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Your Belgian cultural program for the week, from music festivals under motorways and in defunct malls to artworks in nature. See you in Eupen, Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp, and Enghien!

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Festival: Meakusma 2022

From 1 to 4 September Eupen

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic and devastating floods, Meakusma is finally back with a new edition, with its biggest line-up yet. Once again it will take over the multiple rooms and garden of cultural center Alter Schlachthof, as well as other venues throughout sleepy East Belgian town Eupen, such as an abandoned shopping mall. Dedicated to New music, the experimental, electronic, and club sounds, the four-day festival interwoven into the city landscape features Mika Oki, The Idealist, Èlg et la Chimie, Anthony Naples, and many many others.

Exhibition: Otobong Nkanga at Musea Brugge

Until 25 September Bruges

Born in Nigeria and based in Antwerp, Otobong Nkanga weaves narratives touching upon memory, history, or the relationship between the Western world and Africa, often through the lens of our use of natural resources. “Underneath the Shade We Lay Grounded”, currently on view at Musea Brugge, is an amalgam of installations, sculptures, drawings, tapestries and poetry exhibited inside the building but also in the attached garden. The artist’s use of herbs, spices and other raw materials that used to be traded in Bruges build a connection with the city’s past as well as with the original trade routes between Europe and Africa. It’s a rather contemplative show dealing with themes such as loss, death, and rebirth. Nkanga has been exhibited in Tate Modern, Chicago’s contemporary art museum, and many others.

Outdoor exhibition: Biennale d’Enghien 2022

Opens Saturday, 3 September, 14-18h00 Enghien

When art meets nature: “Par enchantement” is the fourth edition of this very special biennale taking place in a park and the structures it houses, which are rarely open to the public. Under a theme dedicated to dreams, mysteries, and joy, 15 contemporary artists exhibit their works, often interacting with the natural surroundings of Parc d’Enghien. Elodie Antoine for instance presents an installation on the water, that potentially interacts with local animals, Justine Bougerol goes underground, and Shen Özdemir attaches his creations to trees. The exhibition is accessible for free until 18 September.

Opening night: Sit Back, Relax & Enjoy the Apocalypse at LaVallée

Friday, 2 September Brussels

The idea of the apocalypse is probably almost as old as mankind itself, permeating religion, literature, and pop culture. In this timely group show at LaVallée, 15 young contemporary artists tackle the subject each in their own way, reflecting on the future of mankind and our planet. The three-week long exhibition will be accompanied by a complementary program of concerts, DJ sets, and performances in collaboration with Tictac Art Center and Ne Mosquito Pas to be announced here. With works by Seppe de Roo, Jordan Edge, Tora Wallander, and many others.

Music festival: XRDS – Crossroads at arc des Étangs

3 and 4 September Brussels

Once more, legendary techno club Fuse decided to leave its headquarters in the Marolles to set up shop underneath the charm of brutalist motorways in Anderlecht, reportedly already a location for raves in the 90s. Fittingly dubbed Crossroads, the two-day festival features four stages,  and techno, house and oddball soundscapes by no less than 62 different artists. With Le Motel, Tornado Wallace, Sara Dziri, Forest Drive West, and many others. (And if you’re interested, here’s an interview we did with Fuse boss Olivier Ramoudt a couple of years ago.)

Duo show: A blink of an eye at Plagiarama

Opens Sunday, 4 September, 14-19h00 Brussels

A new show opens at Plagiarama this Sunday, an art space located in the Rivoli gallery hub in Ixelles. A blink of an eye brings together works by Gaëlle Leenhardt and Téo Becher, two French artists that are critical of today’s prevailing anthropocentrism and interested in humanity’s relationship to history and nature. While Leenhardt focuses on geological processes and often works with matter she excavates from soil, Becher searches for human traces in forests with his camera.

Flea market: Rommelmarkt at  Singel

Sunday, 4 September, 9-18h00 Antwerp

It’s a classic but a good one: Strolling through a flea market on a lazy and possibly hungover Sunday (at least if you follow our tips for Saturday night). This weekend, we recommend the Rommelmarkt in Antwerp located along the Singel street, which offers a wide array of fashion, accessories, records, and all kinds of vintage oddities. More info here.

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