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English - Speaking Resources, Contacts, Deals and Offers in Brussels





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W W W. M U S I C H A L L . B E Idea, Artistic Director & Producer: Geert Allaert • Creative Director, Choreography: Bart Doerfler • Musical Director: Ad Van Dijk Set Design : Luc Peumans • Costume Design: Cynthia Nordstrom



PVP’s Monthly Column Two Buildings, Three Languages

Art & Culture 6

Dear Readers, 7

BxlConnect is a free monthly magazine and useful resource guide for the Expat and English-speaking community in Brussels. It contains articles, news, information, deals and offers. Pick up a copy to get inspiration and ideas about things to do in the city. You can find us at one of our many distribution points throughout the city.

Art Diving With Denis Maksimov

Health & Well - Being 14


X-Pat Makeover




Wishing You A Great Month, The BxlConnect Team

Derek Blyth’s Hidden Secrets of Brussels


WW1 - Preparing for the 100 Year Commemoration

Learning 24


On the Cover

What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?

”Porte de Halle Tower” by Alison Cornford – Matheson (

Publisher and Editor Jonadav Apelblat 02 450 00 91

Banksy’s Bites



Interview with Moroccan-Belgian Writer Rachida Lamrabet on Dual Identity

Contributing Editors

Martin Banks, Derek Blyth, Philippe Van Parijs, Denis Maksimov, Alison Cornford – Matheson and Diana Goss


50 Years of Turkish and Moroccan Migration 31

Snapshot of Current EU Affairs

Placing an Ad

Please contact us on: info@bxlconnect. com for information about advertising opportunities. If you would like to publish a small classified ad, you may do so directly through our website:


Services 32

Alison’s Escapes


A Day in the Life

Housing 38 BxlConnect Calendar 40

PVP’S MONTHLY COLUMN Philippe Van Parijs is a philosopher and a Brusseler. He teaches at the Universities of Louvain, Oxford and Leuven.

TWO BUILDINGS, THREE LANGUAGES Why Brussels will speak more and more English

Philippe Van Parijs


round 1430, Brussels was a little town in the Duchy of Brabant with about 7000 households, nearly all of which spoke Brabants, a Germanic dialect close to present-day Dutch. It had a beautiful town hall on its Grote Markt, but its textile-driven economy was not doing too well. An irreversible decline could not be ruled out. The local authorities then had an idea, which would prove of momentous importance for the linguistic fate of their town.



Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, had managed to aggregate, through inheritance, marriage or conquest, quite a large territory that included Brussels, and he was in the process of creating one of Europe’s first state-like administrations. But he kept moving his court from one town to another, from Besançon and Dijon to Bruges, Ghent, Leuven, Mechelen or Brussels. Perhaps the Duke could be persuaded to settle in Brussels if the prospect was made sufficiently attractive to him?

In this hope, the Brussels authorities made him an offer. If he promised to make the town the permanent seat of his court, they would not only give him a hunting ground — a warande — just next to his palace on the Coudenberg (at the location of the current Parc Royal or Warandepark). More importantly, they would expand his palace by building at their own expense a huge room — an Aula Magna — in which he could hold parties and convene his Etats généraux, the regular meetings of the representatives of his various provinces. The Aula Magna took about thirty years to be built (its foundations can still be visited under the Place Royale), but its erection had the intended effect. The new building — for a while the largest civil room in this part of Europe — hosted the Etats généraux consistently from 1465 onwards, as well as other memorable events such as the emancipation of Philip the Good’s great-grandson, emperor Charles V in 1515 and his abdication in 1555. Consequently, the clumsy model of the rotating capital was abandoned and Brussels gradually became, especially under Charles V, one of Europe’s most important capital cities. What does this old story have to do with the linguistic situation of Brussels today? A great deal.

Had it not been for the Aula Magna, it can safely be said that French would not be the dominant language in today’s Brussels any more than it is in today’s Mechelen or Ghent.

of the European Economic Community could in principle be changed any time at short notice, but the Belgian authorities offered to erect a massive new building close to the office block occupied by the EEC’ first fonctionnaires on the Avenue de la Joyeuse Entrée. The site was that of a convent school that originated next to the cathedral, in what used to be the mansion of Charles de Berlaymont, mainly remembered for a sentence he uttered in 1567 at the entrance of the Aula Magna in order to disparage a crowd of noblemen protesting against the Inquisition: “Ne les écoutez pas Madame, ce ne sont que des gueux.”

Like the erection of the Aula Magna, the erection of the Berlaymont is now having totally unexpected linguistic consequences. Firstly, the building served as a magnet for many other new buildings hosting the institutions of what has been called since 1992 the European Union, including an hemicycle for its Parliament and, most recently, a separate building for the European Council. Brussels was thus turned, step by step, into the official capital of a political entity even larger than Charles V’s empire. Secondly, after some decades, the dominant language inside the Berlaymont and in most EU-related activities gradually switched from French to English as a result of successive enlargements. Trickle-down effects are to be expected for the city as a whole, fundamentally analogous to those that followed, with long delays, from Brussels having emerged as the capital of the Dukes of Burgundy.

It is to the Aula Magna that the little town of Brussels owes its promotion to capital status, and it is in French that the Dutch-dialect-speaking town of Brussels started and kept functioning as a capital city. Similarly today, it does not need much stretching of the past nor speculation about the future to ascribe an analogous effect to the erection of another building: the Berlaymont. In the middle of the 20th century, like five centuries earlier, there was a new entity being born through gradual aggregation, one that was also destined to grow much larger in subsequent decennia and that lived for a while on the model of a rotating capital. Its smallish administration was provisionally located in Brussels in February 1958 owing to there being no consensus as to the definitive location of the seats of the Communities created the previous year by the Treaty of Rome. Why in Brussels? Because it happened to be the capital of the country that came first, alphabetically speaking, among the six countries initially involved. Its government, therefore, was the first in charge of the rotating presidency and hence of the responsibility to provide suitable premises. This siège précaire of the commission


Art & Culture


NATURE AND DINOSAURS. The Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels is home to the largest collection of dinosaurs in Europe. Gaze in awe at the hushed beauty of T. rex, Triceratops and Diplodocus, and especially at our enormous Iguanodon collection. Nature also means evolution, crustaceans, insects, minerals, mammals, etc. ‌ In brief, the Museum is a brilliant place to discover and wonder at nature in all its facets. Check out our website regularly.

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Pub-Lac des Cygnes 2014-210X148,5+3mm-EN-CMJN.indd BxlConnect

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Art & Society / March 2014 Welcome to a new section in BxlConnect devoted to art and interdisciplinary studies. In this issue you are invited to read about happenings in Brussels and the surrounding area, easily accessible via various means of transport by those living here. Apart from this practical guide, the focus of Art Diving this month will be around the theme of intersections between Art and Society. This topic is in the core of the interview with young SwedishRussian artist Petr Davydtchenko. I hope you find here some interesting readings and inspirational visuals. I would be glad to hear your feedback and suggestions for the next issues via denis@ Have an inspirational March, Denis’

Denis Maksimov is a creative polymath, political expert and contemporary art critic, working in Brussels, Berlin and Moscow. He was born in Russia and resides most of the time in Brussels. His website


Brussels the best of the month ‘Korean Shape’ at Galerie Paris-Beijing

// runs to March 29 Tue - Sat, 11 am - 7 pm @ Rue Hotel des Monnaies, 66 free entrance Group show ‘Korean Shape’ opens perspective on remarkable Korean contemporary artists. They blend traditional Asian values with modern influences of the West and technological revolution. Among others, the show raises the controversial issue of masculinity and hierarchy in Asian society. The rich tradition of exquisite Asian craftsmanship is reflected in detailed visual works. The red tree painted on several glass panels reflects a constant evolvement of collective wisdom regardless of the lifetime of a single person. Don’t forget to check the largest hall of the exhibition with a magnificent deer figure, whose horns, made of natural tree branches, are spread over the space. Images: by Denis Maksimov at Galerie Paris-Beijing




‘Burnout’ by Petr Davydchenko at Harlan Levey Projects

Images: courtesy of Gallery151

// runs to March 16 Tue - Sun, 1 pm - 7 pm (appointment possible) @ Rue Léon Lepage straat, 37 free entrance

‘From Darkness to Light’ by Carmen Hoyos at Gallery151 // runs from March 6 to April 4 Mon - Sat, 12 pm - 7 pm @ Chaussee de Wavre, 151 free entrance

‘We’re burning out like the stars, only much much quicker'. A motto of the second solo exhibition of Swedish-Russian young contemporary artist Petr Davydtchenko. Petr was born and spent the first years of his life in the turbulent environment of a fading Soviet Union and changing Russia. A focus of his works is in decoding a seemingly similar symbolism of different subcultures of Russia and Sweden (where he moved later). Petr, who now resides in London, devoted the works of the current show in Harlan Levey Projects gallery to the theme of ‘burnout’. Ambitions, states of mind and stars, cultures, communities and physical books - all burn out. One of the installations features a burned copy of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” (named ‘All my failings exposed’), installed under the glass in the floor of the gallery. Conceptual narrative of the works engages the reader to reflect on the interrelation of Art and Politics. You are invited to read the explicit interview of Petr on interlinks between aesthetics and power in the ‘Interview’ section of this month's Art Diving.

Images: courtesy of Petr Davydtchenko



Recently opened in Ixelles Gallery151 welcomes visitors in March for a new show. Multi background artist Carmen Hoyos will present her installations, themed ‘From Darkness to Light’. Follow the Gallery151 on facebook (facebook. com/Gallery151brussels) and don't miss the opening vernissage of the exhibition in early March. Come and chat over wine with artists, aficionados and other interesting people at the events in the Gallery.

