What’s on: Cross-border festival and vulgar fashion


Pick a performance or a city to explore the Next Festival, where artists come together in the Eurometropolis initiative linking Belgium and France

Next Festival

Three border areas – Flanders, Wallonia and northern France – meet in this festival that features performers who push the boundaries of what constitutes art. This 10th anniversary edition finds 38 performances spread across 15 locations.

The programme is rich with possibilities, but one of the most intriguing is Lebanese-American artist Walid Raad’s Kicking the Dead in 31 Short Episodes. At the behest of Next and Flanders’ First World War cultural initiative GoneWest, Raad spent time in Ypres, ultimately creating a piece that weaves together fact and fiction and multiple sociological themes with much power and poetry. More playful is Danish choreographer Mette Ingvartsen’s visual powerhouse To Come (Extended). The title says it all, but should you need an additional hint, a photo is provided.  9-25 November, across Kortrijk, Tournai, Lille and Valenciennes

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined

The term “vulgar” has morphed into different meanings throughout English-speaking history – and still serves to describe a multitude of circumstances today. Originally used in reference to popular culture that appealed to the masses, it eventually came to describe those who were trying to claw their way into a social class to which they didn’t belong – sporting the clothes that went along with those aspirations. Not quite common, but not quite classy. This unique show at Hasselt’s fashion museum was built around 12 meanings of the word “vulgar” constructed by British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. Until 14 January, Modemuseum Hasselt, Gasthuisstraat 11

Storm Festival

Although jazz is as fusion-y and freewheeling as music gets, this three-day festival is terribly well organised by theme: Friday is when you’ll find all the young and newer talent, Sunday the tried and true. The day in between bridges them with Music from Five Continents, where four acts include Finnish trumpet master Vernero Pohjola gleefully interpreting the prog rock his famous father used to play. You’ll also see Flat Earth Society, Belgium’s inimitable jazz big band, which welcomes back one of its original members, David Bovée, now of Think of One. A ticket buys a whole evening, or snag a money-saving festival pass and boogie the weekend away. 10-12 November, De Grote Post, Ostend

Photo: Jens Sethzman