Art shows aplenty in Antwerp, grand masters in Liège and spicey NYE parties in Brussels. Go do the right thing this winter.

Thursday 13th December: The Word Radio presents A Day of Percussive Expression at The Word, Brussels

We’re ending the year with a bang, namely an extra special day dedicated to all things percussive and rhythmic. Expect complimentary cocktails, cosmic live shows from Weird Dust, Jean-Philippe De Gheest & Frederic Alstadt, as well as the beats of DTM Funk, Soumaya Phéline, Nobuo, Travelogue and DJ soFa. Start the holidays right.

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Thursday 13th – Wednesday 19th December: KOKELA – Give life through art at PHILLIPS, Antwerp

This exhibition carries an important cause and conscience – raising money for Doctors Without Borders, 12 local and international artists donate an artwork, where each piece works up from an engagement with Congolese death rituals. The exhibition has been curated by Evelyn Simons, who was previously curator at Fondation CAB in Brussels. Among participating artists are Philip Aguirre y Otegui, Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven and Eddy Ekete. Important art to add to your December days.

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Thursday 13th December – Sunday 13th January 2019: Artists in Focus – Michel Gondry at CINEMATEK, Brussels

Whether it’s Jack Black in Be Kind Rewind, the surrealist set design of Mood Indigo, or the magic of Eternal Sunsine of the Spotless Mind, CINEMATEK has all your essential film needs covered this winter with a wide assortiment of Michel Gondry films.

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Thursday 13th December – Saturday 12th January 2019: Filip Francis’ Beyond the limits of the visibility at Annie Gentils Gallery, Antwerp

Filip Francis was a Belgian artist who experimented with painting, patterns and performance art, pushing the limits of the peripheries of vision and encompassing modes of scientific practise. This exhibition archives his contribution to contemporary art history.

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Thursday 13th December – Sunday 27th January 2019: Michael Matthys’ Le long fleuve tranquille at Botanique, Brussels

See a dark glimpse into human morality and the paint strokes of Francis Bacon in the work of artist Michael Matthys at Botanique. Matthys uses the blood of bulls and charcoal from his resident city Charleroi to create brooding red and black canvases. A treat for the eyes.

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Thursday 13th December: What’s past is prologue at Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren

“What’s past is prologue” are words from Shakespeare’s last solo play, The Tempest, a work often interpreted through postcolonial theory, thanks to the comic and apparently “uncivilised” character of Caliban. The newly reopened Royal Museum for Central Africa is grappling with these politically charged colonial histories itself – let’s hope they get it right. With works from Cameroonian artist Guy Woueté placed opposite a collaboration between Anaïs Chabeur and Lisa Wilkens, curator Bert Puype brings together food for thought for this much-needed topic. Watch this space.

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Thursday 13th December: Pinkshasa Diaspora’s CREAM Edition at Citylab Pianofabriek, Brussels

After travelling around Europe, the Brussels editions promises to make supportive noise for the work in progress documentary P!NKSHASA DIASPORA, with additional performances, DJ sets and guaranteed dancing all through Thursday.

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Thursday 20th – Sunday 29th December: Ten Slotte 2018 at Het Bos, Antwerp

Over the course of six days, Het Bos presents a celebration of audiovisual arts, featuring work from up-and-coming artist Margarita Maximova, a performance by Hiele Martens and a screening of the film Ecstasy by Yutie Lee. To ensure a cultured Christmas week.

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Thursday 13th – Saturday 15th December: Festival van de Gelijkheid 2018 at Vooruit, Ghent

This festival of equality hopes to bring a celebration of difference, of diversity and of solidarity. For three days in Ghent there will be panels, films, book clubs, music, poetry slams, workshops, exhibitions, theatre and performance. Join a discussion with Jean Paul Van Bendegem about how metaphors shape our reality or share your love of words with Lieve Joris. For something extra special and culture-tastic. 

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Friday 14th – Saturday 22nd December: Connexion BXL at Kaaitheater, Brussels

Joining the important dialogue on the representation of non-Western voices in the arts, Connexion BXL showcases new international work of emerging young playwrights, choreographers and artists from Africa and the Middle East. The performances sensitively span current events, colonial history and the intimacy inherent in notions of the home. Be transported to a taxi interior and spring fair in Kinshasa, Native American race relations in the American Midwest or the bustling shop culture of Tunis in the 20s. Echoing the spirit of the performance as a form of self-expression, artist Pepe Elmas Naswa recalls how dance “allowed me to cast off the yoke of my elders and finally find my own voice.” Essential.

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Friday 14th December: Snoephut met Kléo at amigo amigo, Ghent

This night presents all the best disco tunes from Red Light Radio’s Kléo, the Amsterdam-based DJ and visual artist, courtesy of the Snoephut crew, made up of Karawane, Just Nathan and Sixsixsixties. Fridays are for dancing.

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Friday 14th December: Migrants, Disempowered Cities, and Polarization of Politics at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

This talk on migration and the city is by Ayse Caglar at Beursschouwburg this weekend, as part of a series of lectures and debates on urban questions. Education is key.