Images: by Denis Maksimov

Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

// daily, 9 am - 5 pm @ Museumstraat 1 Amsterdam Not everything must be cliche in classical arts museums. Reopened, fully redesigned national museum of Dutch art heritage is worth a visit. Reserve at least 3-4 hours for an attentive stroll if you want to see most of the collection. You can download the guide on your smartphone in advance to make the most of your visit information-wise.

EYE Film museum cafe & space

If you plan a weekend trip to Amsterdam, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy spectacular views from EYE - Dutch Film Institute. The building was designed by architectural firm Delugan Meissl, which specialises in buildings that appear to be in motion. The cafe of the museum is a true masterpiece and probably one of the best spots to enjoy sunlight over coffee.

Images: by Denis Maksimov

// Sun - Thrs, 10 am - 1 am @ IJpromenade 1 - 1031 KT Amsterdam

Frank Auerbach ‘Raw Truth’ abstract paintings created in conversation with Rembrandt deserve special attention. Don’t miss classic allegoric masterpieces of Frans Franken II and Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne. Oriental rooms of the museum, which feature Japanese and Indonesian colonial heritage, shouldn’t be missed by curious viewers.

Propaganda for Reality at Museum Morsbroich

// runs till May 4 Tue-Fri, Sat, 11 am - 5 pm (Thrs - till 9 pm) @ Gustav-Heinemann-Str. 80, 51377 Leverkusen

Cologne area

The exhibition deals with the issue of reality represented through images. Singled out of the context, the images are often used to create artificial discourse, an imposed reality. Art meets politics when it is used to create a discourse, specifically beneficial for particular group of

individuals. What is reality? To what extent is human knowledge accessible? Is there ‘pure’ reality? Exhibition ‘Propaganda for Reality’ at Museum Morsbroich next to Cologne presents over twenty different artistic positions on these issues.

Images: © 2014 VG-Bild Kunst, Bonn; Courtesy Azure collection, Monaco / Zurich and marion scharmann, Cologne









images: by Denis Maksimov from Rotterdam street, Art Truc Troc Brussels, Gallery151 Ian Talbot show and Brussels Affordable Art Fair



Petr Davydtchenko: on aesthetics and power DENIS: How would you define “aesthetics” and “beauty”? Are they still relevant? PETR: In my mind, they remain extremely relevant. Both are powerful weapons for enrichment and destruction, which define each other in the intimate way that lovers or long time friends do. Aesthetics is a perception and can be framed. Beauty remains much more elusive. In terms of my work, I build narrative through aesthetics, sometimes deliberately overburdening a body of work with minimal, clean, and polished appeal. This is a conscious way of referencing the complexity of what is deemed as the darker sides of human nature. It becomes a question of seduction, taking things that are problematic, horrible and perhaps too grim to grasp and making them attractive. If a person is attracted to them, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are beautiful. Beauty doesn’t Beauty doesn’t have to be aesthetic. It can be the description have to be of what happens after aesthetic. It can the initial attraction when it becomes clear be the description that the subject is acof what happens tually repulsive. In my recent show at Harlan after the initial Levey Projects Gallery attraction in Brussels, examples

of this include the reworking of motorcycle oil tanks recovered from accidents or the piece ‘They Walked in Line,’ which is a custom made track suit (made in collaboration with Swedish designer Elsa Suneson). The light fabric, cuts and lines are intended to be aesthetically pleasing; a haute couture line that modifies the Adidas tracksuit that is so popular in many subcultures, including Russian Gopniks and Skinheads. As an object it’s beautiful, but what it represents is a violent and hostile subculture with its own uniforms and rituals. I used this suit as a type of second skin for a performance work titled ‘Petty Vanities’ where I offered vodka and free head shavings. On somebody else’s body, this could be the uniform worn for ruthless attacks. DENIS: What is political power to you? PETR: I associate political power with fear and oppression, historical shifts and potential futures that both frighten and fascinate me. Political power is a power that dictates conditions we live in. Those conditions can be better or worse, but there is always a dilemma. To draw a parallel with art, there is always a basic idea, which we might call a condition. It might be as simple as choice of a material, which dictates the tone of the whole construction or work. When I work with power structures, I tend to represent them as physical structures in space; towers, ambiguous architecture and other pillars that are usually made from steel. My recent piece ‘Swallow Me,’ for example is a sort of table whose width was consciously determined by



When I work with power structures, I tend to represent them as physical structures in space; towers, ambiguous architecture and other pillars that are usually made from steel.

prefab mirrors sold by a large furniture manufacturer. Political power here is wielded to corporate frameworks. The steel support is covered in Ovatrol to maintain a greasy, dirty and strong appearance that represents the mirror’s power. The Rose powder pills lining the table refer to substance intake and the various dealers that control various substances. Viewers are invited to swallow the pill, which speaks to the importance of human relations in supporting political structures. It also highlights a romantic narrative to this conversation; a type of destruction that can be the result of a great love as opposed to blind violence or the notion that love can be blind and violent. This piece directly deals with political power: Pills are presented to people on a structure. The structure divides the space. The question of power becomes one that is at once subjective and dictated by a branded source.

which reflects social position. Once that happens, it is almost certain that there will be followers of the idea. Since art is a means of communication there is certainly an interrelation, for better or worse. Think about times when a failed artist became a politician? This gives clear indicators of how artistic approach can affect politics and eventually shape the world.

DENIS: What is the interrelation between art and society? When does politics become art and vice versa?

DENIS: What is the borderline between art and propaganda?

PETR: Whenever someone has something to say. I mean really something important, expressing an opinion,



DENIS: Is it fair to say that all art is political? Is it possible to completely exclude politics from artistic discourse? PETR: Only if you make the argument that the production of any image is political, but I don’t think so. It would be very boring if all artists were some kind of social workers always considering the good of things. DENIS: Do you agree that "kitsch" can be used as a tool in gaining power? Is it possible to use it for the good of the society or is it a strictly negative term? PETR: If aesthetics can do this then it likely applies to all aesthetics and this includes Kitsch. So to the first question: Yes. To the second, like technologies, aesthetics are never neutral, but their application can lead to many potential ramifications that lead to positives and negatives, which are again only subjective ideas anyway.

PETR: I am not sure if there should be one, but propaganda targets viewers as consumers of a particular message with a particular agenda, and art tends to serve to open up ques-

tions and readings of what’s being ingested and released. If an artwork is not open to interpretation, it loses its freedom and becomes propaganda. If there is a border, it looks a lot more different in the distance than it does when it’s close enough to touch.

If an artwork is not open to interpretation, it loses its freedom and becomes propaganda.

DENIS: “Boundaries should always be tested whether they are political, social or institutional. Then when it comes to moral dilemmas, it becomes more complicated of course.” Is that what art should have a mission to challenge? How do you see your role in the process? PETR: I am not so interested in testing political boundaries with my art. For me it is important to describe my own complicated relationship to this world and to my own existence. It is a love - hate relationship, and as in any relationship of that kind, boundaries end up tested even when this is nobody’s intention. DENIS: Contemporary Russian art is characterized often as political and literal. Do you think it’s due to the general “Eastern” approach to art, where it tends to be less conceptual and more straightforward? PETR: I think that it is possible to be very conceptual but still maintain a direct approach. It comes down to how we read what is in front of us. In many ways art is a tool to inspire us to read differently. We can choose to see the beauty or aesthetics and just enjoy an appealing object, or we can choose to see beyond and raise questions around technique, materials and gestures made by the artist in the context of working with a particular piece. The harder we work to go into a work, the more concepts and contexts reveal themselves.

DENIS: What is your view on the role of the curator today?

PETR: Curator is a hot word today. With so much information floating around, everybody has a role in curating what they personally allow space for. In art, the role of the curator is to go beyond the artist, to create broader contexts, more specific lines and connections between various works that open up new readings. The curator still has an important role to play in bringing art to view and defending it. At the same time, all the roles in art are getting mixed up today. Many artists are becoming curators, and curators, like artists are clearly cultural producers. It’s comforting to know that there are people thinking with you, and beyond you, and as long as an artist doesn’t expect a curator to do their work (and vice versa), it’s a dynamic relationship.

Swedish artist Klas Eriksson has a great ongoing project about curators. He produced a series of scarves using football aesthetics, and instead of supporting or denigrating a club, they say A.C.A.B. – All Curators are Bastards. I find this work amusing and playful. It contains a provocative message, but I think it can be viewed from different angles. I myself like to curate and see a huge importance in taking on that role, even if it means becoming a bastard at certain moments.

DENIS: Let’s move a bit in a more general direction. Do you think that our zeitgeist (spirit of time) is still postmodern? Does postmodernism still reflect the world we are living in? How would you define the contemporary public discourse you are living in? PETR: No, personally I would like to believe that we moved beyond the postmodern. People always want to put things in categories, I’d rather live in the unknown, researching and being free in that way. Definition always comes after and once something is defined, it’s no longer contemporary. Potential has already been castrated. DENIS: Contemporary art spaces - museums, galleries, shows have become the form of leisure in contemporary society. What do you think attracts people there? PETR: Inspiration, information, excitement outside everyday life, new people, free drinks, the promise of something more than reality; something better; something beautiful; something that is able to empower them. I wouldn’t say it is always a form of leisure. People are attracted to places, ideas, other people, whatever, for all types of different reasons. Whatever brings them there, I find it fantastic that more people than before are making time to engage with contemporary art. Personally, I find interacting with people and art a pleasuring experience. At the same time, as an artist, there is always a danger in corrupting your own practice by looking at other work.


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DIANA’S X-PAT MAKEOVER Diana Goss is a stylist, image coach and the founder of No Black Styling. She is a fashion expert with a decade of experience working in the business. If you would like to be the next face of Diana’s X-pat Makeover, or have any questions or comments, please send an e-mail to Diana at:

Filippa K button-down shirt, Hugo Boss blazer.

