20 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Graphic design gold-mines in Liège, minimalist perfection in Antwerp and smoozey love songs in Brussels. Go do the right thing.

Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th February: BRAFA Art Fair at Tour & Taxis, Brussels

Art lovers rejoice! With over 60 years of experience, BRAFA promises a feast for the eyes once again. From classical fine art and vintage treasure troves to the hottest contemporary artists all in one place. Start the weekend right.

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Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th February: Fig. 2 at Les Brasseurs, Liège

Graphic design is the gift that just keeps on giving. Offerings of big-name Belgian studios you know and love, like Speculoos and OSP, to international up-and-comingers. Go see what the next generation of designers have in store for us.

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Thursday 1st February – Saturday 31st March: Brussels, Dance! in Brussels

13 locations, 50 shows, and an abundance of contemporary dance – need we say more? Family-favourite Brussels, Dance! is back at again with their third edition, including everything from solo performances to larger-than-life group numbers. Essential.

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Thursday 1st February: Symposium – The Individual, The Political and The Photobook at Fotomuseum, Antwerp

Bewitching enchantments from Egyptian photographer Laura El-Tantawy to gut-wrenchingly realistic frames of contemporary British life. FOMU’s latest line-up is as wide-ranging as it is tantalising. We’ll see you there.

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Thursday 1st February – Sunday 22nd April: Saâdane Afif at WIELS, Brussels

What do guitars, cages and dark humour have in common? WIELS holds the key. Hailing from France, Saâdane Afif’s conceptual art is the creative jolt you didn’t know you needed. Nothing cultural is safe.

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Thursday 1st February – Sunday 29th April: Dirck Braeckman at BOZAR, Brussels and M-Museum, Leuven

Double the exhibition space means double the fun. BOZAR and M-Museum have teamed up for one all-encompassing presentation of Biennale-favourite Dirck Braeckman. Capturing the darkest parts of Belgian life, Braeckman’s shots never shy away from controversy. A chance to discover.

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Thursday 1st February: Psst Mademoiselle #1 at Kumiko, Brussels

Breaking into the Brussels scene, brand-new party promoters Psst Mademoiselle is taking no prisoners. Homegrown Blu Samu will make your eardrums squeal with glee, with support from four fresh Belgian DJs. Full support.

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Thursday 1st February – Saturday 17th March: Fireworks by Muller Van Severen at Valerie Traan, Antwerp

Time and space are particularly relative for furniture extraordinaire, Muller Van Severen‘s Fireworks defies expectations with it’s striking verticality. Guaranteed to boggle the mind. Not to be missed.

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Thursday 1st February: Bear Bones Lay Low + Sagat at C12, Brussels

If you’re in the mood for dancing – look no further. From live performances by Bear Bones, Lay Low and Sagat, to The Word Radio regulars Captain Starlight, Chris Ferreira, all electro tastes are accounted for  at Deep in Houses‘ new club space C12. Get your glad rags on.

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Friday 2nd February: META – Queer cultural event at LaVallée, Brussels

Opening new horizons, META’s inaugural event is jam-packed with live beats, contemporary films and enough LGBTQ+ love to sink your teeth into. Centred-around inclusivity and championing diversity – what’s not to like? Go treat yourself.

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Friday 2nd February – Sunday 15th April: Operational Aesthetics at CIVA, Brussels

Architecture and public politics are often taken for granted. CIVA shines a light on the Belgian-heroes preventing complacency. From revolutionary social architects to changemakers. Come all, come plenty.

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Friday 2nd February: 9. at Kerkstraat, Antwerp

Minimalism living up to it’s name: nine budding artists, one stellar venue. From heartbreakingly beautiful modern portraits to striking archaic sculptures. A-town go show some love.

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Friday 2nd February: Slagwerk at RECYCLART, Brussels

RECYCLART never disappoints and Slagwerk is no exception. Top picks from Yankee-raised CELESTIAL TRAX to HE4RTBROKEN‘s Munix. And word on the street is that it might be the last chance to enjoy all that Recyclart has to offer for a fair bit of time…

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Friday 2nd February: Contre Culture at ZODIAK, Brussels

The visually-minded Brussels-based promoter collective Contre Culture have a fine trick up their sleeve for this Friday, inviting the French techno-afficionado Charles Fenckler to headline at downtown Zodiak. Fridays are for dancing.

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Saturday 3rd February: Ketjesdisco’s Couleur Couloir at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Helgi Thorsson is one of those once-in-a-lifetime artists, constantly keeping us guessing with his almost-infantile sculptures and bold visual imagery. Beursschouwburg showcases his vibrant workshop alongside a perfectly orchestrated party. Don’t sleep, no sleep.

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Saturday 3rd February: WEME turns 13 w/ Ceephax Acid Crew at Barlok, Brussels

Happy birthday to ya’. WEME‘s stride into adolescence is not to be missed. Basic Moves takes the reigns with a top notch selection of DJs, from Ceephax Acid Crew, EOD EOD EOD and more. Dust off your dancing shoes.

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Saturday 3rd February: Stroom – Stop It!/What is Love Today Tour at Kumiko, Brussels

Get into the V-Day swing early this year. Crowd-pleasers Nosedrip and Captain Starlight have vowed to have back-to-back smoozey love and break-up songs all night long, in light of upcoming releases from Stroom. Maintaining your weekend high.

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Sunday 4th February: Dilla Day w/ Illa J at NEST, Ghent

Ghent’s NEST will be celebrating the long-lasting legacy of rapper-cum-producer mastermind J Dilla. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with Illa J, his brother, who takes the stage for what promises to be an emotional journey. An absolute must.

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Sunday 4th February: Self Publishing Fair at Cultuurcentrum Mechelen

Photography’s job is to mirror society back onto itself. Collecting seasoned veterans and fresh blood alike – CC Mechelen’s fair is quintessential for budding shutterbugs. Fair warning, you might not look at Belgian the same after. Prepare to be impressed.

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Sunday 4th February: Widu Gasti + Werk Mee at M HKA, Antwerp

Focusing on progressive contemporary art, M HKA’s exhibition lives up to its name. The Word-cherished Vaast Colson‘s flawless sculptures turn your perception of life on it’s head. So much so, his spawn of loyal fans have formed a formidable collective. Embark on a mission to find your own Widu Gasti and end the weekend right.

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