuals of African descent in Europe, Africa and the United States. From Brussels to Los Angeles, by way of Abidjan, Kinshasa, and Addis, the festival becomes a crossroads of creations, meetings, exchanges and offers some 15 multidisciplinary events: concerts, debates, films, premières, talks, slams, hip-hop, handicrafts market, fashion, DJ-VJ party, African cuisine, bookstore, kids programmes, dance and singing workshops, exhibitions, and more.
Also opening on 23 February at Bozar is Spanish Still Life - often considered the least exciting of painting subjects, but this show could change minds. In a retrospective of 400 years, we go from the first bodegones of the 17th century through the personal interpretations of Goya and Velàzquez to the experiments in form of Picasso, Miro and Dali.
Also at Bozar, but at the other end of the week, there's more Spanish culture with the magic of flamenco in all its forms during the Bruselas Flamenco Festival: five evenings of passion combining music, dance and cinema. This year, the festival delves into the origins of flamenco which link it to Mediterranean and gypsy cultures. It's a chance to bring together diverse cultural universes – jondo and Ottoman music, Catalan rumba and Berber music, as well as the dances and guitars of Seville or the fervour of the sacred songs of Jerez.
28 February-3 March
The beautiful interior of the Solvay Library will be the background for an evening of contemporary Korean dance presented by the Korean Cultural Centre and Edificio. Entitled TRANS, the piece performed by Modern Table will reflect the intense interdisciplinary movement in the current contemporary performance art scene in Korea. Free but reservation required at 02-274-2980
Tuesday 27 February 20.00
The tropical collective HAPE is back at Les Ecuries van de Tram in Schaerbeek for carnival with #tropicalsoundclash - enough Reggae, Samba, Forro, Highlife, Cumbia and mucho mas mixed live to warm you up and keep you moving.
23 February 20.00-02.00
Swiss artist and journalist Milo Rau has created a play, Five Easy Pieces, about the notorious Belgian paedophile case: l’Affaire Dutroux, but what makes this play particularly controversial is that the cast consists entirely of children. Rau "subtly examines the period of the Dutroux Affair through the eyes of children who perform a series of five documentary reconstruction". In Dutch with English and French surtitles.
23-25 February, Théâtre National
Looking for a tasty 100% vegan brunch? The Judgy Vegan on the Rue des Capucins in the Marolles is back with its “gourmet comfort food vegan sweet and savoury brunch”.
Saturdays 13.30-15.30, Sundays 11.00-13.00 and 13.30-15.30, until 4 March
For those of you in the east side of town, the Youth Centre Tram 44 in Tervuren is raising money with a second hand clothing sale. They promise great deals.
24 February, 14.00-18.00
Would you like to learn how to grow delicious mushrooms at home? On Sunday, La Tricoterie is offering a two-hour course where you will learn the four main steps: pasteurisation, inoculation, incubation and harvest. You will be given an overview of the different cultivation techniques and you will go home with a cultivation kit to grow oyster mushrooms at home, a kit that you will have put together during the course. And a month later you will be harvesting at home. The course is taught by Quentin and Théodore, both from Smart Mush.
€26 (covers course and materials), registration suggested
The Moussem Cities Festival comes to a close next Wednesday. Every year the festival highlights a different Arab metropolis. The chosen cities are rich in cultural diversity and play a vital role in current Arab societies. This year, the festival has been focusing on Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco. Archival images, sound recordings, short films and monumental drawings and photographs from the historic city are on display.
Until 28 February, De Markten, free
Time to renovate your house, or build a new one from scratch? Batibouw has everything you need for your home from design ideas to the best heating and ventilation products.
24 February-4 March, Brussels Expo
Belgian-Moroccan artist Habib Harem is sharing his love for engraving in Brussels. He is joined by 12 other exceptional artists to present their latest works, as well as giving workshops to show the engraving process.
Until 24 February, Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion sociale de Molenbeek, free
Focusing on a frequently taboo subject in society is the conference/debate Blessures invisibles: Regards croisés sur la santé mentale at Bozar on Thursday evening. Handicap International invites three speakers: Photographer Robin Hammond presents stories of real people facing mental health challenges in One Day in My World; the charity’s mental health technical advisor presents a project on combatting social prejudice in Togo, Madagascar, South Sudan, Lebanon; Doctors Without Borders counsellor Léa Deckarm shares her experience providing support to asylum speakers in Wallonia. Plus musical interlude. In English & French.
1 March,18.30-22.00, entrance €10.