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What’s on this week: 5-11 October

17:57 04/10/2018
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

As usual, Nuit Blanche picks the perfect place to stage its themed all-night party: Steep yourself in revolution in the Marolles district, where Brussels’ richest history of working class movements and oppression took place. Nuit Blanche is a favourite event among the night owl set, with dozens of intriguing performance, video and art projects waiting to be stumbled upon. The hour and the carefully chosen installations make for a sometimes thrilling, sometimes surreal experience. Be warned, however, the popularity of Nuit Blanche means careful planning if your heart is set on a specific installation. See the website’s 7 Tips to Maximise Your Experience. 6 October 19.00-3.00, across the Marolles

Time is a social construct, they say, and there’s no one better to mull that over than famous British philosopher AC Grayling, in Brussels this week to take on a subject both abstract and personal, immense and fleeting. Join him for this journey in morality and mortality. To win a pair of tickets to see AC Grayling at Flagey this Sunday, just fill in your details below. We'll email you on Friday afternoon if you've won.
7 October 11.00, Flagey, Place Sainte-Croix (Ixelles). Sorry! Our ticket giveaway has now closed.

GAQ, the EU quarter neighbourhood committee, is holding its annual Fête Square Ambiorix this weekend, with a flea market, music, children’s activities, discussions about neighbourhood issues and info booths. Everyone invited. 7 October 9.00-14.00, Ambiorixsquare

The Long Gaze Back

Ireland has one of the longest, richest traditions in the West when it comes to the short story. For the first time, Dublin’s annual One City One Book – a huge community project putting one book centre stage – features a collection of short stories. The Long Gaze Back, however, is no usual collection: It includes only women writers, mapping out the shortage of female voices in the canon. With 30 stories covering 300 years, The Long Gaze Back comes to Brussels, where editor Sinéad Gleeson will discuss the genre, and three of its contributors – leading Irish writers Eimear McBride, Marty Costello and Lea Mills – will read from their own work. 10 October 20.00, Passa Porta, Rue Antoine Dansaert 46

Due to its overwhelming popularity, the Brussels Street Photography Festival is back for a third edition. See the capital through the fresh eyes of its residents and pro photographers. The main exhibition is at Muntpunt, but other venues around town host shows and other activities. 5-7 October, across Brussels

Well now this is a cool: a live theatre performance and full-dome video made specifically for planetariums will be performed on the 11th of every a month (the date is meaningful) at the Brussels Planetarium. The Tip of the Tongue tells a story that brings in many elements space travel and is good for the whole family. Languages alter, but this month it’s in English, with surtitles in French and Dutch. 11 October 20.11, Planetarium, Avenue de Bouchout 10

Otto Dix's ‘Memories of the mirrors room in Brussels’

Whether for its cabaret or its politics, Berlin is a city that has always fascinated not just Europeans but the whole world. A capital that gave birth to some of the most revolutionary technological and cultural transitions of the 20th century as much as to fascism and communist oppression. The Museums of Fine Arts takes it all on in its flagship autumn show Berlin: 1912-1932, which collects the art that sprang from the golden age of an emerging metropolis. Some 200 works by artists like Otto Dix, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Höch illustrate a city swaying between utopia and crises, misery and decadence. A fringe programme features concerts, performances and debates. Until 27 January, Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Rue de la Régence 3

Although tickets have been flying out the door, there are still a few left to opening night of the Irish Theatre Group’s When World’s Collide, a comedy double-bill of new work. In Faster and Slower, a bickering older couple gets news that throws some unnecessary excitement into their lives, while in Airheads a couple who never travel abroad try to break into the business of online holidays, resulting in a healthy dose of culture shock in their own home. 9-13 October, Warehouse Studio Theatre, Rue Waelhem 69A (Schaerbeek)

Eleanor Tiernan is one of Ireland’s most famous – and most talented – stand-ups (she also plays Dolores on Bridget & Eamon), and she’s joined for English Comedy Brussels by British comedian Carl Donnelly, who average guy approach delivers marvellously unexpected zingers. 9 October, The Black Sheep, Chaussée de Boondael 8 (Ixelles)

Still from Girl


Belgium’s largest film festival kicks off on Tuesday with the Belgian film Girl, a big winner at Cannes. Ghent Film Festival continues for 10 days with hundreds of features and shorts, Hungary as the guest country, the World Soundtrack Awards and a wealth of talks, concerts and special guests. Closing night features the highly anticipated Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet and based on the best-selling twin memoirs by a father and son struggling with the latter’s years of addiction. It is the first Hollywood outing for Belgian director Felix Van Groeningen. 9-19 October, across Ghent

Quilting is often associated with feminine creativity, and patchwork quilts embody the oldest of virtues – thrift, in which necessity is the mother of invention.  The quilt, both practical and symbolic, is charged with meaning from both memory and association. St John’s International School is hosting Fabric of Life: The Art and Craft of Patchwork and Quilting in its Greene Gallery, bringing together work from a community of Brussels quilters. The vernissage is on 5 October from 16.00-18.00. Until 24 October, St John’s International School, Drève Richelle 146, Waterloo

On specific weekends throughout the year, cities and towns in Wallonia have put on special tours and open-door events for Wallonie Week-ends Bienvenue. It’s a way to introduce visitors to both known and unknown parts of the cities, with residents getting involved to share their passions and secrets about where they live. This weekend, Perwez, Comblain-au-Pont, Rochefort and Habay are in the spotlight. 6-7 October, across Wallonia

Photos: Nuit Blanche, courtesy Nicolas Clauss / Berlin, Otto Dix, ‘Memories of the mirrors room in Brussels’ (detail), 1920, Centre Pompidou, Paris, ©ADAGP Dist RMN-Grand Palais, Georges Meguerditchian / Ghent Film Festival, Girl, Menuet


Written by Lisa Bradshaw