15 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Local loves in Leuven, manuscripts unveiled in Knokke, and nocturnal museum fever in Antwerp. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 2nd August – Sunday 30th September: MIMA Nocturne Get Up, Stand Up! at MIMA, Brussels

In theme with this year’s cultural theme of resistance, MIMA looks back at the 1968 revolts to compare it to the more contemporary forms of protest. While today’s Digital Age has given a voice through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, slogans and calls for change were found on posters stuck against city walls during the late 60s. Already halfway through their prolific exhibition covering hundreds of posters from over 30 countries, MIMA will be opening its doors for some late-night fun. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 2nd – Sunday 12th August: Antwerp Queer Arts Festival in Antwerp

AQAF aims to challenge gender stereotypes and sexual repression, whilst championing diversity, original art and creative forces joining in harmony. Entering its fifth edition, the grassroots establishment initiated by the local LGBTQI umbrella organisation Antwerp Pink House, is collaborating with several venues and activists to offer a platform to those who are often voiceless to express themselves. Whether you decide to go to a film or documentary viewing, an exposition or to enjoy a theatre performance, go show some love.

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Thursday 2nd August: Philippe Braquenier’s Palimpsest book launch at BOZAR, Brussels

Christening BOZAR’s newly opened Salon Europa, Belgian photographer Philippe Braquenier is launching his very first book Palimpsest, a five-year photography documentary which explores how Europe’s material history is consistently being changed and transformed. As a result, he questions the current state of human memory, its knowledge and the methods humanity adopts and the repositories it uses to preserve this. The book is a scientifical, societal and philosophical interpretation of how we remember and why we’re forgetting more.

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Thursday 2nd August – Monday 1st October: Kurt Peiser’s Between Solace and Sorrow at Museum de Reede, Antwerp

After decades of his work being unexhibited, Museum de Reede has decided to bring the impressionistic works of the early 19th-century realist painter Kurt Peiser back to life. Now, his depictions of Antwerpenaar fishermen’s struggles living on rigid seas juxtaposed by calmer waters and their families will be on display once again for an entirely new crowd, to show this audience what life in early 20th century Belgium was once like. Not to be missed.

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Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th August: No More Erasers at La Raffinerie, Brussels

Trying to suppress underdogs and make rebellious groups invisible to the public eye is a practice that has been around since the Roman Times. Damnatio memoriae, or the condemnation of memory is an age-old punishment to silence dissidents and stop the mass from going against the grain. This three-day summer school aims to educate others in order to go against the smothering of minority groups, by using different presentation techniques to discuss feminist issues and ideas or strategies to combat stereotypes. Education is key.

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Friday 3rd August – Sunday 16th September: Panamarenko’s Codex and other works at Samuel Vanhoegaerden Gallery, Knokke

Prehaps it would be easier to describe what Panamarenko, or Henri Van Herwegen, is not, rather than what he is. As a physicist, engineer, inventor and visionary, it’s understandable to see him as a sort of Belgian Da Vinci. For years, his historical Codex, including his works from 1972 to 1975, was lost in obscurity – until now. For the first time, admirers can take a look inside the genius’ mind to understand his creative and intelligent process that later contributed to the design of his later planes. The exhibition is further accompanied by original maquettes, colour drawings and complete sculptures. Essential.

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Friday 3rd – Saturday 4th August: Absolutely Free Festival 2018 at C-Mine, Genk

Over 35 (inter)national upcoming and well-established talents representing almost every genre in the music business come together for two days at AFF to offer a little something for everyone in support of a sustainable future. On Friday, be prepared to dance all day as the festival focuses on the best of techno, bass and house. If that’s not your cup of tea, Saturday is dedicated to showcasing an unusual and dynamic variety of indie music. The best things in life are free.

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Friday 3rd August- Sunday 2nd September: Justin Brice Guariglia + TOILETPAPER at MARUANI MERCIER, Knokke

For some galleries, summer means holiday, but at MARUANI MERCIER it’s just an excuse to host a double exhibition. Visual artist Guariglia, known for his creative collaborations across wide-ranging disciplines, is set to introduce his new show Like A Thief In The Night. Through his art, he tries to understand the complex world we live in and encourage political and social change. His unique transdisciplinary art practice, which is more sober and minimalistic, perfectly clashes whilst strangely complimenting the partnering exhibition: contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari’s TOILETPAPER. Their hyperrealistic and vibrant works, which are created by re-using existing images from the Internet and magazines, are sure to catch you off guard. Utterly spoilt.

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Friday 3rd August: Delta~wave with Iku Sakan, Cosmo Knex + Dj Training at In de Ruimte, Ghent

Berlin-based Japanese electronic musician Iku Sakan experiments with repetitive rhythmic patterns to explore how these can develop emotive reaction patterns. Through decades of research into shifting musical patterns, he’s created his own, unique and nostalgic sound. Other acts on the bill include Antwerp’s Cosmo Knex and cassette label EURO2000’s DJ Training, making this a night to remember.

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Friday 3rd August: Ignatz & De Stervende Honden at De Nor, Antwerp

Hosted by De Nor, an artwork extension which was created by Dennis Tyfus which can be interpreted as a venue, bar or theatre, the spontaneous and emotive Ignatz brings along his eletronic extension De Stervende Honden for an intimate performance. Utter bliss.

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Saturday 4th August: Basic Moves 06 Release Party at Chez Jacques Music-Club, Brussels

The home of outsider music takes you on a trip through the best of club music in celebration of the expansion of its music label. Basic Moves‘ latest release signifies a nostalgic look to the past with Deg, as well as a chance to look forward to his future artistic development. All night long, head honcho Walrus will challenge the stereotypical perceptions of club music. Don’t sleep.

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Saturday 4th August: Habitat Festival at ALMA 3, Leuven

For the fourth year in a row, mijnLeuven’s summer festival Habitat will transform the green oasis of ALMA 3 into a paradise of arts, music and creative culture to celebrate the city’s youth. All day and all night, there(ll be interactive talks, debates and workshops, international and local DJ sets by Montreal-based Project Pablo, the brotherhood of mind-expanding soul Brokers and multi-talented collective Kontakt, alongside expositions showcasing a wide spectrum of art forms. Get your gladrags on.

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Saturday 4th August: Museumnacht in Antwerp

It’s that time of year again: Antwerp’s plethora of museums and galleries are flinging their doors open for a nocturnal tour of the city’s best art foundations. Whether you speed through all the spaces on a hired bike or prefer to take your time and join in on one of the interactive workshops, there’s always the AMUZ afterparty to close things off.

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Saturday 4th August: Summer Night w/ Function, A. Brehme, Kafim at C12, Brussels

Once again, C12 brings you the finest selection of underground DJs from all over, this time with underground veteran Function hailing all the way from the US, as well as Kafim and A. Brehme. Dance the hot summer night away.

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Sunday 5th – Sunday 26th August: Carla Besora’s Big Quiet Stone at DOK, Ghent

Fine arts graduate and illustrator Carla Besora has combined her two fortes in the shape of books, cross-media projects and installations. Her fairytale-like and mystical drawings reflect her love for non-conformist spirituality and portray her admiration of the everyday. End the weekend right.

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