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What’s on this week: 9-15 September

15:46 08/09/2022
Comic strip, contemporary art, vintage design, hip-hop and heritage treasures in Belgium’s provinces, take your pick a feast of activities

Belgium’s beloved ninth art gets its annual whirl under the spotlight with the return of the BD Comic Strip Festival this weekend. In addition to exhibitions and giant caricature balloons, major publishing houses present a full programme of activities and book signings for comic fans of all stripes. They include an important international contingent with Ukraine among the guests, thanks to the Polish Institute in Brussels (pictured: exhibition Chez Marylène, la frite est belle, inspired by the work of Anne Simon). 9-11 September at Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86C

Sablon Design Market

Fans of vintage and artisan design will be making a beeline for the Sablon Design Market this weekend. Some 30 exhibitors from around the country are selling their wares, including for the first time, several craft designers. The 5th edition of the popular event has adopted the fashionable theme of upcycling. Expect a variety of objects on display, from furniture and glass to leather, jewellery and interior decoration. 9-11 September, Place du Grand Sablon

Design-a-transformace (c)Vojtěcch Veškrna

The Czech vibe is reverberating across Brussels as the country presides over the Council of the European Union for the rest of the year. A highlight is the Design Museum Brussels’ Design and Transformation: Stories of Czech Design 1990-2020, which traces how social evolutions have affected design – and vice versa. It also looks at how contemporary designers approach technological, environmental and ethical challenges. A related exhibition at Prague House highlights successful co-operations between designers and companies. Until 8 January, Place de Belgique 1

Hangar 2 ©Charlotte Abramow

Hangar Photo Art Centre opens its new season with a fantastic double bill. Charlotte Abramow’s first solo show in her hometown, Volle Petrol (at full speed), is a riotous look at the hypersexualisation of women’s bodies. Other, erm, birds figure in Des oiseaux, a sometimes funny and dramatic look at our feathered friends by photographers around the world. 9 September to 17 December, Place du Châtelain (Ixelles)


Art spaces around the capital open their doors for the annual Brussels Gallery Weekend, celebrating its 15th anniversary with an exciting programme of gallery viewings, talks and expert guided tours. The exhibition Sculpture Factory (La troupe, pictured) features large-scale works at L’Imprimérie. This former printing house of Belgium’s national bank also serves as the official hub and information point for the weekend’s 2022 edition. It’s the place to be for art hounds this weekend. 8 to 11 September, Boulevard de Berlaymont 56


Brussels Artisan Market kicks off its autumn series of monthly eco-markets this Saturday. The get-together in the sustainable village Be-Here gathers some 40 artisans and artists selling jewellery, illustrations, textiles, plants and cosmetics. Visitors to the canalside community hub will have the chance to meet the local entrepreneurs and participate in workshops. There’s the usual spread of original food and drink options and the free event offers a bouncy castle and bike trail for little ones. 10 September 12.00-18.30; 8 October & 19 November, 4 Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre (Laeken)


Fever is launching a monthly live DJ set for fans of electro music at the mythical Mirano nightclub from Friday night. Last-minute tickets are still available for Bruxelles 360°: Evening with Cerrone, Kartell and DJ DEG. 9 September 23.00-5.00, Chaussée de Louvain 38 (Saint-Josse-ten-Noode)

Bozar film Boiling Point © Philip Barantini

Bozar kicks off its film season with Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream, a kaleidoscopic dive into the universe of David Bowie. Known for revealing documentaries about musical luminaries like Jane Birkin and The Rolling Stones, Morgen’s latest effort is as experimental and dreamy as Bowie’s career. The season continues with Phillip Barantini’s brilliant Boiling Point (pictured), which turns a day in the life of a restaurant kitchen into a taught thriller. The Czech Republic’s presidency figures heavily in the rest of the programme; check out Mirrors in the Dark, in which a young couple ask each other a list of questions to determine if they have a future. 14 September to 8 December, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Bboy Nona Detours Festival-Komanche Photography

