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What’s on this week: 29 October - 4 November

13:20 28/10/2021
Our top picks of events and activities in Brussels and beyond

The kids are out of school during the first week of November, and Belgium offers endless ways to keep them entertained. It’s when the Brussels film festival for young people, Filem’On, takes place, as well as Bozar’s Next Generation, Please! interactive exhibition. Or head to Antwerp, where the evening Grote Schijn leads families through a forest of lights and magic. The school holiday also coincides with Halloween, which means a wealth of frightful activities, most notably at the Museum of Fantastic Art in Brussels, Walibi amusement park in Wavre and Pairi Daiza animal park in Brugelette. 30 October to 7 November, across Belgium

Café theatre festival Bruxelles Sur Scènes is back for its fifth edition. Thirteen venues across the capital that offer a mix of performances and music in intimate settings are taking part. Languages vary, and it’s a fantastic way to take in a lot of local colour. A full festival pass is available for a mere €20. 1-30 November, across Brussels

Design Museum Brussels hooked up with the Museum of Ixelles for Crush, where the furniture of the former snuggles up to the paintings and sculpture of the latter for a fun and fresh look at both. For example: Bernard de Rijckere’s 16th-century portrait of a member of the della Faille family is paired with Danielle Quarante’s 1970s Albatross fauteuil. Their shared round forms and fondness for yellow get them talking, and they develop a crush on each other. Get it? Until 6 March, Design Museum Place de Belgique

A cosplayer at Comic Con Brussels

Comics, cosplay, gaming, movies, manga, collectibles, anime, series, clothing, gadgets and special guests can all be found at Comic Con Brussels. Meet Ron Perlman (aka Hellboy), Marie Averopoulus (aka Octavia Blake) and bunch of other actors from Harry Potter, Star Wars and more. 30-31 October, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86c

Ismaïl Abdoul of Ghent was a three-time national boxing champion, Benelux champion and won the European light heavyweight title in 2012. Among all that victory were prison sentences and four bullets in the gut. The new movie Cool Abdoul tells his story, illustrating how racism and a lack of respect for boxing in Belgium impacts not just your sport, but your whole life. Oh and that you should never underestimate the love of a good woman. In cinemas across Belgium

A scene from La Monnaie's 2012 production of Lulu

The tour de force that is Krzysztof Warlikowski’s production of Alban Berg’s Lulu returns to La Monnaie almost 10 years after its ground-breaking première. The production of Berg’s three-act magnum opus was met with worldwide acclaim, with Barbara Hannigan’s fearless portrayal of this fascinating and elusive character becoming a defining moment in opera. Written in 1935, Lulu addresses issues like psychology, gender and feminism with a resonance that is still powerful today. 2-18 November, Place de la Monnaie

Chilean author Alejandro Zambra burst onto the literary scene in 2006 with Bonsai, the story of a couple brought together by their love of books. Hailed for its language more than its story, critics went to far as to say that it launched a new era of letters in their homeland. Zambra has won numerous national and international awards since and is interviewed about his new book – just translated in Dutch – at Passa Porta by Belgian writer Roderik Six. (In English) 3 November 20.00-21.30, Rue Antoine Dansaert 46

“There’s been times when there’s been a border, there’s been times when there’s no border. The land never changes, but the people change.” These wise words are handed down from one generation to another in Belgian filmmaker Annabel Verbeke’s documentary Four Seasons in a Day. Like a fly on the wall, she catches comments and conversations between post-Brexit passengers on the Carlingford Lough ferry that crosses from Ireland to Northern Ireland. A talk with Verbeke, in English, follows the screening at Bozar this week. The film will also be shown on TV channel Canvas on 28 November. 5 November 20.30, Rue Ravenstein 23

Lydia Lunch is a legend in New York’s underground punk scene, launching her own bands and collaborating with musicians and bands like Kim Gordon, Brian Eno and Sonic Youth. One of the stars of the 1970s ‘no wave’ scene, she would go on to dabble in film, literature and spoken word. She will deliver the latter live and in person at Cinema Nova following the screening of the documentary Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over. 30 & 31 October, Rue d’Arenberg 3

A production during bisArts


Discover the circus magic of Charleroi’s bisARTS, a week-long festival that gathers daring acts from home and abroad. The family-friendly event’s big top is on the site of the former Hôpital Civil, but it also takes to other venues. On the programme are surprising and interactive performances, including acrobatics, theatre, dance, juggling, percussion and singing. A day of activities for kids on 3 November includes circus and cooking workshops, face painting and concerts. 29 October to 6 November, across Charleroi

A choir during the World Choir Games

Postponed because of the corona crisis, the World Choir Games finally kicks off this week in Antwerp and in Ghent. The cities will host more than 30,000 singers and many thousands of spectators for one of the biggest international events in the world. More than 540 choirs from nearly 70 countries will compete in 30 categories. It is a wonderful chance to experience the song and culture of different lands and to celebrate the positive spirit in which the Games are held. 30 October to 7 November, across Antwerp and Ghent

X-Men de la récup

Namur’s Kikk Festival bounces back with a particularly festive 10th anniversary programme. The International Festival of Digital and Creative Arts is on a mission to demystify technology and prides itself on attracting a wide audience to the Walloon capital. A line-up of prestigious speakers and conferences is offset by loads of free public activities. These include a market space, artist collaboration AfriKIKK (X-Men de la récup pictured above) and Kikk in Town, an interactive tour of 40 spectacular installations, accessible for all ages. 4-7 November, across Namur

Photos, from top: Courtesy Filem’on, courtesy Comic Con, ©Bernd Uhlig, courtesy Film Fest Gent/YouTube, ©Richard Haughton, ©Nolte Photography, ©Precy Numbi


Written by Lisa Bradshaw