Cultural Compass: Medieval echoes, dreaming big, film festivals and more

Exhibitions, music, architecture, books, festivals… this is Belga English's pick of cultural activities in Flanders and Brussels, published every Sunday.

With the arrival of spring comes the re-opening of the medieval Gaasbeek Castle. With its 800-year history, this historical gem houses a rich art collection consisting of tapestries, furniture, paintings, statues and silverware.

After a three-year restoration, visitors can again enjoy the 20 rooms filled with original furnishings of the castle’s last owner, Marchioness Arconati Visconti. "You wander through centuries that flow effortlessly into each other, let yourself be fooled by time and realise that history is never ‘finished’,” the museum says. Their current exhibition Rebellious Echoes Kasteel van Gaasbeek runs until 3 November.

©Kasteel van Gaasbeek

For an entirely different type of castle, take a stroll through Ghent’s installation Building Castles in the Sky. At weekends until 21 April, a 5km walk brings visitors through the dreams of children and young people in the form of street performances, VR glasses and even a bouncy castle for adults. The project delves into the fantastical and also often heavier subjects that young people deal with. Along the route, foreign-speaking newcomers also tell their stories, including performances about the situation in Palestine.

The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF), one of the most renowned genre film festivals in the world, will kick off its two-week programme on 9 April. During this annual celebration of fantasy cinema, BIFFF will showcase films ranging from horror to science fiction. The festival also offers side events, film competitions and themed evenings, providing an immersive experience for fans of the genre.

In Antwerp, on 8 April, the Fakkeltheater hosts South African singer Tutu Puoane, one of the most exciting voices in the international jazz scene. Through a blend of African, European and American music traditions, Puoane will honour the late Dutch jazz pianist Jack van Poll, who discovered the singer and supported her through her studies in The Hague and later in Antwerp.


Starting on 13 April, Musea Brugge will present Rebel Garden, an ambitious exhibition taking place in three museums around the city. The Groeninge Museum, Gruuthuse Museum and Museum Sint-Janshospital will use old and contemporary art to look at the tumultuous relationship between humans and nature. This exhibition aims to shed light on the climate crisis through art and debate.

Belga covered the opening of three other major cultural events this week: A Leap into the Unknown, Nick Cave's The Devil - A Life and Rodin: A Modern Renaissance

​Ongoing events

Rivoluzione e Nostalgia, La Monnaie ​
Ombra and PUUR at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen​
Histoire de ne pas rire. Het surrealisme in België, BOZAR
Jef Verheyen: Window on Infinity, KMSKA
The Crystal Ship
Beaufort 24 Triënnale Aan de Zee


​​#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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