Hip-hop dance culture takes to the streets as well as theatres in the 13th edition of the Detours Festival. Before the finale of the Cyphers battles at the Théâtre National on 18 September, the Urban Dance Caravan will parade through the city-centre, starting in Place Fontainas. Another highlight is the solo La Cage by Faraja Batumike at La Raffinerie on 17 September. It spotlights the contrast between the mineral wealth of the north Kivu region in DRC and the sexual violence, war and corruption that its communities experience. 14-18 September, Boulevard Emile Jacqmain

She Runs

The international sporting event She Runs comes to Brussels, promoting health, emancipation and leadership among girls through sport. It brings together 3,000 schoolgirls aged 12 to 18: 500 from 35 countries abroad, 2,500 from Brussels. Organised by the International School Sport Federation, it includes a cultural day, sports village (Place De Brouckère, 14 September), 4km run through the streets of Brussels, lectures, activities and workshops. 12-17 September, across Brussels


Leffingeleuren (c)Daniil Lavrovski

Close out this year’s summer music festivals – a celebratory season if there ever was one – with Leffingeleuren. Although it is late and out of the way, it is in fact a highlight with an eclectic programme of some of the more outstanding acts you might have seen over the last three months and some that have flown under the radar. Don’t miss the indie pop sensation Sylvie Kreusch or the post-punk riffs of Whispering Sons (pictured). 9-11 September, Dorpsstraat, Leffinge (Middelkerke), West Flanders

Gent Festival 2

The wonderful Festival of Flanders sees several cities and regions rolling out music fusion festivals, each in their own unique way. Doing away with the “classic” in “classical”, they are bold and lively, sometimes rocking and rolling, sometimes rebelliously a cappella. The first of the season are Gent Festival of Flanders and Musica Divina in the Kempen. The former opens with the deliriously popular OdeGand, a potpourri of short concerts across the city (including South African cellist Abel Selaocoe, pictured). Musica Divina, with a homebase in Mechelen, unites its programme under the motto “A joyful heart is good medicine”, with divine and healing music from every corner of the globe. Ghent 10-30 September; Musica Divina 14 September to 2 October

Open Monument Day 2

Flanders celebrates its immovable heritage during Open Monument Day, when all kinds of architectural treasures throw open their doors with special tours and activities. Some of them are always open to the public, but let you peek into corners you don’t usually get to, while others are normally closed. Private properties, for instance, offer much in the way of social history, such as the Villa Ter Ide, a cottage-style house from the Interbellum, or the magnificent Paus College in Leuven (pictured). The latter offers tours in English on the day. 11 September, across Flanders


Wallonia opens its doors to a feast of architectural and historic gems during the annual cultural Heritage Days. For its 34th edition, the theme of innovation is at the heart of the programme, which offers free access to some 350 sites over the weekend. In the former Borinage mining village of Grand-Hornu (pictured), two large shows are laid on for the public (Fri eve & Sun afternoon). In Philippeville, close to the French border, the Vauban defensive underground network of tunnels reveal their secrets. Another military site is the fort of Flèmalle, which helped defend the province of Liège during WW2. Visitors can don a VR headset to travel back in time. 10 & 11 September, across Wallonia


Promising quality music in the relaxed and bucolic setting of three Walloon Brabant villages, Max Festival sets out to shake up the world of classical music with inventive and poetic concerts by international artists. Musical shows, masterclasses and talks complete the eclectic programme. The church of Saint-Martin in Tourinnes-la-Grosse (boasting brilliant acoustics), plus venues in Nodebais and Beauvechain, host the festival, now celebrating its 7th edition. 15-18 September, Tourinnes-la-Grosse, Nodebais & Beauvechain

Photos: Design-a-transformace (c)Vojtěcch Veškrna; Hangar 2 © Charlotte Abramow; Bboy Nona Detours Festival-Komanche Photography; Leffingeleuren (c) Daniil Lavrovski; Max Festival, Ensemble près de votre oreille © Victor Toussaint

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw