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What’s on this week: 24-30 July

13:22 23/07/2020
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

Urban art continues to spring up, brightening darker corners of the capital. In tours designed for all ages, explore Brussels’ lively street art and graffiti scene with expert guides from nonprofit Fais le trottoir. They show and decode numerous examples of the movement in different areas of the city. The next tour of the city centre is on Sunday; meeting point Recyclart. Contact for reservations and more info (the two-hour tours are in French and English). 26 July, Square des Ursulines

Les Concerts Nobles

The sumptuous ballroom of Concert Noble in the EU quarter (pictured, above) is the evocative setting for a series of intimate dinner concerts this summer, organised by French-language national broadcaster RTBF. Aimed at supporting the culture, catering and events sectors, Les Concerts Nobles’ varied programme includes Suarez on 24 July and BJ Scott on 28 July. Until 19 September, Rue d’Arlon 84

Skateboard culture in all its forms is celebrated at the third edition of the European Custom Board Show at Les Halles Saint-Géry this summer. Gathering artists from across Europe, it shows all aspects of boarding, from  customisation to photography and the history of the culture in urban life. Exhibitions, workshops, talks, initiations and workshops for all ages, plus a particular look at skateboarding in Brussels; its role and impact on urbanism. Until 7 September, Place Saint-Géry 1, free entrance

Here for Life film

International releases may be stalled this summer due to Covid, but film buffs are well served with any number of festivals and events. En ville! is a Belgian and international documentary film festival and competition showing at multiple venues. The opening event on Saturday is a free outdoor screening of Here for Life (pictured, above) by Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson (UK 2019), introduced by the directors. Part drama, part doc, it follows a group of artists on an odyssey around the streets of London. The current programme runs until 7 August before returning later in the year. 25 July, 21.45, Marais Wiels, Avenue Van Volxem 354

It’s destination Berlin at the outdoor summer film festival dedicated to the hip German capital. L’Heure d’été Berlin is showing more than 15 films; an opportunity to discover a few treasures of German cinema before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall as part of the 30th anniversary of the country's reunification. The opening evening shows a screening of Berlin Alexanderplatz by Burhan Qurbani at UGC De Brouckère (in German; French and Dutch subtitles). The festival is organised by Cinema Galeries, in partnership with the city of Brussels, the Brussels Capital Region, the National Lottery and the Goethe Institut Brussel. Multiple venues. 29 July-23 August

Figures on a ground exhibition - CAB Fondation

A group show of pioneering minimalist women artists is showing at the CAB Fondation until the end of the year. Figures on a ground. Perspectives on minimal art (pictured, above) presents artists with varying approaches to their medium that defy easy categorisation. They include early protagonists, the American artists Carmen Herrera, Agnes Truitt, Gloria Graham, Mary Obering and Meg Webster, as well as Canadian-born abstract painter Agnes Martin and Belgian artist Marthe Wéry.  Until 12 December, Wednesday to Saturday, 12.00-18.00, 32-34 Rue Borrens

It’s the summer for enjoying pleasures closer to home. Professional illustrators and collectives from around the country display their version of ‘Brussels on holiday’ in city windows all summer long. Organised by Passa Porta, ZomerVITRINEdété presents original drawings in 40 locations, all showing different facets of summer life in the city

Boeremet aftwork parties

Whether you’re working from home or still schlepping into the office, there’s often a need to unwind at the end of the day. Every Thursday, Boeremet beer garden and cocktail bar invites you to its afterwork parties (pictured, above), complete with happy hour (18.00-19.00), DJ and food trucks at the Abbatoirs d’Anderlecht, a covered venue. Private parking possible for €5. Until 31 December, Rue Ropsy Chaudron 24

Brussels fitness institution Friskis & Svettis returns with its free summer exercise sessions, albeit with an adapted programme to reflect Covid security measures. Instead of its usual location in Parc Cinquantenaire, this year the workout club is offering five indoor sessions a week at venues in Etterbeek and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert as well as eight outdoor sessions. Translating as ‘healthy and sweaty’ in Swedish, Friskis & Svettis focuses on core strength, fitness and dance, and its classes are open to teens and adults. Until 31 August, free access but registration necessary

Dj Dark Villa Empain

Book ahead Villa Empain One of the most stylish addresses in Brussels, the Villa Empain, opens late each last Friday of the summer months to entice you to view its exhibition Mappa Mundi while enjoying a DJ set and bar. DJ Darko (pictured, above) spins the discs from the terrace of the Art Deco museum, overlooking its fabulous swimming pool. Run by the Boghossian Foundation, the villa’s unmissable annual summer party on 23 August sees the cool pool transformed into a beacon for party goers eager to feel the beat, while sipping a cocktail and snacking from food stands.  Friday Lates, 31 July & 28 August, until 21.00; Summer Party, 23 August (reservations from 3 August), Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67


Yann Arthus-Bertrand

The city of Mons welcomes two exhibitions of photos (pictured, above) by French ecologist Yann Arthus-Bertrand, entitled Legacy: The Heritage We Leave Our Children. Displayed in the green outdoor space of Beffroi park, the highest vantage point in the city, are some 80 photos from his emblematic book Earth from Above. Lesser-known works by the environmental campaigner from the 1980s can be viewed inside Salle Saint-Georges. Security measures are in place at both sites and visitors are advised to book tickets in advance.
Until 25 October

For six months from October 1944, Antwerp came under siege from V-bombs as the Germans attempted to stop the Allies’ advance. More than 4,000 people were killed in this bombardment, many of them civilians. The exhibition Every day fear at Mas in Antwerp’s Eilandje district looks back at this period of anxiety, mapping where the bombs fell and telling the stories of those who lived through it. Reserve your ticket and timeslot online before visiting. The exhibition, created with the city’s archives, is part of a longer-term commemoration of the liberation of Antwerp from German occupation, which includes a physical and virtual guided city walk. Until September

Photos: Graffitti tour Brussels canal © Fais le trottoir; DJ Darko (c) Fondation Boghossian; Legacy: Yann Arthus-Bertrand


Written by Sarah Crew, Sally Tipper