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What’s on this week: 27 November-3 December

21:13 25/11/2020
Our pick of Belgium’s best activities for the coming week, online and off

Talk about cheery: Brussels by Lights launched on Tuesday, and man, oh man, is it bright. Brussels-City has done its best to make up for the lack of a Christmas market, decking out more than 140 streets and squares with not just twinkly lights but whole massive light installations. There is a ceiling of golden drops above Rue des Pierres. There are 27 flowers two to 10-metres high on Place Fontainas called ‘Trumpet Flowers’. They sing, with your feet acting as conductor. And over on Place de la Monnaie is ‘Vermell’, eight giant balls that react to sound and light. The name means ‘red’ in Catalan. Don’t forget Grand Place with its giant Christmas tree and inner courtyard filled with origami birds. Until 10 January, across central Brussels

No, the Italian Jazz Festival isn’t in Italy, silly, it’s in Brussels. This year it will be livestreamed direct from the theatre of Italian Cultural Institute. You will hear and see the ensemble Les Contes d’Alfonsina and jazz guitarist Matteo de Leonardo, accompanied by saxophone, piano and drums. 27 November, virtual doors at 18.30

Jan Van Imschoot

Belgian artist Jan Van Imschoot creates work that is disturbing – and hard to look away from. Whether we’re seeing an execution from the vantage point of the convicted or large weeping eyes lodged into the top of a pair of feet, the work has an ambivalent feel – a bit like ‘I’m freaked out but show me more’. He lends this anarcho-baroque, as he calls it, to a series of still-lifes, perfectly styled after the 17th-century Northern School. Brussels’ Galerie Templon has created an excellent online presentation of the show, titled Le bouillon de onze heures. Until 19 December

The Full Circle international club has put its lively discussions online. This week it welcomes British author and poet Laura Mucha who will talk about her book We Need to Talk About Love. It draws on hundreds of interviews and a wealth of research into how we love and what influences how we love, looking at the subject from scientific, psychological and emotional angles. Full Circle is a membership club, but discussions are open to everyone. 27 November 18.45

While Schuman Lights Up will not be quite the same as last year, with its winter tent spilling over with people for all kinds of activities, it will be quite festive nonetheless. A tunnel of lights, many a brightly lit tree and a giant Christmas ball perfect for perching your family in front of for a photo will all be at Rond Point Schuman. 1-31 December

Winter Glow

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

A winter with no Christmas markets feels a little strange, but many cities are going all-out on holiday decorations. Bruges does one better with Winter Glow, a parcours of creative light installations across the historic city centre. Some are monumental, some are interactive, and some are both. Find your way with the app, or just follow the spotlights on the ground. Together with more than 40 decorated streets and squares and 500 Christmas trees, Bruges will make you forget that this season is a little bit different. Until 10 January

Photos, from top: Courtesy Brussels by Lights, courtesy Jan Van Imschoot/Templon, ©Jan D’Hondt/Stad Brugge

Written by Lisa Bradshaw