Hans Primusz

singer, musician, choir director, artistic and business leader of Zaterdag Zondag.


ast few months I was involved in two big productions in Flanders. “Vergeten Geluk” is the nostalgic performance with songs from at least fifty years ago. Another project is the concert where I did backing vocals and had a chance to perform next to the “big” Belgian musicians, Jan Hautekiet and Axl Peleman. I like to come to Brussels and discover new sides of the city every time. For the nice views and inspiration, I take a walk to the Mont des Arts, where you can enjoy the sights of City Hall and on a clear day even Atomium and Basilique. Bonnefooi is my favourite spot to have a drink and enjoy music jams, concerts or a dance performance. It is the place for a young and creative crowd. Brasserie La Fontaine is the meeting point: you can have a meeting there while enjoying live piano music and delicious cuisine. I was excited to participate in “Diana’s Makeover”. For an artist, style is extremely important and it is also a part of the performance. I really wanted to try something new, which is why I was open to all creative ideas. I definitely liked the way Diana approached my new style identity: fresh, stylish but still within my comfort zone.



White shirt, tailored jacket and shorts – all from COS, CAMPER shoes and Filippa K navy bag.

COS plain sweater and rain jacket, Eleven Paris camouflage pants, Boss Orange leather ankle boots, Calvin Klein sunglasses and Buddha to Buddha watch.

Photography: Steven Lemmens Styling: Diana Goss for No Black Styling ( Haircut: Rady Lukanov for Toni & Guy Schuman (www.






Travel and Leisure: Visiting Birmingham By Martin Banks


ead the books and seen the blockbuster films? Now you can discover the inspiration for the global phenomenon that is the Hobbit. The man who created 'Middle Earth' - J.R.R. Tolkien - was from Birmingham in the English Midlands. Now, Tolkien enthusiasts can explore areas of Birmingham where Tolkien spent his childhood. Tour guides will explain how the locations, events and characters in his life inspired his writing. The tours are a great way to celebrate one of Birmingham's most fascinating former residents - and also discover an area often overlooked by visitors to the UK. HS2, the planned high speed railway between London and Birmingham, could help further boost the city's tourism potential. But, even before the first tracks are laid there are plenty of excellent reasons to consider Britain's 2nd City for a short Spring break with major upcoming events including 'Frontiers Festival' on 22 March, celebrating the experimental sounds and cultures of downtown “Brum”, as it is known locally. Birmingham has one of Europe´s youngest populations and is one of the UK's most vibrant and creative

cities. A good base is Bridge Street Apartments, which offer an alternative to hotel accommodation. Why an apartment? Well, while traditional hotels offer certain perks such as front desk or room service, Bridge Street Apartments are fully furnished and typically twice the size of extended stay hotels. They´re located in the heart of the city within walking distance to shopping, entertainment and offices.

third most visited open air museum, attracting 300,000 visitors each year. Another wonderful local attraction is Birmingham's award-winning Think Tank Museum, a landmark centre for science and technology. It boasts over 200 hands-on displays on science and discovery from the past, present and future and attracts 200,000 visitors a year. A lovely place to also visit is 'Adventure Island mini golf' at Birmingham's Star City, the country's first ever indoor adventure golf course, featuring two brilliantly-themed 18-hole golf courses. Built across three levels, you can play on your own or with the family.

This landlocked city is renowned for its Indian food, notably the Balti, but it has also earned itself a worldwide reputation for quality cuisine, In the past, Birmingham had an imwith more Michelin stars than any age problem but it has re-invented itother UK city outside self and is easy to reach London. One highly from Belgium via P&O recommended choice Ferries, the award-winBirmingham has is the local branch of ning ferry operator. It one of Europe´s Prezzo´s, a highly-suchas 23 daily crossings youngest cessful and popular on the Calais/Dover populations and UK national chain. Loroute, with prices for a is one of the UK’s cated at nearby Hardaytrip starting from most vibrant and borne, it has terrific €24 return (same calcreative cities value-for-money dishendar day). A long stay es, including several (over 5 days) costs from new seafood dishes. €39 each way while a short break is from €44 reNormally located in lovingly-restored turn. All prices are for one car and up properties, the stylish, contemporary to 9 passengers. Birmingham location is no exception, being based in a Grade 2 listed clock With a world-class cultural scene and tower building. The fantastic food diverse mix of shopping, attractions more than matches the splendid sur- and nightlife, Brum is well worth a roundings. visit. Be amazed at its links with Middle Earth! One must-see local attraction is the Black Country Living Museum which covers 26 acres of former industrial land. It recreates industrial life in ain in the 1830s and includes demos from metal working to glass cutting. Open for over 30 years, it is the UK's





The Metropole bar on Place de Brouckère is once again one of the most stylish spots in town. Many famous people have sat in the glittering 19th century interior surrounded by marble, gilt and mirrors. It closed down a year ago for renovation work, but it reopened at the end of last month looking refreshed and a little more welcoming. Here is the perfect place to sit with a coffee on a Saturday afternoon among elderly ladies with little dogs and actors from the downtown theatres.

This concrete chain hotel was transformed in 2007 into a quirky design bolthole aimed at style geeks. Each of the 287 rooms is decorated with an original fresco by a bright young artist straight out of art school. The hotel recently brought in four street artists to paint wild urban art in the lobby and staircases. You can find street art by Sarah Conti, who creates large Russian dolls with big sad eyes, and Bué the Warrior from Ghent, who paints bright cartoon figures.

Place de Brouckère, Central Brussels Tel 02 217 23 00,

Rue Royale 250, Central Brussels Tel 02 220 66 11,

SAINT AULAYE Established in 1986, this bakery takes its name from a little town in the Dordogne where the owner served as an apprentice baker. The cakes and tarts are gorgeous concoctions to liven up a dinner party, but this is also a place to pick up a simple baguette or a bag of croissants for breakfast. Rue Américaine 130, Ixelles Tel 02 538 48 15,



Eighty years ago, King Albert I was killed in a mysterious accident while climbing a cliff in the Ardennes. The BELvue museum has a glass case containing items from that fatal climbing exhibition in 1934, including a corduroy jacket with a rip in one sleeve and the rope that snapped during the climb. No one has ever come up with a convincing explanation for the accident.

Here is a brilliant little wine shop hidden away in an old courtyard on Rue due Page. The shop has boxes of wine stacked up to the ceiling and sometimes a few open bottles on the table for tasting. The wines sold here come from vineyards that grow their grapes without chemicals or fertilisers, so you are tasting a pure natural product. Many of the city’s acclaimed restaurants order their wine here, but the place is not at all intimidating. Some bottles are expensive, but you can pick up a mellow Le Pluriel red from the Clos des Boutes for just €8,60.

Place des Palais 7, Central Brussels Tel 02 545 08 09,

Rue de Page 90, Ixelles Tel 02 538 84 84,


HONG KONG DELIGHT Most people don’t notice this little restaurant in the heart of the Chinatown district. It may look like a simple snack bar, but it serves authentic food. Some of the dishes may be intimidating, like “fried chicken blood”, but you can also order something more familiar like fried noodles with pork. The perfect spot for a cheap bite before a film. Rue Sainte-Catherine 35, Central Brussels Tel 02 502 27 80



Jonathan Coe’s latest novel is set in 1958 Brussels during the World Fair that gave the city the astonishing Atomium. It tells the story of a bumbling civil servant from the London suburb of Tooting who is sent to Brussels to run a replica British pub. He becomes involved in Cold War intrigues involving Russian and American spies and falls for a Flemish woman who is working as a hostess at the Fair. It’s a fun novel based on some serious research in the Belgian archives.

Anyone hunting for odd antiques should take time to poke around Stefantiek cluttered shop. Located on the edge of the Marolles opposite the church where Pieter Bruegel is buried, it is crammed with ancient Belgian beer signs and old children’s toys. Here you can find almost anything, from stone angels that once decorated a Belgian castle to an authentic fairground carousel.



It’s all too easy to walk straight past this tiny Ixelles park hidden behind the Indian embassy. But go down the little lane and you will discover a pond with turtles, a playground and a sandpit hidden behind a hedge. The park is particularly beautiful at this time of year as the spring blossom comes out. Chaussée de Vleurgat Square Henri Michaux, Ixelles

Place de la Chapelle 6, 1000 Brussels Tel 02 540 81 41,

You want to  persuade your friends that Brussels is the funniest, most poetic, craziest city in Europe. So why not send them a postcard that says a thousand words. Not, please, the Manneken Pis. Take a look around Avec Plaizier where they stock whimsical and arty postcards by Belgian cartoon illustrators and photographers. You can  send a photo from  Expo 58. Or a  picture of Eddy Merckx eating a huge plate of frites. Or a card that simply says Belgieque.     Rue des Eperonniers 50, Central Brussels Tel 02 513 99 29,

Derek Blyth is the former editor in chief of The Bulletin and author of the bestselling The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels. He picks out ten of his favourite hidden secrets every month for BxlConnect.