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Friday 14th – Tuesday 18th December: Girl at Netwerk, Aalst

If you’re lucky enough to secure one of these in-demand movie tickets at Netwerk, check out Lukas Dhont’s film Girl. It is an excellent and sensitive meditation on girlhood, painting a vivid and emotive portrait of its transgender protagonist’s ambition to become a ballerina. Grab them while they’re hot.

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Friday 14th December: Los Ninos & Vicuna #100 at C12, Brussels

For their impressive 100th party, Los Ninos and Vicuna brings you a sprawling and special night with DJs and dancers spread across C12‘s huge two-floor space. Expect beats from Lovefingers, The Stress and Panteros666.

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Friday 14th December: Opening party at PIN PON, Brussels

Opening its doors this Friday, PIN PON refills Marolle’s old fire station for a night of food, drinks, dancing and an amazing heated terrace. An essential new addition to Brussels’ nightlife.

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Saturday 15th December: Living Dakota’s Belgium Love Edition #2 at Decoratelier, Brussels

For a collaborative creation between Belgian and international artists, Leaving Living Dakota brings you exhibitions, DJ sets and performances. On the decks are Clara!, GAN GAH, Lait De Coco’s Jeune Clyde and LLD residents. Not one to miss.

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Saturday 15th – Sunday 16th December: Building Friendship Fair at Friendship Building, Antwerp

For all things in celebration of BFF relationships, head down to this crafty fair headed by local graphic designers and illustrators Ines Cox, Elias Derboven, Sarah Vanbelle and Christophe Clarijs. Items up for sale include objects, gifts, posters and cards. Friends for life.

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Saturday 15th December: Babar visits Brussels at Royal Conservatory of Belgium, Brussels

There’s fun for all the family at this Christmas concert. Filip Jordens guides you through magic stories with music by Francis Poulenc before Maurice Ravel transports you to the Tombeau de Couperin. Bring your imagination, festive spirit and little ones.

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Sunday 16th December: Technoon w/ Wata Igarashi, Peter Van Hoesen & A. Brehme at Studio Citygate, Brussels

Technoon resurfaces for a Sunday night special. Beats are supplied by A. Brehme, Wata Igarashi and Peter Van Hoesen. Sunday fun day.

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Sunday 16th – Sunday 23rd December: Raphaël Vandeputte’s Bang the Box at C A S S T L, Antwerp

“With his boxes Raphaël Vandeputte transforms walls into sculptures. These are cardboard prostheses.” This cryptic exhibition will surprise you, shock you or provide something thoughtful. Watch this space.

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Sunday 16th December: It is a strange realism but it is a strange reality at Project(ion) Room, Brussels

For an afternoon of film screenings and talks, venture outwards to Uccle/Ukkel. Participating artists include Elena Betros López, Les Insoumuses, Emilie Notéris, Clara Pacotte and Kalinda Vary. The event is thematically centred around myths, fictions and the reappropriation of public speech. Something unusual to make you think.

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Sunday 16th December – Sunday 27th January 2019: Cléo Totti’s Ultra Liquide and Dieter Ravyts’ Footnotes at Tatjana Pieters, Ghent

Two exhibitions take up space at Tatjana Pieters over the Christmas period. Liège-born Cléo Totti is a multimedia artist whose works span both sculpture, painting and performance, questioning transitions from the industrial to digital age both historically and formally. Meanwhile, Dieter Ravyts‘ work is built on painting techniques, yet resembles graphic design or early 20th century advertising. A treat for the eyes.

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Sunday 16th December – Sunday 13th January 2019: Precarious Pavilions #3 – Atlas Unlimited (Act IV) Europa at Red Star Line Museum, Antwerp

This art piece invites visitors to walk around the old port of Antwerp, lead by an audio story that you pick up at Red Star Line Museum. It’s a collaboration between Karthik Pandian, Andros Zins-Browne, and the Syrian sculptor Zakaria Almoutlak. Onlookers can experience a series of sculptures, from large to quiet forms. For an unusual mix of art and ambulation.

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Monday 17th December: Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman at Cinema RITCS, Brussels

Catch this screening of the cult classic by Belgium’s finest feminist filmmaker, Chantal Akerman at Cinema RITCS. It’s about the domestic and the banal, and viewing all two hundred minutes of the film is a kind of endurance. You will leave with a strange and perhaps sad feeling, as well as knowledge of an essential avant-garde film that still inspires independent directors today.

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Tuesday 18th December: Patrimony and paranoia – Art in public space at NTGent, Ghent

“The work I do is an invitation to the viewer to think about our relationship with animals, and humans in today’s modern society”. These are words from research student Bilal Alnouri, who presents Seven Days Shit, the sequel to his project Lamb of God in the entrance hall of NTGent’s theatre, as a continuation of The Heritage of the Future series. There will also be short talks from S.M.A.K.’s Philippe Van Cauteren, among others. For something weird and thought-provoking.

