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What’s on this week: 27 August to 2 September

14:29 26/08/2021
Our top picks of events and activities in Brussels and beyond

Arena 5, the new open-air concert series among the exhibition halls at Brussels Expo, continues into September. Coming up are Trixie Whitley, Israeli sensation Asaf Avidan and legendary Brazilian singer and composer Caetano Veloso. Until 11 September, Place de Belgique 1

Put together by the same team, Brussels Short Film Festival and the Brussels International Film Festival overlap to form one big cinema extravaganza. The former brings the best of local and international short films to the capital, while the latter premieres a number of new movies and rolls out the red carpet for special guests. Be among the first to see, for instance, Mexican director Michel Franco’s New Order, or snap up a ticket to hear French director Benoît Delépine (Aaltra, Mammuth) talk about his work. The festival also hosts free open-air screenings. And maybe you heard the recent announcement that the closing film would be Denis Valleneuve’s new adaptation of Dune? It sold out in a few hours. BSFF 29 August to 5 September, Briff 1-11 September, across Brussels

A collective gaming event at Brussels Games Festival

Whether played with friends or with family, board games never go out of style. The Brussels Games Festival puts games at your disposal all over town. Try out a new game or rediscover an old favourite. There are also tournaments, escape rooms, a games market and an online programme. 27-29 August, across Brussels

10 days, 10 teams, 10 menus – and a whole lot of guests. That’s the concept behind this year’s Eat! Brussels Drink! Bordeaux, an annual culinary event in the capital. A team made up of three Brussels chefs, a cheesemaker, a pastry chef, a mixologist and a brewer work to create the perfect dining experience for you and your bubble, all in the beautiful Gare Martime at Tour & Taxis. 2-11 September, Rue Picard 9

 These Woods

Kaaitheater has some great dance productions coming up, including one in the Sonian Forest. Join choreographer Daniel Linehan (an American expat, by the way) for Listen Here: The Woods, which he sets to the beat of sounds straight from nature. Get tickets right away; they’re going fast. Also this week Meg Stuart (another American expat) stages the Belgian premiere of her new piece Cascade. 28 August to 4 September, across Brussels

The new Kult XL Ateliers open with a big party, and everyone is invited. This mix of artist studios, exhibition space and social housing in Ixelles invites the public for guided tours and a concert by pop-folk band Noa Moon. The new project's first group show continues into September. 28 August 11.00-18.00, Rue Wiertz 23

A combination of graphic arts and animation, Mécaniques Discursives has to be seen to be understood. Developed by Brussels-based artist Yannick Jacquet and the late Belgian engraver Fred Penelle, what first appear to be simple woodcuts reproduced on a wall are suddenly pierced by movement – fire shooting from a skull’s mouth, for instance, or flickering squares in rubic cube formations – set to their own soundscape. Check out this wonderful mix of old and new art forms at LaVallée. 2-26 September, Rue Adolphe Lavallée 39 (Molenbeek)

Get to know de rand, otherwise known as the Brussels periphery, during the annual cycling and walking festival De Gordel. Sign up for cycles rides from 20 to 100km or for walks, also of varying lengths. There are also closing day activities in three cities. 28 August to 5 September, Brussels periphery

Nafi Thiam, Olympic gold medallist

Riding on the wake of the Olympic Games, tickets are going fast for the Memorial Van Damme, the annual athletics meeting that serves as one of two finals of the IAAF Diamond League. As always, visitors can catch some of the world’s top athletes in competition, many of them having just won a medal. As a bonus, all of Belgium’s medallists will appear together for the first time since the Games during the opening ceremony. 3 September 19.00, King Baudouin Stadium, Avenue de Marathon 135

An artwork from Let's Get Out


Many of Belgium’s greatest artists signed on to Let’s Get Out, an open-air art parcours on the grounds of Ooidonk Castle, not far from Ghent. See work by the likes of Arne Quinze, Jan Fabre, Philip Aguirre y Otegui and Hanneke Beaumont, all in the shadow of the 16th-century castle, a work of art in itself. Let’s Get Out also includes an exhibition of work by up-and-coming talent in a nearby 17th-century farmstead. Until 17 October, Ooidonkdreef 5, Deinze

Antwerp is the place to be during these final days of summer with its annual Culture Weekend coinciding with the new Electric Shadows Asian Film Festival and the ever-popular Het Theaterfestival. The annual Culture Weekend sees performance houses throwing open their doors to inform visitors about their new season and offer special activities. They also gather on three squares for live music, theatre and comedy. Het Theaterfestival is largely in Dutch, but some shows are language free while others offer surtitling in English. Culture Weekend 27-29 August, Electric Shadows 2-5 September, Theaterfestival 2-12 September

Ghent’s contemporary art museum hosts the first European retrospective of work by Anna Bella Geiger, a pioneer of Brazilian video art. Now 88, Bella Geiger belongs to the first generation of conceptual artists in South America, and her work raises feminist, postcolonial and anthropological questions that have lost none of their contemporary relevance. Until 7 November, Smak, Jan Hoetplein 1, Ghent

Photos, from top: ©Arena 5/Facebook, courtesy Brussels Games Festival, ©Danny Willems, courtesy Scopitone Nantes/YouTube, ©Rob Walbers/BELGA, ©Cedric Verhelst


Written by Lisa Bradshaw