hey are known as the “killing fields” - the scene of the "war to end all wars". Ten million people died in the First World War - at least 600,000 in Belgium - and final preparations are underway for a series of commemorative events when the 100th anniversary is reached later this year. The global focus will be on Belgium and, specifically, Flanders where the clock is currently ticking to get work completed on the restoration of headstones and graves of those killed during WW1. More than 300,000 victims are buried in military cemeteries dotted around the Flemish countryside, but at least 200,000 are still missing. Tyne Cot, near Ypres, is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world and held a strategic position in the war, stand-




ing in the way of Germany’s planned sweep into France from the north. At Tyne Cot and other cemeteries, wind and rain has worn the surfaces of the 12,000 headstones, rendering the names hard to read. Some gravestones are chipped or cracked and the stones are no longer perfectly aligned. About 2,000 headstones will eventually be replaced with new ones identical to the originals, with another 7,000 being re-engraved. Peter Francis, of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), said, "For the Commission, an illegible headstone is a brave man or woman forgotten, and

that is unacceptable to us. With interest in the centenary of the Great War rapidly growing, we are doing everything we can to ensure our cemeteries and memorials are ready to receive visitors and remain a fitting tribute to the sacrifices made by those who died in the two world wars." At the Menin Gate, where the Last Post is played every evening at 8pm in a lasting act of remembrance to soldiers who lost their lives, a huge renovation project is also under way. The gate ­features almost 54,000 names engraved on to its walls and staff from the CWGC have replaced nearly 50 plaques. Each plaque bears the names of some of those who fell in the area known as Ypres Salient and have no

known grave. The original plaques had become eroded and CWGC staff believes the problem was a micro-climate – a wind pattern within the stairwell where the plaques are sited. Horticulture is also an essential part of the commemoration of the fallen and this involves maintaining kilometres of headstone borders, hectares of turf and trees and shrubs in just about every type of soil and in every type of imaginable climate. Works supervisor Eric McAtear, aged 51 and from Wales, said: “More and more people come every evening and when there is a commemoration like 11 November, it’s unbelievable how many people are here”. “It’s not just for that day, but the day after and the day after. It’s very important for everyone who visits.” Fellow stonemason Tony Edwards, a 49-year-old Londoner, says, "Every person, every casualty that’s on these

graves and walls, paid the ­ ultimate sacrifice with their lives, so we try and do a good tribute to their name and make sure that we do an excellent job. Someone will see you at work and they’ll thank you – it’s the world’s most rewarding job.” “You’re bringing back that name, you’re bringing back that personal inscription. In effect it is like you’re bringing back to life the memory, and the memory is the thing that’s most important, I think, for everybody.”

likely to make the many "must see" WW1 attractions in the region even more popular than they were before. Meanwhile, a 10m euro refurbishment has increased the size of the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres by 50 per cent while Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery has a new visitors´ centre.

With more than 2 million visitors expected to visit Belgium´s WW1 sites over the next four years, the commemoration also promises to provide a boost for businesses. According to Flemish tourist chiefs, who with Belgium´s government have invested 50m euros in centenary events, the anniversary is



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from realizing their full emotional potential at auditions, on stage or in front of the camera. We Weekly Introductory and advanced classes are conducted with a concentration on English to use Help train actors for the growing English European markets. We work with the deepest respect for on stage and camera work with improvisation, scene study, monologues and scenes. French Tuition: French lady, former those of us who share and portray the most profound experiences of the human condition. Weekly Introductory advanced conducted with a concentration on English to Private acting, and dialect and publicclasses speakingare coaching is also available. Help train actors for the growing English European markets. We work with the deepest Mention forportray a privatethe meeting John Flanders and toof audit Respect for thoseBxlConnect of us who magazine share and most with profound experiences the one of our sessions. human condition.

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INTERVIEW Small background about Gerry


Interview with CEO at Wide Circle

Q. What is NLP? The first thing to get clear is that, contrary to popular belief, NLP is not a theory. It’s a collection of models on what actually works. So, you can think of it as a “model of models” or a Meta Model. With a theory you’ve got to continuously justify and attempt to prove it. So, you’re focused on the “why” and “what”.

Born in England, grew up in Ireland. Used to read the dictionary as a kid and was fascinated by words. Later, did a degree in Linguistics and French and then studied Managerial Psychology as part of an MBA. Worked in several industries including 10 years alongside the CEO and his leadership team at a leading multinational. Been a performing musician most of his life and a member of the highly acclaimed Irish/Scottish band Shantalla with whom he has toured extensively and recorded 3 albums. Founded Wide Circle in 2003 in Belgium and the company has evolved to become focused today on how to achieve superior levels of individual and organizational performance.

Gerry Murray

NLP focuses more on the “how” because these models, tools and techniques have been created by modeling what highly effective real people do. So, it’s really about how people do what they do. It’s about getting things done. This is what makes it so powerful. It’s skills based so you can’t really learn it from a book. However, NLP draws on a body of academic research and theory to

explain how many of the models work. NLP began in academia at the University of California at Palo Alto in the early 70s. Another important distinction to make is that NLP is not a “thing”. It’s a process. You can think of it as an ongoing interaction between yourself and yourself, or yourself and the outside world.


INTERVIEW To provide a definition we can use the 3 words:

Neuro refers to our neurology and how we experience the world through our five senses. This involves our brain and every single cell in our body.


refers to how we code and give meaning to these experiences through verbal and nonverbal language. This creates our perceptions of the world around us and there’s a continuous interplay between our experiences and our interpretations or representations of those experiences.


refers to the programs or strategies we have for getting things done. You can think of this like how we organize our thoughts, ideas, selftalk etc to arrive at specific behavioral and emotional outcomes. John Grinder and Richard Bandler were influenced by computer programming and used this as a metaphor. They would argue that nobody wants an out of date operating system or out of date programs running on it. NLP therefore gives you control over your own programs or strategies for achieving things. An easy way to think about NLP then is that it’s the study of subjective experience

Q. Why should one learn NLP and who is it for? NLP is for everyone. Many people are drawn to it for professional reasons such as improving their leadership skills, sales ability, their therapy or coaching practice, becoming a better presenter or trainer and the list goes on. However, whatever your reasons for choosing to learn NLP skills you’ll definitely do a lot of work on yourself. It truly is a journey of self discovery! Why should you learn it? Self awareness provides the key to unlocking your potential. Having a better understanding of how people function and accepting the fact that everyone of us is unique enables you to build better relationships. Knowing how to run your brain to get better results has got to be worth the effort!

Q. What makes NLP an effective tool? Once again, NLP is a collection of models that are based on modeling excellence. They are outcome focused and very flexible by nature. So, they work. The only person who can make them work or prevent them from working is yourself. One of the most powerful principles in NLP is being able to create multiple descriptions of anything and this leads to greater choice. With more choices you don’t get stuck so often. The core principles of NLP enable you to experience the world in a totally different way and give you deep resources for dealing with whatever life throws at you.



Q. Some criticize NLP for being manipulative. Is it justified? The first distinction to make here is that NLP cannot by definition be manipulative. Only people can be manipulative and then you must go back to what your intentions are. If you’re looking for ways to manipulate others then you may need to first examine your morals and ethics. And if someone wants to use NLP knowledge to manipulate others then they’re not welcomed in our trainings and we can spot them a mile away. In terms of NLP itself, it’s designed with an important principle at its core and one that we insist very strongly on in our trainings is the principle of Ecology. You can think of Ecology as the study of consequences. So, from an NLP point of view, we say you shouldn’t do anything that would bring harm to yourself, another person or even the planet. I must admit I’m not sure if all schools of NLP get this message across clearly enough. And, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing! Another distinction to make is that NLP is not something that you do to other people. It’s a do-with process and therefore presupposes that you have the permission of the other person should they wish to work on something where NLP can help.

Q. Is NLP a science or an art? Have there been any scientific studies carried out on its effectiveness? Both, is probably the appropriate answer to this question. If you take music for example, you’ll find that there’s a whole science of sound and physiology underpinning it. However, it takes artistic skill to perform it elegantly. As I mentioned earlier, NLP is not a theory and it draws on scientific based theories from a whole range of academic disciplines such as Linguistics, Psychology, Neuroscience, Anthropology, Sociology, etc. Much of science is based on observation and the NLP models have been developed based on applying advanced observation skills. For example, engineering relies heavily on models. Engineers modeled birds to understand how to build airplanes. There are also an increasing number of academic papers been produced in recent years and for those who are interested they can check out the ANLP’s biannual research conference in the UK. There’s also quite some research being carried out in the US. The most prominent areas of research are in therapy, education and business. However, scientific studies tend to highly generalize and rely a lot on averages. Most people don’t want to be generalized, averaged or analyzed. And, NLP is totally opposed to both because in NLP you look for patterns and synthesis. At the end of the day, the best way to find out if something is effective is to test it out for yourself. The next and only NLP Practitioner training in English in Brussels takes place over 2 weekends at the Aloft Hotel: 14-16 & 27-30 March 2014. More details: 0476 417 606


Restaurant 1815

Cite du Dragon

Maxime Vantal has successfully transformed this splendid restaurant from a rundown Italian pizzeria to a highly-regarded eatery. Given his highly-impressive CV it shouldn´t really be surprising. The young Maxime started early, working informally at his godfather´s restaurant at the age of just 16.

Like any large city, Brussels is full of Chinese restaurants but there can´t be any quite as splendid as Cite du Dragon.

Having later worked at some of Brussels´ top restaurants, the 31-year-old realized a lifetime dream when he took over 1815, his first as an owner, three years ago. It is located opposite the famous Battle of Waterloo site on the outskirts of Brussels. As you sit enjoying the fine cuisine created by the restaurant´s renowned head chef Gregory Rousselle, the lovely view of the famous Lion mound allows your mind to drift back to Wellington´s famous victory. The restaurant offers a varied a la carte menu of Belgian-Franco classics, much of it homemade and all presented with a modern twist and at very affordable prices, with the pure Scottish steak and foie gras highly recommended. The emphasis is on freshness and French-born Gregory has been known to even catch the fish and meat himself after a day fishing or hunting! There are 3 set menus, priced €25, €35 and €45, including one called “Pleasure Menu” - an appropriate phrase for a visit to this restaurant. There´s also equally impressive desert and wine lists and a particularly wonderful garden. Lunch is also a good option with three menus, ranging in price from a mere €11 to three-courses at just €19.50. It´s certainly well worth the excursion out of Brussels and, as Napoleon might have said, Magnifique!

The decor, both outside and the cavernous inside, is quite astounding, all water features, oriental antiques and painted murals. But, of course, the food is the most important thing and, here, you most certainly won´t be disappointed. Hard to imagine it used to be an old persons´ home! Apart from a very long a la carte, there are various menus, including the “Lacquered Duck”, featuring appetiser, starter and the main dish a whole, melt-in-the-mouth Peking duck, served in pancakes in its crispy, caramelised skin, with vegetables and, finally, in a delicious soup. For starters, the “Dim Sum basket” is recommended and even the sticky Thai rice is wonderful. There are also plenty of options for veggies and an “all-you-can-eat” €27 pp (drinks excl.) buffet on Friday and Saturday evenings, plus Sunday lunch. Considering the splendor of the food and surroundings, it`s all very affordable. After a sumptuous meal, you can take a stroll in the amazing Asian-style garden. The welcoming Vietnamese-born owner Luc Tu Liem, who also has a restaurant of the same name in Liege, presides over a 20-strong highly efficient team. Hers is a fascinating story in itself. She first came to Belgium to study way back in 1969 but, for political reasons, could not return to Vietnam. Easy to see why this 250-seat restaurant is now a real Brussels dining institution.

Restaurant 1815

Cite du Dragon

367 Route du Lion, Waterloo

Chaussee de Waterloo, Uccle

Tel 02 384 9884

Tel 02 375 8080

Martin Banks is a British journalist and has worked in Brussels since 2001. He covers a wide range of topics from EU affairs to cuisine and sport.



Rachida Lamrabet is a Moroccan-Belgian writer who writes in Dutch. She was born in 1970 in Morocco and migrated with her parents to Belgium in 1972. Her writing is shaped by migration and identity. Her first novel Vrouland (women’s country) received the price for the most promising debut in Flanders in 2008.

Interview with Moroccan – Belgian Writer

Rachida Lam Q. As Belgian with Moroccan origin, your literature is shaped by identity and migration. How was your literature received among other Belgians as well as the Moroccan minority community living in Belgium?

A. It’s true. Having moved to Belgium with my family at the age of two from Morocco, my first novel “Vrouwland” was very much shaped by my own experiences, growing up in Antwerp. I felt a need to write about young people coming to a new country, finding themselves, who they are and where they’re going in a changing new Eu-



rope. My literature is continuously shaped by these themes.

The reactions were in general very positive but it was noticeable that many of my Belgian readers labeled my work as quite special. Special in the sense that it was almost considered “exotic literature”. My characters were named Marjam,Younes and Faiza and not Peter, Jan or Isabel. However, I was simply writing about the reality of Antwerp and the society that I grew up in. This is a reality. Our society is not monocultural, never has been, we live in a super diverse society.

I write about that society and yet many readers thought that I wrote books about a far away country that had nothing to do with their world. The Moroccan community in Belgium was proud and I received much praise. Here there was a Moroccan woman who wrote novels in Flemish and showed “it can be done”. Q. What are the benefits and difficulties to have dual cultural or national identities?

A. I would have been a very different person had I stayed in Morocco.

I consider myself as very fortunate to live in a society that is changing whereby I constantly meet new people and get challenged with new and different ideas, which shapes and develops me as a person. It’s a huge benefit to grow up in a society like this in Belgium. The problem occurs when you come across people who problematize your difference. Everyone is different but a lot of people feel a need to have clear ideas about identity. When you don’t correspond to a certain criteria and when you can’t be inserted in a certain box, you are not part of their community.

I believe identity is not static, but it’s rather fluctuating. Like a river flows, it takes up sand and rocks and I see identity as evolving. People must not be afraid of seeing identity as a changing process. I think we must accept it as it makes us richer.

passed away, once said. Identity is the wrong word. You have to use a verb to talk about identity. It should be “identification”, as it can be so different all the time. It is a process.

we can’t change minds of people unless we become authoritarian. However, we can eradicate the structures that can lead to racism. We can enforce human rights and

Q. This year we commemorate 50 years of Belgian and Moroccan migration. What has changed in these fifty years with regard to Moroccan integration in Belgian society?

we do already have the ideologies, treaties and legal frameworks that encourage equality, so let’s live up to that.

A. I think the biggest changes have come from within the Moroccan community itself. The generation of Moroccan immigrants who came here 50 years ago, came here for work, they also fled a harsh political regime. Most of them were labour immigrants and were happy to simply have the opportunity to work and gain a better living than they would have back home. They didn’t really think about being part of the society but their children have a different mindset. The second and third generations want to be part of the society and don’t want to be outsiders. This creates a consciousness in the mind of society about discrimination and of change. Diversity is not something to be afraid of. It is true that it makes living together a real challenge, be-

mrabet Q. Do you feel Belgian or Moroccan?

A. My identity is a composition of different aspects, my nationality is just a very small part in that identity. As I said, identity is not a given and is not static, it is evolving. For example, when I was a teenager, I experienced a lot of opposition and plain racism, and so I rebelled against that and identified particularly with my Moroccan roots. But it constantly changes and I can’t pin myself to one identity. Like Stuart Hall, the founding father of multiculturalism who just

cause how do you find a common ground with all these differences? But reacting with fear is not good. We have first of all to accept that this super diversity is a reality and secondly it is an opportunity and can bring a lot of benefits to a society if it is embraced. Q. Racism and stereotypical judgments are not new and have always existed in all parts of society. Is racism something we can eradicate or will it always exist? A. It probably isn’t possible to completely eradicate racism as

Q. Belgium houses over 170 nationalities and in particular Brussels has seen a strong demographic change in the past 20 years. How do you feel Belgian society has responded to such a changing demography and influx of various cultures, each one with a natural urge to express its own identity? A. Quite protective and almost even hostile. I can understand that for some people seeing their neighbourhood change can be quit overwhelming. I can understand that it is scary to come to a situation where we don’t really know anymore who is a minority and who is a majority in Brussels. So how do you deal with that? Certainly not by feeding fear. I consider that a short term strategy that is useless and even dangerous for us as a society. We have the basis, a democracy which provides us with a framework. It is important that we use this to communicate with each other and ask ourselves what we want and what kind of society we want to live in and agree about a set of principles. We have already achieved much, such as equality between men and women etc. But there is a lot more that we can add. Finally, it is important to remember that there are differences between different regions in Belgium. Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels are all quite different. I think that Brussels will lead the shift in the mindset of a monocultural society, to a super diverse and dynamic one.



50 years of Turkish and Moroccan Migration


his Spring marks a significant milestone in Belgian traditional efforts to assimilate migrants from all over the world. It will be  50 years since Belgium signed labour treaties with Turkey and Morocco and there are celebrations throughout the year to mark the anniversary. Half a century ago, Belgium signed bilateral treaties with the Turkish and Moroccan governments, paving the way for scores of migrant workers to come and settle in Belgium. In many cases, they were followed by other family members. All usually share a common theme: they had to overcome a whole range of issues, including language problems and old-fashioned homesickness, to go on and often build new lives here. To commemorate the 50th landmark, a series of events have been drawn up under the banner, "50 Years of Migration". Katrijn D'hamers, who is one of those working on 50 Years of Migration programme, said, "The immediate reason for the celebrations are the labour treaties dating from 1964, but we also want it to celebrate all people with roots somewhere in migration." As Katrijn says, the celebrations of 2014 take the labour treaties as a starting point, but will also seek to focus attention on a variety of migrant histories and cultures. The jubilee project, she said, is supported by the Flemish  culture ministry, which with others made subsidies available for associations’ related projects.



In Flanders, responsibility for the programme rests with Faro, the government agency for the support of Flemish cultural heritage while in Brussels and Wallonia, the cultural centre Espace Magh will be organising things. In Flanders, in particular, a lot of cities and organisations will celebrate the history of migration, says Katrijn. One of the goals is to allow migrants themselves to tell their story of how they first came to Belgium and the challenges they have faced since. An exhibition showcasing some of their personal stories of integration will tour Brussels, Antwerp, Genk and Ghent and there will also be informative events such as debates. The organisers, says Katrijn, have also teamed up with the federations of Turkish (UTV) and Moroccan (FMV) associations who have drawn up their own projects. With the heritage organisation Kardelen, UTV is organising the "Miras 50 project," while the FMV is setting up the "Dakira project". On 27 April, the annual Heritage Day will form the centrepiece of the programme. Of course, it is not just Turks and Moroccans who have migrated to Belgium. Even before they started to arrive in the 1960s, Belgium was already home to migrant Spanish and Italians, often lured here by the prospect of working in the now-defunct coalmines in the south and east of the country.   Much of the debate at European level is now partly dominated by immigration, and sometimes with a negative focus. But Katrijn hopes 50 Years of Migration will help show how migration generally can benefit societies, saying, "One of the overall aim is to demonstrate how these divergent groups have, over the years, richly contributed to building our society here in Belgium". Details of all activities can be found on There is also a facebook page (with a photo contest) on www.facebook. com/vijftigjaarmigratie and further information is available on www.faronet. be/migratie


Snapshot of current EU Affairs According to the first pan-EU election forecast, Europe’s Socialists are set to top the polls in May’s European elections. The projections, released by Pollwatch Europe, give the European Parliament’s centre - left group 221 out of 751 seats on 29 percent of the vote, up from the 194 seats it currently holds. It predicts that the centre - right EPP would drop to 202 seats from the 274 it currently holds on 27 percent of the vote across the bloc. If correct, it would be the first victory for the Socialists since 1994. The poll is the first in a series of fortnightly forecasts by Pollwatch in the last three months before Europe’s 400 million voters go to the ballot booths from 22-25 May. Plans to cap card payment fees charged to shops by credit card giants Mastercard and Visa have been backed by MEPs. The move is aimed at saving €6 billion per year. In a parliamentary vote, deputies backed a proposal to limit the bank’s fee for credit card payments at 0.3 percent of the transaction value. They also set a cap of €0.07, or 0.2 percent of the transaction value, for debit card payments. The restrictions are to enter into force after one year and apply to both domestic and cross-border payments.

