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What’s on this week: 26 November to 2 December

12:01 25/11/2021
Due to the epidemiological situation, events are strictly enforcing coronavirus measures, and cancellations are possible. We advise checking websites before heading out

There’s a warm glow of lights and drinks in a massive tent during Schuman Lights Up. Hosted by Schuman Square, the event features festive lighting on and around Schuman as well as  international initiatives inside the tent. There are many, including a Slovenian Festival, Eurochanuka and a Gourmet Speciality Tour, during which embassies and tourist offices introduce visitors to their traditional products. Events are free and open to the public, but space is limited, so it’s best to arrive early. 29 November to 14 December, Rond-Point Schuman

The Irish Theatre Group presents Augustus Does His Bit, George Bernard Shaw’s hilarious one-act play about an incompetent aristocrat outwitted by a beautiful spy during the First World War. The English-language troupe is offering a ‘welcome back to live theatre’ drink ahead of the show. 30 November to 4 December, Warehouse Studio Theatre, Rue Waelhem 69 (Schaerbeek)

Chalets at the Winter Wonders Christmas market in Brussels

It’s the 20th anniversary of Winter Wonders, Belgium’s biggest Christmas bash. Opening on Friday, the Christmas market across downtown Brussels extends for the first time to Bois de la Cambre (from 3 December), which will be transformed into a winter woodland, complete with an ice rink. Meanwhile, the city centre is filled with 225 wooden chalets, selling the habitual mix of gifts, crafts, warm drinks and seasonal bites to eat. Place de Brouckère also welcomes skaters, while Grand Place hosts a sound and light show as well as the traditional Christmas tree and nativity. The ‘après-ski’ village at Place de la Monnaie boasts a downhill toboggan run. Brussels by Lights wows visitors along major shopping streets, and Winter Pop sees pop-up villages in the Marolles, Neder-over-Hembeek, Schuman and Laeken. That should get you through the season, no? 26 November to 2 January, across Brussels-City

Double, double, toil and trouble … learn everything you ever wanted to know about witches at two exhibitions: Witches is hosted by ULB and covers the history of the phenomenon of women being accused of practicing the dark arts, while KBR library’s Witches: Avant le lettre presents images of women from the Burgundian manuscript collection carrying out tasks that would one day be considered suspicious. Witches: Until 16 January, Vanderborght building, Rue de l’Ecuyer 50. Witches: Avant le lettre, until 24 April, KBR, Mont des Arts 28
Read The Bulletin’s review of Witches here

Sébastien Clerc

Classical, jazz, Latin … the styles of music one can play on a guitar is as diverse as the players themselves. And they come from around the world for the Brussels International Guitar Festival. Day-time master classes, lecture, an exhibition and a guitar-makers salon give way to evening concerts by some of the greatest masters of guitar today. 26-30 November, Théâtre du Vaudeville, Galerie de la Reine 13

Early this year, The Bulletin told you about a crowdfunding campaign for a documentary on sacrifices made by women who work in the European institutions. Now Notes from Brussels is premiering in the Cinema Galeries in Brussels. Nadine van Loon’s film debut follows three women and their drive to keep ahead in a fast-paced environment, examining how they hold their own in the European bubble and the price they pay for their success. The 15 December screening includes a discussion with the director and one of the women profiled in the film. 2, 8, 15 & 22 December, Galerie de la Reine 28

South African singer Tutu Puoane

While there were previously three jazz festivals in January, River Jazz has moved up the agenda, kicking off Belgium’s jazz winter. Taking place in three legendary Brussels clubs, the international line-up includes a children’s concert and an exhibition. This week catch South African singer Tutu Puoane (pictured), the Brussels-based Aleph Quintet and Belgian saxophonist Toine Thys, who presents his project Orlando, based on Virginia Woolf’s novel of the same m name. 25 November to 11 December, across Brussels

If you’re thinking of the warm winds of Cyprus right about now, you need not book a holiday; just pick up tickets to the Cinemamed Film Festival, which features movies made in lands that border the Mediterranean Sea. That means a diverse programme with flicks from countries like Spain and France but also Israel and Syria. There are also concerts, parties, debates and a Mediterranean market. 2-11 December, across central Brussels

Get tickets now: Piano competition winners in concert  There are still a smattering of tickets to see Jonathan Fournel, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition for piano earlier this year, or Bruce Xiaoyu Liu, winner of Poland’s Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition. Don’t miss the chance to see two of the best young pianists in the world. 4 December (Fournel), 5 December (Liu), Bozar, Rue Ravensteinstraat 23

‘Ejection Tie Club’ by artistic duo Brognon Rollin


Artistic duo Brognon Rollin present a panoramic view of their 15-year career in the multidisciplinary exhibition The Penultimate Version of Reality at Charleroi’s influential art space BPS22. Among the 40 minimalist works on show are in-situ pieces created especially for the museum. All together, they reveal the pair’s observation of the margins of society and the concepts of time. Each video panel in ‘Ejection Tie Club’ (pictured), for instance, represents the time it took for a pilot to activate the ejection seat when confronted with impending death. Until 9 January, Boulevard Solvay 22, Charleroi

Mu.Zee in Ostend features an overview of the last 20 years of work by Belgian artist Maarten Vanden Eynde, whose sculptures and conceptual installations explore the ecological impact of humans. Digging Up the Future shows us a period marked with great technological advancements but also one crisis after another – not least of all the beginning of the end of our planet as we know it. Until 16 January, Romestraat 11, Ostend

A still from the short film Opera

Good directors know that sometimes you only need 20 minutes to tell your story. Check out some of the strongest short films in the world at the Leuven Short Film Festival. Choose from documentaries, fiction and animation, with several films offered at each screening. Check out the Danish film Young, which confronts rumour-mongering among teenage girls, or Opera, a fascinating little allegory of history repeating itself as societies interact like industrial processes in a trickle-down pyramid (pictured). 3-11 December, Cinema Zed, Andreas Vesaliusstraat 9C, Leuven

Photos, from top: Courtesy Schuman Lights Up, courtesy Winter Wonders, courtesy Sebastien Clerc/Facebook, courtesy River Jazz, ©Leslie Artamonow, courtesy Leuven Short Film Festival


Written by Lisa Bradshaw and Sarah Crew