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What’s on this week: 23–29 September

13:37 22/09/2022
Kinshasa under the spotlight, design markets and pop culture - east and west - fills Brussels Expo… enjoy our pick of activities for the coming week

The capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a decaying, chaotic but extraordinary city. This major spotlight on its urban development, Kinshasa (N)Tonga: Between Future and Dust, features original works and extensive archive material. While exploring the heritage of Africa’s third largest capital, the exhibition significantly offers perspectives for its future. It’s also a multidisciplinary project with performance and film injecting contemporary insights. The collaboration between KANAL-Centre-Pompidou and Estelle Lecaille and Aude Tournaye (Twenty Nine Studio) is showing at the temporary canalside venue KI while the new centre undergoes renovation. 23 September to 20 November, K1, Avenue du Port 1


Join partygoers in the Grand Place on Friday evening for a free concert by a clutch of francophone stars. The annual Wallonia-Brussels Federation celebration marks its 50th anniversary with a musical fanfare. Among the line-up are Benjamin Biolay, Lous and the Yakuza, Christophe Willem and Zap Mama. 23 September 19.30, Grand Place

Brussels Design Market

Can’t get your hands on a unique piece of vintage? Then the Brussels Design Market is for you. At Tour & Taxis’s recently refurbished Gare Maritime, one of the biggest European vintage and design markets is offering people the chance to get their hands on designs which left their mark on the 20th century. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, more than 100 international dealers will be selling the best brands from Italy, America and Scandinavia. Also present for the fourth consecutive year is the Contemporary Design Market. Some 50 designers hand-picked by a committee will showcase their latest designs and styles representative of the Belgian contemporary design scene. This is a unique weekend that professionals and design enthusiasts shouldn’t miss out on. 24 & 25 September, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86C

Made in Asia

The big event devoted to the continent’s pop culture, the Made in Asia Festival is the place to be for fans of manga, anime, video games, YouTubers and cosplay. The 2022 edition is full of activities and special guests from across all the featured disciplines. Ticket holders also have access  to the brand-new Heroes Comic Con festival, dedicated to Western pop culture, conveniently located in the same venue. 24 & 25 September, Brussels Expo, Place de la Belgique 1 (Laeken)

Heroes Comic Con Belgium

A celebration of pop culture, Heroes Comic Con, is an opportunity for fans to meet their heroes and dress up in their favourite cosplays. Special guests include actors Matt Smith, Andy Serkis and Calib Mclaughlin. Additionally, several comic writers and artists from Marvel and DC are making an appearance to answer fans’ burning questions. Multiple cosplay contests will be staged throughout the day for those willing to embody their favourite characters and showcase their costumes. For anyone looking to acquire a unique figurine or card, collectors will have stands set up lined with their most prized collections. 24-25 September, Brussels Expo, Place de la Belgique 1 (Laeken)

Tashweesh Festival

Tashweesh is an Arabic word meaning rustling or murmur. Beursschouwburg’s Tashweesh Festival brings that hum of voices to the stage as performers, thinkers and artists from Europe, south-west Asia and north Africa talk about what a feminist society could look like across seas and borders. Fatima Daas (pictured) kicks off proceedings with a talk on being a young queer Muslim immigrant in France. 28 September to 8 October, Rue Auguste Orts 20

60+ Day

The BELvue Museum and Coudenberg Palace are usually full of schoolkids, but not this Thursday. During 60+ Day, activities and tours are aimed at the older generation. A conference concert pays tribute to the biggest jazz saxophonists in Belgium, while a folk dancing workshop covers the traditions from both regions of the country. There’s also a bobbin lace demonstration, a T-dance and more (in French and Dutch). 29 September 10.00-17.30, Place des Palais 7

Couleur 2, work by Lieven De Boeck ©Be Culture

Intimate, poetic and surprising encounters await at Couleur/Lumière, a series of installations at the crossroads of arts and science inside the Maison des Arts. International artists use light and colour to great effect, particularly in front of windows, giving the out of doors a delicate rainbow sheen, or an otherworldly red glow. 16 September to 6 November, Chaussée de Haecht, (Schaerbeek)

Mamady Keita (c)GR-DR

The Brussels world music scene lost a hero last year when Mamady Keita passed away. The Guinean master of the djembe had long lived in the capital and ran the Tam Tam Mandingue, the school of percussion he founded. He made 11 albums during his long career and was a mainstay of concert halls and festivals, collaborating with great names such as Soungalo Coulibay and Doudou N’Diaye Rose. Keita was also a ballet dancer in his home country. His friends and fellow musicians are hosting the Tribute to Mamady Keita, a full day of concerts, film screenings and dance at Bozar. 24 September 13.00-22.45, Rue Ravenstein 23