22 May. The exact format of the debate has not yet been decided, but it will be hosted by a London radio station. An exact date has yet to be decided. Neither of the other main party leaders, prime minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, will participate. Observers say it could be the middle of 2016 before the European Union and the United States wrap up multi-billion-euro transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP). Partners on both sides of the Atlantic have expressed hope to finish negotiations on the trade deal swiftly, perhaps even before the end of this year. But experts now argue this target is widely over-optimistic. In February the European Commission published its long-awaited anti-corruption report with an analysis of corruption in EU’s Member States and of the steps taken to prevent and fight it. It aims to launch a broad de-

bate to assist the anti-corruption work and to identify ways in which the European dimension can help. Corruption varies in nature and extent from one country to another. It impinges on good governance, sound management of public money, and competitive markets. It also undermines the trust of citizens in democratic institutions and processes. The report describes corruptive practices in public procurement and the financing of political parties. After nearly 20 years of absence, sheep have returned to the Zwin nature reserve on the Belgian Coast thanks to EU cash. As part of a project funded by the EU, five sheep have been released into the wild. The EU funds are being used to create blocks of grazing land for the sheep. A handful of European Commission officials took time out to attend the ceremony during which the sheep were freed. They saw the repair work on the bird breeding islands and the salt water lagoon.

UK Independence party leader Nigel Farage will face the UK’s deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in what is being called an ‘in-out debate’, to be broadcasted before the European elections. Farage has accepted a challenge from Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, to hold a debate ahead of the UK’s election for the European Parliament on


Services “Comme chez Moi” - “Like at Home”: Leaving for the WE or

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Wedding singer: To add elegance, sophistication and style to your Wedding, please allow me to put the icing on the cake of your ceremony, and sing during your wedding ceremony, wedding breakfast or reception. For more details, please call 0474 990 631 and I’ll be happy to provide more details. Make your Wedding extra special.

Friendly and honest woman with excellent referencies looking for additional work (domestic help, cooking etc): Friendly, honest and flexible woman (42) is looking for additional babysitting or for keeping compagny to a person who needs help (cooking, ironing, shoppings) in the morning before 1 pm and for the week ends or evenings. Excellent french and English, very good cook, excellent referencies. call Bianca 0487.28.20.71

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SELF-EMPLOYMENT AS SECONDARY ACTIVITY IN BELGIUM Self-employment as a secondary activity is an advantageous regime in Belgium, because the worker can combine two types of professional activities. On one hand, he works on salary for an employer, and on the other, he works for himself as a self-employed worker. This means that a worker can only benefit from complementary self-employment if he is under an employment contract with an employer. If the employment contract stops, the worker with complementary self-employment status has the choice between becoming self-employed full time, or ceasing his complementary self-employment activities. This self-employment as a secondary activity status entails the same formalities as those required to be self-employed: registration with the Trade Registry (Banque-Carrefour des Entreprises - BCE) via a single point of contact, and enrolment with a social protection fund. If you consider working as self-employed, please contact us for help: Group S - International Division :



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f you’ve spent any time in Brussels, you’ve probably noticed the Palace of Justice’s hulking form, towering over Place Poelaert. But few visitors peek inside this enormous building, even though it is free to enter, and definitely worth a look around.

Visiting the Palace of Justice in Brussels

Over the years, I’ve walked many a visitor to Place Poelaert to admire the view over central Brussels. Inevitably, they ask questions about the giant, scaffolding covered building towering overhead. Although I can spout much of the history of the Palace of Justice, until recently, I had never been inside.

As the name suggests, the Palace of Justice houses the law courts of Belgium. It was the largest building constructed in the 19th century and, at 160 by 150 meters, is even larger than St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. However, there was a great deal of controversy surrounding its construction. Leopold I, the Belgian King responsible for some of the country’s most famous buildings, held a contest for the design of a new law court building. However, he rejected all of the blueprints


he Porte de Hal Museum tells the story of Medieval Brussels inside a stunning piece of Belgium’s architectural history.

I’ve passed by the pretty little tower at Porte de Hal hundreds of times. Each time, I look up, think I really must go inside and explore the museum some day, and then I continue on my way. Since the Porte de Hal Museum’s re-opening in June of 2008, I still hadn’t set foot inside. Now, I’m happy to say I’ve finally rectified that gap in my Brussels attraction knowledge. The Porte de Hal (or  Hallepoort  in Flemish) may look like there should be a long haired princess trapped in the attic, (There isn’t. I checked.) but its function was much more important. Built in 1381, the Porte de Hal was one of the seven main entrances through the Brussels city wall. It was named Porte de Hal, as it faces the direction people would travel to and from the city of Hal (the door to Halle).

Visiting the Porte de Hal Museum

Originally, the Porte de Hal had a large wooden drawbridge over a moat and was virtually impenetrable with this bridge raised. You can still see where it would slot into the archway when the gate was closed. Back in those early days, the Porte de Hal didn’t have its current fairy-tale appearance. In fact, it wasn’t until the 19th century, when architect Henri Beyaert restored the tower, that it was embellished with Neo Gothic decorations. Beyaert added one of the Porte de Hal’s most striking features: a small round



tower, topped with a conical roof, which houses a stunning stone spiral staircase. Before its restoration by Beyaert, the Porte de Hal served a variety of functions, other than that of city gate. It actually survived the demolition fate of the other six city gates, because it was being used as a prison at the time. Throughout the ages it was also a customs house, a Lutheran church and even a grain silo. In 1847, the Porte de Hal was taken over by the Royal Museums for Art and History but was too small to house most of the collection, which was relocated to Parc Cinquantenaire. The Porte de Hal was

and the minister of Justice appointed his own architect of choice, Joseph Poeleart. Poeleart’s design required the demolition of a large section of the Marollen neighbourhood and hundreds of working-class residents were forced to relocate to Tillens-Roosendael, in Uccle. Meanwhile 75 landlords of the demolished houses received large cash settlements. Poeleart’s design was criticised by the general public from the start, and even causeed the word ‘architect’ to become a bitter insult in the local dialect. But love it or hate it, the Palace of Justice was here to stay. Since 2003, when renovations began on the 24,000-ton dome, the Palace of Justice was hidden behind

closed in 1976 as it was too run down and dangerous to continue admitting the public. Restoration began in 1991 but fizzled out due to lack of funds, until finally in 2007, extensive renovations restored the Porte de Hal to its beautiful state today. Since its reopening in 2008, the Porte de Hal (or Halle Gate) museum has been telling visitors the story of Medieval Brussels. There is a strong focus on the city’s defence, with collections of weapons, armour (pieces of which you can actually try on) and exhibits on the former city walls. The Porte de Hal Museum includes artifacts from the social history side of Brussels as well. One room is dedicated to the various trade guilds, which were vital to Brussels’ survival

a shroud of scaffolding. In keeping with the building’s history of controversy, the company responsible for the renovations went out of business and now there was a heated debate as to who should be responsible for the cost of removing it all. If you pass beyond the scaffolding, you can discover the Palace of Justice’s dramatic architecture. The building is open to the public (unless there is a particularly sensitive case being argued inside). You can wander freely inside the main lobby area, under the gigantic dome.

Practical Info PALACE OF JUSTICE Place Poelaert 1000 Brussels Tel : +32 2 508 64 10

during the medieval period. There is also a painting, by Anthonis Sallaert, showing Infanta Isabelle taking part in a crossbow guild celebration in Sablon. This is a famous moment in the history of the guild and ties in well with a trip to the Crossbow Guild Museum. Another highlight of the museum’s collection is a cradle said to have been used by Charles V. But by far the most interesting (and somewhat disturbing) artifacts in the museum are the horses ridden by Archduke Albert and his wife, Infanta Isabelle. Let’s just say taxidermy hadn’t come into its own at the period these poor horses were stuffed. They look rather ghoulish but are prized possessions of the museum nonetheless. One of the other highlights of the Porte de Hal Museum, is the view over the St. Gilles neighbourhood from the roof. The museum tells a fascinating story of Medieval Brussels and is well worth a visit. It’s a bite sized attraction that is easy to visit in a couple of hours, is interactive enough to entertain the children and informative enough to appeal to adults. I’m only sorry I waited so long to visit!

Practical Info PORTE DE HALLE Boulevard du Midi 150 1000 Brussels Tel : +32 2 533 34 50 Website:

Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Brussels based expat who writes about life, food and travel in Belgium. Find more of her discoveries and escapes in this diverse and exciting country in her website:



A DAY IN THE LIFE James Wilson is the founder and Managing Director of Macmillan Public Affairs


run a communications and government relations consultancy. Last year I made a life changing decision to close the office in central Brussels, and to take advantage of modern communications to work on the go, with a home based office as back up.

I realised that I had been travelling more than one week out of two, and with the high percentage of work requiring networking and meetings in Brussels, it simply made no sense to maintain a physical base in Brussels.

and catch up on the news over a cup of coffee, using mostly online sources. After the children have gone to school, I will catch up on email correspondence, and make some follow up telephone and skype calls. I try to set up meetings in the Parliament and in the Brussels village around Place Luxembourg between 10 and 3 in order to miss the worst of the commuter traffic, and concentrate on writing client reports during the afternoons and early evenings.

