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What’s on this week: 18-24 February

Bridges East of West Film Days Bozar
15:49 17/02/2022
Don't miss our enticing selection of film festivals, music - classic and avant-garde pop - plus visual art and live comedy!

The 5th edition of BRIDGES. East of West Film Days at Bozar honours contemporary cinema from Georgia and Ukraine. Some 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc, the two countries remain largely absent from the big screen. Yet both are active in the film world and offer their own particular aesthetic. Discover more at this fascinating programme of screenings, which opens with the premiere of love story What Do We See When We Look at the Sky in the presence of Georgian director Alexandre Koberidze. 18-27 February, Rue Ravenstein 23

Granvelle palace demolished 1931 Civa foundation

Not only is Brussels’ urban space continually evolving, it faces unique challenges and remains a controversial issue. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) takes a new, interdisciplinary look at the building sector in the exhibition Re/Building Brussels, in a historical and contemporary perspective, from 1695 to the present day. It presents research from two interdisciplinary research programmes Building Brussels and Re-Building Brussels, raising questions about future construction, the creation of local employment and its role in the circular economy (Granvelle Palace demolished 1931, pictured). Until 27 March, Halles Saint-Géry, Place Saint-GéryKwesi Botchway at Maruani Mercier Gallery

Portraits of girls and women dominate Ghanaian artist Kwesi Botchway’s first solo exhibition at the Maruani Mercier gallery Rumors of Blackness. Botchway’s models originate from his environment, from fiction and his inspiration, his preference for portraiture stems from his desire to correct colonial history that rendered black figures invisible. His new and thought-provoking narrative places black females centrestage. The Accra-born artist on a mission developed his show during a residency at Maruani Mercier’s The Warehouse. Until 16 April, Avenue Louise 430

The art event not to miss this weekend is the Brussels Art Walk. It’s a rare opportunity to get up close to some fantastic works of art, Belgian and international. A total of 36 of the capital’s galleries join in the open-door event, which is a collaboration with the prestigious Brussels art and antique fair Brafa. Download the map: Until 20 February 11.00-18.00, multiple venues in city centre and Avenue Louise

Phil Nichol

Stepping on stage at the next English Comedy Brussels live show is Phil Nichol with special guest Nigel Williams. Headline comedian and actor Nichol (pictured) is an acclaimed performer who brings energy and a surrealist touch to all of his acts, while Antwerp-based Williams revels in audience banter. 22 February 20.00 (doors open 19.00), Aloft hotel, Place Jean Rey (Etterbeek)

Schiev-Nkisi - Max Meyer

Emerging Belgian artists and the local Brussels scene are showcased in the avant-garde pop music festival Schiev. Always focused on alternative culture, city-centre Beursschouwburg aims to offer a panoramic vision of avant-garde pop while remaining accessible to a wide public. In Brusseleer, the word schiev means skewed, twisted, and the festival seeks the most schiev artists out there: “those who seek, innovate and freely experiment with textures, influences, rhythms and composition”. Nine artists promise to do that with live performances, five of them will be streaming their shows online.  18-21 February, Rue Auguste Orts

Pavel Haas Quartet by Boris Giltburg

The Flagey Piano Days commemorates the 200th birthday of Belgian-born composer César Franck with a colourful and jam-packed musical programme featuring a contemporary twist (including the Pavel Haas Quartet pictured). For an all-encompassing experience take advantage of a special screening of musical films at Cinematek. There’s also junior activities to enjoy with the whole family. 17-20 February, Place Sainte-Croix

Hamedine Kane La maison bleue

With Dakar the focus of this year’s Moussem Cities festival, Cinéma Nova screens films showing the diversity of cinema in Senegal today. In DKR/BXL, filmmakers from a variety of backgrounds present their shorts, features and documentaries. Often the product of non-subsidised cinema, they range from the irreverent and outrageous to a sometimes gentle view of the world or a non-clichéd portrait of migration as in Hamedine Kane’s first documentary La Maison bleue (pictured). The programme is part of the multidisciplinary festival organised in Brussels by Moussem Nomadic Arts Centre and its partners that focuses each year on an Arab metropolis. 24-27 February, Rue d’Arenberg 3

Shostakovich Festival (c) Babi Yar GR-DR

The Shostakovich Festival: The Other Revolutionary at Bozar is a highlight of the arts centre’s classical music programme. As one of the Soviet Union’s most exciting composers who never turned his back on his home country, Dimitri Shostakovich composed music that was performed at great state occasion. He succeeded in maintaining a delicate balance between his art and a rejection of state propaganda, creating a multi-layered and majestic oeuvre that remains controversial today. In this four-day programme, the Belgian National Orchestra shines a light on the fascinating composer’s work. 24-27 February, Rue Ravenstein 23

Book now CORE Festival is a brand new boutique festival that’s a collaboration with Tomorrowland & Rock Werchter. Promising a unique experience of music, art and nature in the capital of Europe, the soon-to-be announced line-up aims to break the boundaries between quality indie, hip-hop, electronica, hyper pop and alternative dance. Tickets on sale from 23 February. 27 & 28 May, Osseghem Park (Heysel)

Book now The box office is open for Tiny Beautiful Things by the American Theatre Company (ATC). After two years absence from the stage, the local am-dram company is busy rehearsing this modern play about the profound experience of reaching out for help. Cheryl Strayed’s book has been adapted for the stage by Nia Vardolos. Carrie Ellwanger directs. 24 March-2 April, The Warehouse Studio Theatre (Schaerbeek)


Ten Spirit BPS22 Leslie Artamonov

Teen spirit. Adolescence and Contemporary Art at Charleroi’s art museum BPS22 provides a timely and thoughtful interrogation of the period between childhood and adulthood through the prism of art. Youth culture is at the heart of the exhibition’s selection of around 90 works by 30 artists who pay testament to the complexity of the teenage experience while raising questions about the concept of adolescence. The show’s title is inspired by Nirvana’s 1991 single Smells Like Teen Spirit, which became an anthem for a disenfranchised generation marked by social decline and globalisation. Until 22 May, Boulevard Solvay 22, Charleroi

Anthea Hamilton at M HKA

Mash Up is the intriguing title of an exhibition by British artist Anthea Hamilton at Antwerp’s Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp M HKA. The Turner Prize-shortlisted artist is renowned for her large-scale works and this show is hailed as the first major survey of her work, some 70 pieces from various stages in her 20-year career. New creations offer an in-depth perspective of her artistic practice as well as collaborations with other major contemporary artists. Until 15 May, Leuvenstraat 32, Antwerp

Written by Sarah Crew