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What’s on this week: 27 January-2 February

11:28 26/01/2023
Fairs, festivals, film and fundraising events as well as new exhibitions are among our agenda offerings for the coming week

Winter is often a season for introspection. In Who Am I, five artists turn their gaze toward their inner self or ego. The Korean Cultural Center’s contribution to the city-wide annual PhotoBrussels Festival pursues the theme of self-portraiture with each photographer in the show adopting a different approach to explore their inner world. Lee Jee-young projects herself onto an artificially-created scene to depict the space of the mind (pictured). Until 31 March, Rue de la Régence 4

La Semaine (c)Alicia Jeannin

You may feel you are surrounded by noise all the time, but La Semaine du Son places the focus on the value of sounds. This year, voices are in the spotlight: How we use them, the art of listening, giving space to voices that are seldom heard – both human and animal. Don headphones for walks in the city for a totally new experience or attend a listening session to hear wildlife sounds in Brussels that are normally drowned out. Don’t be surprised if you hear something strange in the metro stations! 30 January to 5 February, across Brussels; 6-12 February, across Flanders & Wallonia

Cinema Galeries (c)Ruben Desiere

Movie fans are spoiled for choice this week at Cinema Galeries, which hosts two intriguing film series: Documentary festival En Ville! explores territories and boundaries, whether carved by nature or by people, while Polaris Nordic Film Nights offers an excellent selection of new films from Europe’s most northern states. En Ville 31 January to 5 February ; Polaris 1-3 February, Galerie de la Reine 28

(c)Courtesy Voddemet 2

Pick up some deals at the Voddemet Brussels Flea Market, one of the biggest sales of brocante and vintage merchandise in the country. You can find all kinds of treasures here, from useful items such as clothes, shoes and coffee cups to things you didn’t realise you had to have. “Hey, I used to play this game when I was a kid!” “OMG, I’ve been looking for this album forever.” “That mannequin head would look awesome on my coffee table.” Free entry. 29 January, Gare Maritime, Rue Picard 11


Belgian-Greek performance artist Danai Anesiadou is a mercurial collector of objects, often cheap, that she elevates to the magical and surreal. The exhibition D Possessions – the first in her home country – presents sculpture and collages that are allegorical scenes reflecting political and spiritual crisis. Contemporary art centre WIELS’ first new show of the year invites the public to join Anesiadou in her explorations of ancient Greece, current political affairs and Hindu cosmology. 28 January to 23 April, Avenue Van Volxem 354 (Forest)


It's the first major art and antique fair of the year: Brafa gathers some 130 leading galleries gather to show off some of their finest works and objects, from ancient, fine, Asian and modern art to porcelain, glassware, jewellery, textiles and books. There’s also around 80 experts on hand to advise you on the thousands of works on display. In a nod to the capital’s Art Nouveau theme this year, discover numerous examples of the city’s contribution to the influential architecture and design movement. 29 January to 5 February, Brussels Expo, Place de la Belgique 1 (Laeken)

BCSListen to some brilliant cellists performing a variety of quartet melodies, from JS Bach to The Beatles, while helping to boost the coffers of the Brussels Cello Society. The fundraising concert features star cello players and teachers, Justus Grimm, Olsi Leka, Amy Norrington and Han Bin Yoon. Says BCS director Yoon: “Private donation support is crucial for any small cultural ASBL, and I thank everyone - artists and public alike - for their contributions in helping to keep cello-playing alive and thriving in Belgium.” 30 January 20.00-21.00, Salle Dupréel, ULB Solbosch Campus (Ixelles)



The cultural heritage of Iranian metropolis Tehran is spotlighted in Moussem Cities, a multidisciplinary festival that focuses on a different capital each year. A rich programme of film, music and visual arts showcases Tehran, a city that continues to have a major impact on the world. It’s also a vibrant hub for contemporary art; an important outlet for a country where civil rights and artistic freedom are currently under such pressure. Pictured, a still from the film Tehran, Tehran by Dariush Mehrjui. 1 February to 5 March, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23


Celebrate the music of the Russian American composer, virtuoso and conductor, Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose four virtuoso piano concertos and vespers still mesmerise audiences 150 years after his birth. The Rachmaninoff Festival is staged by Bozar and Belgian National Orchestra. Additionally, two lectures on Rachmaninoff, presented by experts, will offer a detailed perspective of his life and work. A Table d’écoute by Musiq 3 allows audiences to vote for their favourite piece in the Third Piano Concerto. 2-5 February, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Eliza Filby Full Circle

Will Boomers and Millennials ever get along? Was Gen X born with entrepreneurial genes? Will the newest Gen Alpha be mad at us for inheriting an unliveable planet? Welcome to A Salon with Eliza Filby, in which the academic and writer presents Age of Wisdom, an insightful and entertaining exploration of how society changes through the prism of age. 31 January 18.30-20.30, Full Circle House, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)

Ukraine Fire

Ukraine Fire. Dakh Daughters stars seven talented female street performers forced to abandon their families and flee their war-torn country. Thise spectacular show is an artistic response to the situation in Ukraine. The talented musicians sing, shout and use an array of instruments in unison to create an impactful musical performance, filled with emotion. 1 February 20.00, Théâtre 140, Avenue Plasky 140 (Schaerbeek)

Beci Scale-Up

Budding entrepreneurs and business owners are invited to Scale-up night VII. The talk show (in French, English and Dutch) features three successful entrepreneurs who’ve experienced rapid growth with their businesses. They’ll offer insights on challenges they’ve met, while sharing their journey and answering questions from participants. There’s also the chance to sign up to the MeDoFly growth programme, which supports business owners. A networking event follows with a walking dinner and drinks. 31 January 18.00-21.30, Comet Meeting, Place Stéphanie 20 (Ixelles)


Here's your chance to learn how to make delicious vegetarian dishes. The Brussels Women's Club is hosting cooking demos on three dates at its clubhouse. Enjoy the finished product at the end of the demonstration with fellow cooks or take it away to enjoy at home. Early registration is recommended as places are limited. Non-members also welcome. 31 January 10.00, 7 & 14 February, Rue au Bois 509 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)  

Outside Brussels 


While drawing, painting and etching are separate artistic and technical practices, Rembrandt could do them all – and masterfully. Paintings are always the star of the show, but the other works offer additional unique insights into the people and places of centuries past. The exhibition Rembrandt: Photographer avant la lettre emphasises how such works give us a peek into the world before photography. 27 January to 22 May, De Reede Museum, Ernest van Dijckkaai 7, Antwerp

Ostend Film Festival @Nick Decombel Fotografie

Rainy days at the coast? Pick up a ticket to one of the many movies screening at the Ostend Film Festival. It is a particularly good place to discover new Belgian cinema. Check out The Chapel by Oscar-nominated director Dominique Deruddere, a tense drama set amid the pressures of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Or Baghdad Messi by Sahim Omar Kalifa, based on his award-winning short about an Iraqi boy with one leg desperate to play football. The festival also screens series and ground-breaking films, and hosts a Family Day. 27 January to 4 February, Kinepolis and other venues in Ostend

(c)Anton Corbijn

If you’ve never been to an exhibition of photos taken by Anton Corbijn, you owe it to yourself to see Ikonen, dedicated to icons both human and ideological. Known mostly for his shots of rock and pop stars, the Dutch photographer and filmmaker presents many of these here – Courtney Love, David Bowie, Nick Cave and Kim Wilde, to name a few. There are also three series: Portraits of deceased musicians, shots in cemeteries and proof of the enduring presence of Lenin in Russia. Until 16 April, Handelsbeurs, Borzestraat 31, Antwerp

Chinese celebrations Belga

Join the Chinese community celebrating the year of the rabbit at this outdoor fair in the Walloon capital of Namur. La Fête du Printemps sees Chinese chefs serving a variety of traditional dishes, artists performing tea ceremonies, a collector recounting the beauty and history of Chinese porcelain and demonstrations of ink and calligraphy drawing. Kids can join in the festivities in a lantern-making workshop. The lunar new year event will be attended by Chinese and EU dignitaries. 28 January 12.00-16.00, Place d’Armes, Namur

Rétro Presse

Each year, press photographers in Namur invite the public to a retrospective of some of their best images from the past year. For 2023, the focus of Rétro Presse is on 10 years of reporting on the musical odyssey Musiques à tous les étages, a series of concerts performed during Fête de la Musique in the Walloon capital every June. Until 12 February, Galerie du Beffroi, Namur

Check out more upcoming activities in Belgium at The Bulletin's events page

Photos: La Semaine © Alicia Jeannin; Cinema Galeries © Ruben Desiere; © Courtesy Voddemet 2; Ostend Film Festival @Nick Decombel Fotografie; © Anton Corbijn; Chinese lunar new year celebrations © Belga/Nicolas Maeterlinck

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