Covering public affairs in Eastern Europe means frequent This was the best business decision I have ever made. travel, so that there is no such thing as a typical day. But Not only do I save a fortune in unnecessary rent and I make as much use as possible of wifi to maintain confixed costs for an tact with my network office that stood so that the actual loempty for 75% cation of my work Covering public affairs in Eastern Europe of the time, but is less relevant; my it has freed up means frequent travel, so that there is no computer, my smart my diary to have phone and “cloud” such thing as a typical day. more time with storage of data have the family and replaced the office. focus more atThis has its drawtention on what is important for my work, namely meeting and dis- backs, if I forget the correct supply cable, or the qualicussing opinion formers and decision makers from ty of internet coverage lets me down. But I always find the European Parliament and the European Commis- that my work is more productive when not travelling but working from the home office base. The office itsion. self is in part of the converted attic, and so cut off from Living in the leafy suburbs of Tervuren, the new way of the rest of the house, which is an important psychoworking means that if I need some fresh air or inspira- logical part of the strategy, to help me maintain focus. tion, I just go for a walk in the Arboretum in Tervuren Instead of a home to office journey, I have “exercise breaks” or take the bike out into the park. to stimulate thought and creativity, which is an important On a typical working day, I will get up around 7 o’clock part of my work as a communications professional.











Notary Mansion For Sale Near Brussels: Situated in Essenbeek (Halle) – 5 minutes from the Brussels Ring and route to Paris and Lille – 375m² living surface surrounded by a 40 are garden – 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, spacious living an dining rooms, 2 cars garage, patio an garden oriented to the South/East – A Notary Mansion crafted with noble materials located in a very calm and private area More info: FR/EN +32 2 634 03 33 – – or NL/EN: +32 2 378 40 40 – – Centrally Located Fully Renovated Familial House: Ground floor: spacious dining & living room - Large fully equipped kitchen - Small garden – 1st floor: 1 twin + 1 single bedrooms - bathroom + W.C. – summer terrace – 2nd floor: living/bedroom + separate equipped kitchen - shower room + W.C. – Recently refurnished - Quiet street on the « Chaussée de Gand » - Metro : 2 min. walk to « Osseghem », 6 min. to « Beekant » - Supermarkets : 2 min. walk to « Lidl » and « Colruyt », 6 min. to « Delhaize » - Leisure : 5 min. walk to « Stadium » sports centre, various parks and playgrounds. - 275,000€ - Visits 0483.51.54.69. (Français, Nederlands, Español)

Woluwé-Saint-Pierre, bright 4 bedrooms villa: Semi detached 1983 villa on 410 m² land. Close to Stockel (metro, airport, schools, shopping centers). In a very quite residential avenue. 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, big multi purpose room on 2d floor, garage for 2 cars, cellars. Low consumption (triple glazing). Lots of storage. Big terrace (south) and small sunny terrace (west). Beautifull garden. Located avenue de Saint-Exupéry , 3 at Woluwé-Saint-Pierre. Price: €725 000, Contact Tel 0478 849702 90m² with terrace and garden ROGIER: 90m² + terrace + priv. garden + communnity garden, basement 1 bedroom, large living room, kitchen with island, pantry and bathroom. nice, quiet apartment on Place Rogier, free immediately opportunity to purchase two undergroung parking spaces write or call for the meeting at 0475.631.656, Price is 249 000 Eur

Beautiful 45m2 flat for sale in EU quarter: Nice, quiet flat on the 6th floor at the heart of the EU quarter, located on Square Ambiorix (and facing the back courts). Living room with sleeping corner, well-equipped kitchen, bathroom with washing machine, hall, cupboards, balcony, parquet flooring. Price: 150 000 Eur. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact on: 0474 25 27 23








Cosy furnished flat near Cimetière d’Ixelles: Lovely mansarde apartment. 6th floor with a great view over Ixelles/Watermael. 1 bedroom, kitchen, bathroom - approx. 25 m2. Furnished. 580 EUR/ month, incl. common charges and Wifi, excl. electricity/gas/water. Preferably minimum 1 year contract. Avenue Guillaume Gilbert. +32 477 36 37 54 2 BDR (UN)FURNISHED apartment 94 m2 near Basilique of Koekelberg: Furnished (or unfurnished) 94 m2 apartment. Possible one year rent. Near Basilique of Koekelberg and Karreveld Park; buses, tram and metro nearby.  28sqm living room with chimney and wooden flooring, 2 nice bedrooms, large equipped kitchen, shower room (with washing machine) and separate toilet. Terraces in front and at the back.   6th floor out of 6. 800€, + 180 €charges (central heating, hot water, common charges ).  Possibility to rent a parking place : 40 euros/month. Available from March. Please contact me 0474 504 507


Rue Archimède 93b | 1000 Bruxelles | 02 732 88 32 | ARCHIMEDE REAL ESTATE is a real estate agency located at the heart of the European institutions. We deal primarily with buying, selling and letting of residential properties, and specialize in the European quarter. Our clientele is highly international and includes both investment professionals as well as private individuals.

Brussels: – Rue de l’Inquisition 33 – Family house – Fully renovated – 3 bedrooms + 1 office – 2 bathrooms – backyard of 30 m² – For sale: 445.000 €

Schaerbeek: – Avenue Paul Deschanel 173 – Apartment of 65 m² – 1 bedroom – 5th floor – Cellar – For sale: 145.000 €

Woluwe-Saint-Pierre: – Avenue de l’Atlantique 56 – Apartment with 3 bedrooms (115 m²) – Fully renovated – 1st floor – Garage – For rent: 1.200 €

Visit our website to view a list of all our current offers:








Apartment - 112m² - Schuman area,Living room , equipped kitchen, 2 bedrooms ,bathroom, shower, terrace , Possibility garage.

Apartment - 50m² - Living room, kitchen, 1 bedroom, shower, terrace, cellar, 3rd floor

€ 235.000

€ 149,000


Apartment - 100m² - Enjoy a 3 bedroom apartment in a quiet street close to many public transport. Large living room and entirely equipped kitchen, a bathroom (bath and shower), a utility room. A garage. Possibility of renting taxable person!


€ 1350/month

Furnished flat - 50m² - the perfect place to live in the middle of the European district. Bedroom, equipped kitchen and bathroom. Do not miss! € 700/month



Apartment - 90 m² - large and lightful living room with a balcony, fully equipped kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. Cellar and garage included. To see!

Apartment - 60m² - Near the European district and totally renovated. Large living room, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and 1 bedroom. Free Now!

€ 800/month

€ 225,000




Flat - 40m² - Totally furnished flat in the heart of the European district. Living room with a sleeping area separated by a partition wall. Fully equipped and really practical kitchen, bathroom with washmachine. Must see!

€ From 700/week

€ 750/month


Apartment - 111m² - Living room, full equipped kitchen, 3 bedrooms, terrace (south), Nice view

€ 159,000

Apartment (european district area), Living room, equiped kitchen, 1 bedroom, bathroom, nice terrace 11m²

€ 800/month

House - 140m² - Winter in the sun ! Nice house 2 bedrooms, full equiped (Praia d’El Rey Golf & Beach Marriott Resort) , 45’ from Lisbonne.

Apartment - 60m² - Living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms,2 terraces (south-west), 3rd floor

€ 750/month

Apartment - 50m² - Fully renovated, ground floor. Entrance hall, totally equipped kitchen, living room with direct access on the private terrace and garden, 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom. Cellar and garage (+ 100€/month). A must!

€ 199,000


Apartment - 95 m² - Schuman area, large living room, fully equipped kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. A real opportunity!

€ 900/month

Apartment - 125m² - (Av Louise area) Living room , full equipped kitchen, 2 bedrooms ,bathroom, Study, patio, Exclusive apartment !

€ 795,000 BRUSSELS

Rue des Palais, building 1 duplex 3 bedrooms with garden, 3 apartments 1 bedroom. Profitability 6,1% per year.

€ 395.000

Virtual Tour ERA Do not disturb : visit under way. Whether you are selling your house or you are looking for a new place to live, our virtual tour allows everyone an exact idea of the property More information on

New Ad: ERA PROFIDI Schuman (IPI nr 202982) Rue Archimède, 17 – 1000 Brussels TEL : +32 2 230.24.24 - Sales – Rent F/U (short and long term)






The BxlConnect calendar aims to gather and provide as much information as possible about key happenings and






13 to 16


Exhibition on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the Carnival of Binche by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In collaboration with the Musée International du Carnaval et du Masque of Binche. The exhibition immerses visitors in the sphere of folklore and the world of Gille, the ‘King of the Carnival in Binche’, with 40 photos of the photographer of the museum of Binche, Olivier Desart, and various objects related to carnival. In addition, the works of artisans and a film projection will be shown.

This event is organized in Brussels for the 18th time. It is an exhibition about craftwork in which spectators can watch the work of about 200 craftsmen.

Eurantica 2014 Fine Art & Antiques Fair Intergenerational carnival 5

to 15


Atomium Square de l’Atomium - 1020 Brussels Entrance Atomium: 11 euro, students and seniors: 8 euro, 6-11 years: 6 euro, 0-5 years: free , The exhibition Mobilia - 100 Years Design by Belgian Architects charts the careers of thirty Belgian architects over a period of one hundred years and emphasizes the connection between architecture, interior design and furniture.


Pavilion of the Cinquantenaire Avenue de la Renaissance 30 - 1000 Brussels From 2 pm to 4 pm, at the. Price and reduction :  2.50 euro (1 pastry and 2 drinks) Reservation required by 02 279 34 95. A great carnival for young and old. Everyone should dress up. There is also make-up for toddlers and the election of the most beautiful disguise.

Exhibition. Nass Belgica 22


Brussels Expo Place de Belgique - 1020 Brussels From 10 am till 6 pm. Nocturne on Friday.