Women's Perspectives

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, A Foundation presents Women’s Perspectives, an exhibition of work by 19 female photographers. Originating from four continents and dating from different decades across the 20th and 21st centuries, they offer a startling array of subject matter and techniques. Among them are American Lisette Model and Ursula Schulz-Dornburg. For only the second time in its 10 years, the photos on display come from founder Astrid Ullens de Schooten Whettnall’s personal collection. 24 September to 18 December, Foundation A, Avenue Van Volxem 304 (Forest)

Constant V

Artists Amina Saâdi and Rebécca Fruitman have created a unique social art project called Magic Weather Witches. By using sound bites from passers-by, they’ve been able to associate fictional weather forecasts to street names in Brussels with climatic themes such as Rue du Méridien, Avenue des Tropiques… A workshop invites people to record the weather forecast for a birthday celebration, which is then available to the participant to enjoy or gift to a loved one. A sample can already be heard on the broadcast Les Promesses de l’aube on Radio Panick. Radio Campus also broadcasts them from Monday to Friday from 6.30 to 9.00. 22 September to 20 November, Constant, Rue du Fort 5 (Saint-Gilles)



Following up on the success of last year’s Hamlet, the American Drama Group and TNT are once again staging Shakespeare at European castles. Located on the edge of Brussels, Groot-Bijgaarden Castle is the setting for Othello. Rain or shine, the famous tragedy that sees a distinguished general’s mind poisoned by his own ensign will be performed in the castle’s grounds. With its central theme of targeted deceit, Othello is as relevant today as it was in the early 17th century. 27 September 14.00-16.00, Isidoor van Beverenstraat 5, Groot-Bijgaarden (Dilbeek)


The glorious grounds of Alden Biesen castle in Limburg are made even more so during Fleuramour, a celebration of flowers and floral artistry. The grounds and imposing buildings, once the headquarters of the Knights of the Teutonic Order, host dramatic installations made entirely of flowers. There are also floral fashion shows, a flower market and demonstrations by the artists. Wear your homemade floral hat on Friday to win a prize! 23-26 September, Kasteelstraat 6, Bilzen

KMSKA(c)Karin Borghouts

Antwerp’s Fine Arts Museum has been closed for 11 years, so you know the re-opening is going to be quite a bash. Joins the throngs to welcome back the Rubens, Ensors and Titiaans that have been on loan or stored away for more than a decade during major renovations to the 19th-century building. Interior restoration works are impressive and make the most of a new layout of the invaluable collection of more than 8,000 works of art from the 14th to the 20th century. There is a free festival of music and performances on the museum square, and inside more music, plus workshops and guided tours. 24-25 September, Leopold de Waelplaats 2, Antwerp

Manufacture de Nimy, Pendulette, faïence, vers 1925 © Clockarium

Why does Egypt and its rich history continue to fascinate? That’s the premise behind the exhibition Egypt. Everlasting Passion, part of the Mariemont museum’s continuing anniversary celebrations surrounding the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Revisiting 2,000 years of history via artworks and objects, it explores how and why ancient Egypt has been at the heart of society’s imagination. From children's toys, public fountains to interior decoration, comic books, celebrity magazines, cinema accessories and video games, it continues to enthrall. 24 September-16 April. Royal Museum of Mariemont, Chaussée de Mariemont 100, 7140 Morlanwelz


Experience the unique sights and sounds of live motor racing at the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps at the iconic Ardennes circuit. Fans are invited for free to the penultimate race in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) this weekend, watching teams including United Autosports battle it out on the track. Entry includes access to grandstands, village and paddock for close up viewing of the packed schedule of endurance racing. Pitwalks and gridwalks cost €15. 23-25 September, Spa-Francorchamps, Route du Circuit 55, Francorchamps

Photos: (main image) KANAL_2022_Kinshasa (N)tonga_12 Pume Bylex © Kristien Daem; Couleur/Lumiere, work by Lieven De Boeck ©Be Culture; Mamady Keita (c)GR-DR; KMSKA(c)Karin Borghouts; Manufacture de Nimy, Pendulette, faïence, vers 1925 © Clockarium; Motorsport race team, United Autosports, racing at the 2021 4 Hours of Spa

Written by Lisa Bradshaw, Louis Kernoa-Pascoe, Sarah Crew