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Wednesday 19th December: Jazzlab 2.5 – Lynn Cassiers/Yun at Flagey, Brussels

Lynn Cassiers is an electronic musician and vocal artist. Her new project Yun features piano by Erik Vermeulen and saxophone by Bo Van Der Werf. Having been granted carte blanche for JazzLab 2.5, this is sure to be jazz like you’ve never heard before.

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Thursday 20th December: chanoirs workplace in Brussels

Rewind belters and all-night dancing guaranteed with rascal collective Chats Noirs‘ final party of the year. Music from DJ Stalingrad, Lostsoundbytes, Antoine80 and more is bound to make this an unmissable night.

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Friday 21st December: Editions Gravats w/ Simo Cell B2B Low Jack + Black Zone Myth Chant at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Coming to Beursschouwburg on the eve of your Christmas festivities is a night of music from the Parisian Editions Gravats. With genres bending and transcending techno, industrial ambient, French chanson, left-field dub and reggaeton, this night is not one to miss. Catch the tracks of Black Zone Myth Chant and a B2B set between Simo Cell and Low Jack.

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Friday 21st December: Afropean Short Film Evening at FoMu, Antwerp

This short film evening presents works from Africa’s brightest emerging talents. See Ata Ndele, directed by Malkia See or A Child Like Innocence by Eloi Nsanzabandi. These films often blend poetic narratives that explore black identity and intimacy.

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Friday 21st December: Krake Festival Brussels edition at Fuse, Brussels

This Berlin-based electronic music festival breaks into Fuse for a night of psychedelic dreams and dancing. Expect music from Ceephax Acid Crew, Alienata b2b REKA and Privacy. See you on the dance floor.

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Friday 21st December – Thursday 18th August 2019: Liège.Chefs-d’oeuvre. at La Boverie, Liège

At this sprawling exhibition of La Boverie’s extensive archive of masterepieces, catch Belgian classics like James Ensor, Magritte and or the honeyed, luminous landscape paintings of Emile Claus. An unmissable art historical display to add to your 2019 calendar.

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Friday 21st December: LESSABBATS – MAMIWATA GALA at Sauna L’Oasis, Brussels

This femme-friendly night combines all night DJ sets with spa facilities, and exists for women by women. Glitter and sauna fun will be accompanied by music fromthe likes of our very own Mika Oki to bring you a night to remember. Aqua queens come one and all.

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Saturday 22nd December: Bosbubbles w/ DJ Marcelle, Meteor Musik, Penus, Sergeant at Het Bos, Antwerp

Electronic essentials from from our friends at Het Bos who have prepared a heavy-duty line-up for us: DJ Marcelle, Sergeant, Hiele and Meteor Musik amongst many others. Don’t sleep.

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Saturday 22nd December: Mala at Ampere, Antwerp

Grand master of all things dub, co-founder of DMZ and one half of Digital Mystikz, the legendary DJ and producer Mala will be blessing Ampere with an impressive all-night set. This one’s going to be big.

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Monday 31st December: Marcellus Pittman + Sigha & Shifted at C12, Brussels

See the new year in with a deep house party to end all parties. C12 will be hosting DJs from Belgium, the UK and US. Whether it’s the groovy gems of Detroit resident Marcellus Pittman or the techno tracks of Sigha & Shifted, the dance floor won’t disappoint. Countdown and count us in.

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Monday 31st December: Kozzmozz & Rave Alert present The Space Rave at Eskimofabriek, Ghent

Dance away the last minutes of 2018 at this otherworldly space rave. A self-professed “pure and proper techno party”, this night brings you DJs from across Europe, including Randomer, Paula Temple and Jacid0rex. There will even be a room based on a 70s sci-fi B film. Intergalactic dancing all night long.

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Monday 31st December: La Brigade NYE at PIN PON, Brussels

The newly reopened PIN PON asks you to come as you are for New Year’s Eve. Expect music from Louis Vogue & Didi Casanova, as well as the Gay Haze and La Brigade DJs. Dress down or dress up, and dance into the early hours of 2019.

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Monday 31st December: SPEK’s NYE Meltdown in Antwerp

A very special 12-hour rave comes to Antwerp to ensure you see the new year in right. DJs Cleveland and Pieter Jansen are joined by Sixsixsixties, among others. See you in 2019.

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Monday 31st December: NYE w/ GAN GAH & Mambele at Bonnefooi, Brussels

Moroccan-born DJ and producer GAN GAH has been blowing us away with his electronic fused Maghrebin beats. He’ll be joined by Mambele‘s funk and disco delights, for an all-night NYE. Spoilt for choice.

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Saturday 5th – Wednesday 9th January 2019: The Six Brandenburg Concertos at Kaaitheater, Brussels 

Capturing the genius music of Bach in all his polyphonic glory, Rosas’ Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker directs 16 dancers from different Rosas generations to bring you The Six Brandenburg Concertos. End your holidays right.

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