Exhibition. Mobilia 12


Expo. ArtisanArt 2014

House of Folklore and Traditions. Rue du Chêne 19 - 1000 Brussels Telephone for information : 02 279 64 44 Free entrance



interesting things to do in Brussels within the art, drama, sports and social scenes. Below is an extract of some of the

Expo. The Carnival of Binche Feb



to 27


Museum of the Botanique. Rue Royale 236 - 1210 Brussels Price and reduction : 2 to 5.50 euro Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 8 pm Exhibition  Nass Belgica  (in Moroccan ‘the people of Belgium’), as part of the 50th anniversary of the Moroccan migration in Belgium (1964-2014). This migration is discussed and covered in the Expo on the basis of artworks, testimonials, historical stories, public and other archives, photographs, projections and films, maps and posters, objects and literary excerpts

14 to 23


Brussels Expo metro: Heysel Place de Belgique 1 - 1020 Brussels Open during the week: 2 pm to 7 pm Open during the weekend: 11 am to 7 pm The 33rd edition of the art and antiques fair, with a selection of 130 Belgian and foreign galleries. The theme of the 2014 edition is ‘Brussels’ and its famous designers.













exciting events happening this month. For a more comprehensive list, please consult the online calendar on our website, which we update daily. Have a great month! The BxlConnect Team

Exhibition. Congo RDC 17


to 30


Dexia Art Center Rue de l’Ecuyer 50 - 1000 Brussels Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday from 2 pm to 8 pm Price: 6 euro Exhibition Congo RDC - De 1810 à nos jours - 200 ans d’histoire about the history of Congo from 1810. It is focused on culture, art, politics, architecture, animals and costumes.

Fair: Job Access 18 March King Baudouin Stadium Avenue de Marathon - 1020 Brussels 10 am to 4:30 pm Free, without booking

Info session - Public Inquiry on Regional Nature Plan (Not in English) 18 March City Hall of Brussels (Militia Hall) Grand-Place - 1000 Brussels Starts at 7 pm.

Brussels Welcome Weekend 29 to 30


All over Brussels from 10 am to 6 pm Telephone for information : 02 370 61 121 The 4th edition of the Brussels Welcome Weekend. The event shows the hidden treasures of the 19 municipalities of Brussels. The program

The originality of the concept of this fair? Employers recruit during the event. Numerous job offers will be presented in 7 sectors: cleaning services to persons, hotels, restaurants and cafes, sales, transport, logistics – production, defence – safety, administration - public services, interim. The event also offers job interview workshops and sessions on Image Coaching by professionals.

Info session in the context of the public inquiry into the design of the Regional Nature Plan. This plan will outline the nature policy and encourage citizens of Brussels to have more attention to biodiversity, development and protection of nature. Prior to the adoption by the government, the draft of the Regional Nature Plan is subjected to a public inquiry which runs from 15 February to 15 April 2014. During the public hearing at the City Hall, anyone can give his comments.

includes a series of neighborhood parties, meetings and intimate explorations. Tourists, locals, the Flemish and Walloon neighbors can meet fascinating people of Brussels who present themselves and what they do in their neighborhood: unprecedented spots, beautiful art studios, fascinating collections, unknown buildings, hidden gardens, exceptional talents. There’s also a lot of musical, gastronomic and folklore entertainment. All activities are free. Participate as ‘ambassador’  of Brussels: Are you an artist, craftsman, entrepreneur, trader? Do you want to share your passion with others? Then open your doors and become an ambassador greeter. Inscriptions  via: www.

Harlem Globetrotters Alost Forum


and RTL Spiroudome Charleroi


April Both start at 8pm Price: from 29 to 39 Euro The giants of the basketball world are heading to the Low Country for what promises to be a sell-out mini tour. So familiar do they appear to be that it’s easy to forget they were actually formed way back in 1927 and have been entertaining audiences all over the world ever since with their trickery and undoubted skills - all performed with lots of fun. Credited with re-inventing the sport, the  Globetrotters’ dexterity and ball dribbling, all  undertaken at a frenetic pace, is guaranteed to delight their legions of Belgian fans.They are also a socially aware outfit,  teaming up with the humanitarian organisation World Vision to improve the lives of kids all over the world and launching an anti bullying campaign in American schools.   This is an all-too-rare appearance by the world’s most spectacular - and famous - basketball team. Don’t miss it! Ticket information is available  via  www.


Time-Space Travel

with Shen Yun’s Performance By Evan Mantyk There are rare moments in history when a show, a book, or a piece of art takes its viewer to a whole new realm. Boundaries previously thought unmovable, like those between the stage and the backdrop, are erased and reinvented, never to be the same. Watching Shen Yun Performing Arts is witnessing just such a moment. And when Shen Yun arrives at Brussels’ Theatre National in April for a 6-show run, its newest innovations will be on full display. For alongside its talent-laden cast of dancers and musicians, Shen Yun’s ingenious animated backdrops are leaving the entertainment industry astounded. “Going to the theater and the movies at the same time,” is how Robert Stromberg, Academy Award-winning production designer for Avatar, described it. “It was so inspiring, I think I may have found some new ideas for the next Avatar.” What Shen Yun’s projection designs do is seamlessly synchronize all aspects of the performance. The costumes’ colors, specific dance movements, drums,



lighting, particular notes played by the orchestra—are all timed with animated movements on an enormous digital backdrop. In one dance, the Monkey King, a sort of Buddhist superhero from ancient China, soars through the air with exquisite dexterity, gracefully delivering kicks and twirls of his staff to his enemies. As the enchanting scene continues, the Monkey King literally pulls the moon down from the sky onto the stage. In several other dances, celestial fairies and divine beings descend to Earth, magically transitioning from digital backdrop figures into flesh and blood on stage. The effect is like a beautiful painting coming to life. “It starts off very simple,” said Mike Hogue, who animated movies from Titan A.E. to Anastasia and television shows like George of the Jungle. “Then when you all of a sudden have these surprises of people coming out of the screen, it’s just, ‘Oh my gosh, okay, this is something really different, really innovative’.”

China is one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, at about 5,000 years. Its rich dynastic history, majestic landscapes, and diverse ethnic groups become destinations on Shen Yun’s epic journey through time and space. The backdrop takes you there, from the snowcapped Himalayan peaks to the subtropical forests of Southwest China; from the tranquil Yangtze River Delta to the flaming beacon towers along the winding Great Wall; and from the boundless Mongolian grasslands to heavenly scenes of gods and deities. “It creates a unique atmosphere and a beautiful, colorful world,” said Masahide Yanagawase, one of Japan’s foremost visual-effects artists. “The unfolding of the plots and the ways of expressing stories are very attractive. It’s a precious event.” As with all aspects of the Shen Yun production, there is a superior level of attention paid to authenticity. A scholarly discourse on the company’s website reflects on the details of the landscapes in the backdrops. “The gardens of Jiangnan are exquisite and enchanting, giving the feeling of meditative seclusion. Indeed, it is a place historically renowned as a cultural and literary center,” it reads. “And yet the winding river with small houses along the banks, seeming to emerge from an ink-wash painting, creates a charming picture of simple, bucolic river life.” This accuracy stood out to Avatar’s Stromberg, who studied Chinese landscapes. “Seeing a traditional performance with the authentic dance moves and authentic backgrounds—it all came together,” he said. And the effect is mesmerizing. Just as Shen Yun’s website says: “Here, one can get lost in thought. Here, time slows down. Why would you ever want to leave?” Indeed, why would one want to leave this incredible performance? Only because the usher tells you that the show is over, and he needs to turn off the lights.

Shen Yun Performing Arts will return to Theatre National April 2 -6. Tickets at: and 070/25.20.20

© 2013 Shen Yun Performing Arts

© 2013 Shen Yun Performing Arts

An Epic Journey


“An extraordinary experience!


Exquisitely beautiful.”

Reclaiming the divinely inspired cultural heritage of China!”

—Cate Blanchett, Academy Award-winning actress

— Donna Karan, creator of DKNY

“Elegant—very athletic,

“Beautiful! A nimble mastery.” —Chicago Tribune

and very skilled!” — John McColgan, Riverdance producer

5,000 Years of Civilization. Live on Stage!


MAGINE DIVINE REALMS unfolding before your very eyes… Shen Yun returns to Brussels to take you on a journey through 5,000 years of divinely-inspired culture: A journey where the virtues of ancient China, the world’s finest dancers, a unique East-West orchestra, dazzling animated backdrops, and exquisite costumes all converge in one spectacular performance.

Based in New York, Shen Yun has become a global, cultural sensation, reviving the authentic culture of China that was once almost lost. And now, after enchanting royals in London, performing for packed houses across Asia, and wowing a sold-out audience at Lincoln Center in New York last season, Shen Yun is returning to Brussels with an entirely new program for 2014!



*All individuals’ quotes originally published by The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television. Shen Yun is a nonprofit organization.


BMW diplomatic Sales

Sheer driving pleasure


As a member of the Corps Diplomatique, a European institution or an international organization, you know that things can be quite different from one country to another. One thing we want to keep unchanged, is your joy of driving a BMW. Our dedicated team perfectly understands the constraints of your mission and is used to finding the best solutions in the shortest lapse of time and providing you with a full service. This includes delivery of your personalized car anywhere in the world while respecting local specifications. And in addition, we offer you particularly attractive sales conditions. Because we just love to push back frontiers.

BMW diplOMatic SaleS. BMW EfficientDynamics less consumption. More driving pleasure.

BMW Brussels evere Meiser - Branch of BMW Belux Avenue L. Mommaerts 2 - 1140 Brussels - Tel. 02 730 49 11 - - Jean-Michel Martin east Rue Franรงois Desmedt 96 - 1150 Brussels - Tel. 02 772 08 20 - - Ginion Overijse Brusselsesteenweg 403 - 3090 Overijse - Tel. 02 687 91 40 - - davo nv Maastrichtersteenweg 529 - Exit 32 - E313 - 3700 Tongeren - Tel. 012 23 71 55 - - philippe emond s.a. Route de Bastogne 394 - 6700 Arlon - Tel. 063 23 05 60 - - Vanneste Mons Rue des Sandrinettes 48 - 7033 Mons-Cuesmes - Tel. 065 40 02 00 - -

Environmental information (RD 19/03/04):

3.8-8.2 L/100 KM โ€ข 99-193 G/KM CO2

BxlConnect March 2014