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What’s on this week: 8 to 14 March

Banad Festival Brussels 2024
09:33 07/03/2024
Art Nouveau and Art Deco under the spotlight, international women’s day’s events and a festival of new and classical music… Don’t miss our pick of upcoming cultural highlights.

The annual Banad Festival showcasing the capital’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco treasures, kicks off this weekend with an extensive programme of interior visits and guided tours. Some 60 architectural gems open their doors for this 8th edition, an opportunity to sneak a peek into interiors that are habitually off limits. Staged over successive weekends, new heritage buildings on show include the Art Nouveau Maison Roosenboom (pictured) in Ixelles (9 & 10 March). Aabandoned for many years, its new owners are currently in the process of restoring the house that boasts one of the finest facades of the turn-of-the-century style movement. 9 to 24 March, across Brussels (each weekend focuses on a different area of the city)


Contemporary design goes under the spotlight at the Collectible fair this weekend. For its 7th edition, the popular event returns to its original setting of the modernist Borgerhout building in the city centre. The design platform aims to showcase emerging galleries and studios while working with curators to guarantee high quality collectible pieces. Until 10 March, Espace Borgerhout Building, Rue de l’Ecuyer 50

Mujeres en la Musica (c)Andrea Sirtori

Marking International Women’s Day, the Italian and Spanish cultural centres host the third edition of Mujeres en la Música (Women in Music), three days of talks and performances on women in music. This year the focus is on medieval music, looking at women’s interpretation (with a performance by famed harpist Floraleda Sacchi, pictured), the preservation of musical heritage and the role of women in musicology. (Talk in English on 8 March; talks in Spanish on 13 & 20 March). 8 March, Istituto Italiano, Rue de Livourne 38; 13 & 20 March, Instituto Cervantes, Avenue Louise 140 (Ixelles)

Leading Ladies

The House of European History observes International Women’s Day with Leading Ladies in European Film, a series of three movies representing three generations of powerful, independent European filmmaking from the 1960s to today. It kicks off with Daisies, Czech director Vera Chytilová’s 1966 surrealist treatise on how to upend a repressive society (pictured). The series continues with Chantal Akerman’s The Captive and Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The screenings are free and preceded by a talk in English. 13, 20 & 27 March, Rue Belliard 135

L'Expo Clito

What is the only organ on the human body that is exclusively dedicated to pleasure? If you said the penis, than you are probably a man and definitely wrong. It’s the clitoris. And for International Women’s Day, ULB is opening L’Expo Clito: La seconde origine du monde. It’s a splendid title for this exploration of the representation of the clitoris through the centuries, from medical documents to literature to feminist manifestos. 9 March to 7 June, Salle Allende, Bâtiment F1, Avenue Paul Héger 22 (Ixelles)

James Ensor_Pierrot et squelettes 1905_KBC Bank NV, Brussel

The year-long celebration of influential avant-garde Belgian artist James Ensor continues with the exhibition Maestro at Bozar. Honouring the multifaceted creativity of the expressionist and surrealist artist, it showcases some 150 works encompassing paintings, prints, photos, documents, scores and film clips. While famous for depicting caricatural and sarcastic masks and skeletons, Ensor’s talent extended to writing texts and composing music. Meanwhile, the exhibition James Ensor. Inspired by Brussels showing at the Royal Library (KBR) focuses on the Ostend artist’s years of study and enduring relationship with the capital. Until 23 June, Rue Ravenstein 23 

Ictus Ensemble Liquid Room

Klarafestival gets underway with its exciting programme of classical and new music under the banner of Crossroads – Come Together. The festival gets funky with the genres, challenging musical boundaries, cultural divergences and generation gaps. The programme includes Ictus Ensemble’s Liquid Room No 10 (pictured) at Tour & Taxis on 17 March. The 10th edition of the world-renowned ensemble’s musical project, subtitled ‘Robert Ashley And The Theatre Of Voices’, honours the innovative US musical pioneer. It’s typically an informal affair with audiences encouraged to wander freely around the space. 8-24 March, Bozar, Flagey & other venues


‘Can the EU handle today’s critical issues?’ That’s the pertinent topic for speaker Nikolaus G ‘Klaus’ van der Pas, who issues the following warning to the audience at the International Study Group event: "I’ll be objective (warts and all) but am a fervent European, convinced that if the EU didn’t exist, it would be urgent to create it.” The enlargement of the bloc has dominated much of this German national’s former career in the European Commission. €10 entry for non-members. 11 March 10.30 (welcome coffee 10.00), Château Malou, Avenue Pierre Levie 2, (Woluwe-Saint-Lambert)


As a prelude to the first major exhibition devoted to iconic Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman (Bozar, 14 March to 21 July), her cult movie Jeanne Dielman (in Fr, Eng subtitles) is screening at RITCS Cinema. This is the title that the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound poll voted the greatest film of all time in 2022. Drawing on experimental techniques honed in the US to explore sexual identity and the place of women in society, the 1975 film relates in detail three days in the life of a widowed housewife who turns to prostitution. 13 March 18.30, Rue Antoine Dansaert 70

Wine, dine

English Comedy Brussels comes off the stage to gather the international community around the table instead. Wine, Dine and Mingle invites you to meet fellow expats to chat and network over a three-course meal at The Avenue inside the Barsey boutique hotel. (Use promo code “offer10” to get a 10% discount) 13 March 19.00, Avenue Louise 381


Une Famille normale Hur Jin-Ho (c) Diaphana Distribution

Some 80 films - features, shorts, documentaries and animations -  explore the ultimate human emotion in the Love International Film Festival Mons. The 39th edition of the event provides a feast of cinematic entertainment, screening films from around the world. Festival opener La Promesse verte by Edouard Bergeon (Fr/Bel 2024) recounts a woman’s battle to save the life of her son, unjustly condemned to death in Indonesia, while the international competition includes the family drama Une famille normale (pictured) by Hur Jin-Ho (S Kor). 8-16 March, Imagix Mons, Plaza Arthouse Cinema, Théâtre Royal de Mons

Hindu Nights

It’s the return of Hindu Nights at the Vooruit, a club night refreshingly free of what we have grown to call “dance music”. Here it’s all rock’n’roll all night long, with DJs spinning numbers by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, The Beatles, Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks and Balthazar, just to name a few. This is ultra popular, so best to book ahead. 9 March from 23.30, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 23

Short of Lying

“It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction.” In Short of Lying, the Belgian-based, Brazilian-born performer Luanda Casella runs with the bullshit concept put forth by philosopher Harry G Frankfurt. A storytelling performance, a kind of TEDTalk gone awry, Casella hones in on digital media and copywriting in the post-truth era, immersing us in a wondrous world of misdirection. (In English with Dutch surtitles) 8-9 March, deSingel, Desguinlei 25, Antwerp


For its inaugural show as a new cultural hub, Liège’s Saint-Pholien Church hosts Claude Monet: The Immersive Experience. While the once ecclesiastic site was notable for featuring in the novels of the city’s famed crime writer Georges Simenon, now it’s transformed into a digital art temple honouring the work of the leading French Impressionist artist. From 13 March, Rue St Pholien, Liège

Discover more upcoming events at The Bulletin's events page.

Photos: (main image) ©maison roosenboom leb sandrine mossiat; Victor-Hunt COLLECTIBLE Fair 2019 Jeroen-Verrecht; James Ensor Pierrot et squelettes 1905 KBC Bank NV, Brussel; winter jeanne dielman; Une Famille normale Hur Jin-Ho ©Diaphana Distribution

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw