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What’s on this week: 4-10 December

19:34 03/12/2020
Museums and galleries in Belgium are back open, but check before you go as some require visitors to reserve in advance

The Fine Art Museum offers a veritable trip through the history of modern and contemporary art with its exhibition Be Modern: From Klee to Tuymans. What set the modern artists of the 20th century apart from their predecessors, and what’s the difference from the ‘contemporary’ artists of today? See paintings, drawings, sculpture and more by such luminaries as Francis Bacon, Matisse and Picasso (not to mention the title characters). Until 24 January, Rue de la Régence 3

Author and life coach Jeroen Walravens says he can help you achieve today what seemed impossible yesterday. A failed student, brain trauma survivor, stabbing victim and recovered addict, he’s living proof of the claim. He leads the workshop Overcoming Whatever Comes at Us, sponsored by the Brussels Imagination Club, live via Zoom. Participants will learn how to turn setback into opportunities, why it’s so hard to be satisfied with yourself and how to put maximum effort into goals. 9 December 19.00

Molenbeek

The late Belgian artist Philippe Vandenberg moved from Ghent to Brussels in 2006 and was inspired to create an alternate universe of Molenbeek. In 250 colour drawings, now on view together for the first time, he imagines a place where personal and collective traumas become entangled with metropolitan problems and global conflicts. Through this universe, Vandenberg stands up to the recurring structures of oppression, fundamentalism and one-dimensional thinking. Until 24 January, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Les Halles de Schaerbeek will livestream Entre rap, slam et révoltes, a multi-lingual evening of poetry and performance. It was scheduled as part of the Bruxelles/Africapitales festival and is now free online. 5 December 20.00-21.30

Sacred Music Festival

The Festival of Sacred Music in Mons certainly picked quite a year to debut its first edition. No matter, most of the concerts are going ahead, streamed live from the Arsonic concert hall, a wonder of acoustical technology carved out in the city’s old fire station. Concerts are focused on spiritual music of all kinds, from ecumenical to ritual to meditative. 4-12 December

The Fine Arts Museum has given carte blanche to the Art Cares Covid initiative for the exhibition Art Cares Covid/Inside-Out. More than 40 Belgian artists working in all kinds of mediums are represented, and – bonus – all of the works are on sale. Art Cares Covid has put the work of artists struggling to make a living during the corona crisis online. Buyers pay 60% of the asking price to the artist and 40% to the non-profit A Travers les Arts!, which runs a series of cultural projects for seniors. But you can see the works in real-life at the museum; even those that have been sold are there for the duration of exhibition. Until 24 January, Rue de la Régence

Ghosts

Catch the tail-end edition of Cinemamed, the festival of film from countries surrounding the Mediterranean. Highly recommended are Ghosts (pictured), in which director Azra Deniz Okyay’s offers a slice of life in modern Istanbul as strangers criss-cross each other in the lead-up to a nation-wide blackout, and documentary We Are From There, which details five years in the lives of two Syrian brothers trying to rebuild their lives in different European cities. All the films on the Cinemamed programme are available to view anytime you want via the Sooner streaming sight for a very democratic €6 for fiction features and €4 for documentaries. Check the Cinemamed website for complete info. Until 5 December

The Brussels Philharmonic orchestra is streaming all of its scheduled concerts live from Flagey and Bozar until further notice. This month see Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 23 and Brahms’ First Symphony for free. 11/19 December 20.00

The celebrated Live Magazine brings together journalists, photographers, artists and other media-oriented thinkers to tell one of their stories, one by one, on stage. Carefully chosen for having published or uncovered something that captured the imagination, they present their work live, with words, images, sounds and movement. This edition is in French and will be live-streamed from Bozar on Facebook and YouTube. 8 December 20.00

Light Art

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

One of Knokke-Heist’s festive favourites returns to light up the winter skies during the holiday season. Light Art is a multi-sensory illuminated promenade through the city’s shopping triangle of Lippenslaan, Dumortierlaan and Kustlaan. The dazzling displays are inspired by artistic masters like Keith Haring and Vincent Van Gogh and include a fun quest for kids. Considering the situation in Bruges and Brussels last weekend, Knokke is not putting out a big marketing campaign for this, which should reduce crowds. But it’s still best to check the website before you go. 5-6, 12-13, 19-23, 25-30 December; 1-3 January

The 30-hectare grounds of the 18th-century Hélécine Castle in Walloon Brabant remain open this winter, ideal for scenic lakeside walks and giving children a chance to let off steam. The provincial domain offers a track for the little ones to rove around on tractors plus a large outdoor playground and mini golf. Meanwhile, the pop-up bar serves warm takeaway drinks and snacks. The park is close to the E40 motorway between Brussels and Liège. Open daily 8.00-18.30, Rue Armand Dewolf 2, Hélécine

Written by The Bulletin