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What's on this week: 5-11 January
The current exhibition at the Natural Sciences Museum, Monkeys, has monthly nocturnes and this Tuesday it’s in English. Visit the exhibition from 17.30 to 21.30 (other halls are closed) and attend a lecture at 19.00. The lecture this Tuesday is by Tetsuro Matsuzawa and is entitled Imagination: The evolution of the human mind viewed from the study of chimpanzees. He has been studying chimpanzees both in the laboratory and in the wild. The laboratory work, the "Ai-project" in the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University since 1977 concerns a female chimpanzee named Ai who learned to use Arabic numerals. The field work has been carried out in Bossou-Nimba, Guinea, since 1986, focusing on tool use in the wild.
No reservations necessary. Dino Café is open until 20.30.
If you have any interest in books as beautiful objects and well as for their contents, the Wittockiana Library, the only Book Arts and Bookbinding Museum in existence, located in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, is one of the pleasures of living in Brussels. As part of Europalia Indonesia, the library has a temporary exhibition on the Indonesian comic strip. Presenting its history and heroes as well as the latest developments, the show is a fascinating introduction to Indonesian culture and traditions.
Until 20 January
Pencak Silat is the overall name for traditional Indonesian martial arts but every region has a different style, often mimicking local animals. Physical and spiritual development go hand in hand. Accompanied by live traditional music, members of the school Panca Sila from Maastricht will put on a demonstration after which the spectators are invited to try it themselves. In Dutch but accessible to everyone. Free.
7 January 14.00-17.30 Bâtiment Dynastie, Mont des Arts 5
ADAM, the Brussels Design Museum, has opened a new permanent space called the Plasticotek. Now entering its third year, the museum has realised that it needs a hands-on space where plastics can be explained to the visitor. What are plastics? How are they made? What is their history? What do they feel like?
The Botanic Garden in Meise, just outside Brussels, holds its annual festive light trail just when we need it the most – after the holidays are finished, and January looms large and dark. The Floridylle is a dreamy showcase of lighting among the organic wonders of the country’s largest botanical garden. The greenhouses have been newly renovated and will also be open, and several fire shows will take place throughout the evening. There are also activities for kids and a winter village with food and drink.
3-6 January 18.00-23.00 (enter by 20.30), Meise
Last year, the maximum speed on Flanders' two-lane provincial roads went from 90 to 70 kilometres an hour, with the understanding that if there are no signs, the speed is 70. This meant that the region could abandon costly maintenance of 30,000 existing signs. A lucky 32 of them found their way into the hands of local artists, who created something completely new out of the recognisable red-and-white circles and put them up for auction as part of Studio Brussel’s Music for Life fundraiser. The fundraiser is over, but the signs are on view all month in the Flemish government’s new building.
Until 31 January, Herman Teirlinck building, Tour & Taxis, Brussels
At the Kings of Comedy Club in Ixelles, you can hone your francophone listening skills this weekend when the latest alumni of the celebrated Ecole Nationale de l’Humour de Québec come to Brussels to make us laugh.
5 and 6 January, doors open 18.00, show 20.45
The Ladykillers was the last of the great Ealing comedies and also portrayed the dying gasp of a vanishing London, still rationed and rubble-strewn, with steam trains on the tracks and carthorses on the streets. This week it’s being screened at Cinematek - here’s an opportunity to see this colour film on the big screen with a pristine print. The film is one of the most highly rated British films of all times and features Peter Sellers’ first major film role.
8 January 18.00, 15 January 20.00, Cinematek
The first Sunday of the month means it’s the Brussels Vintage Market at Saint-Géry. Since it’s right after Christmas there will probably be plenty of good deals to entice the shopping weary. Vintage, second hand, designers, clothes, accessories, furniture, vinyl, toys and more, indoors and out.
7 January 12.00-19.00
Also on the first Sunday of the month, that temple to Outsider Art, the Art et Marges Museum is free and this Sunday includes free guided tours. The current temporary exhibition is a look at outsider comics called Knock Outsider Komics. Reservations for the guided tours recommended.
Traditionally Christmas has 12 days so to bid the holidays farewell, on the 13th day you are invited to celebrate the traditional Lundi Perdu. This folkloric event, mostly unknown in Brussels, comes from the Tournai region. Every year friends and family gather around a rich seasonal slowly cooked meal. In this case the meal will consist of sausage with apple compote, Tournai’s salad served with mutiau, the famous rabbit, cooked for hours in Cantillon Lambic, and the Galette des Rois for dessert. All products used qualify for the Slow Food criteria: good, clean and fair. €35 (for Slow Food members) €40 (for non-members) drinks included. The event’s profit will go to Slow Food Metropolitan Brussels.
7 January 19.30, Refresh, Rue du Sceptre 39, Ixelles
The Black Sheep’s English Comedy Night starts its year with Alfie Brown who has been characterised as “quite simply the future of British stand-up”, and multi-award winning Canadian superstar in the making Dana Alexander.
9 January 20.00, Black Sheep, Ixelles