• Forest occupation ends with a handshake

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    The occupation of the Lappersfort forest just outside Bruges by green activists ended peacefully last week. But not, as you might expect, with the protestors being led away in handcuffs, as happens most often in such cases. Instead, both protestors and the owners of the land have agreed to put pressure on the Flemish government to find a way of keeping the woodland in its current state without splitting it up. Full story
  • Flemish artist Jan Fabre's "Searching for Utopia" Nieuwpoort

    Elixir of life

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Water, water, everywhere: bustling trade ports, a network of canals and world famous bathing spots have all been invaluable in the development of Flanders. It has permeated almost every aspect of people's lives, making it one of the region's most treasured resources.Full story
  • ontsnappen

    5 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    With most people off to the sun or beach, the last place you want to be is cooped up in an office, or worse, a prison. Being locked up most of the day gazing through the bars at the sparrows on the ledge must drive most inmates to despair. The only thing to look forward to is the chance to stretch your legs in the exercise yard. No chains round the ankles as in the old black-and-white films but still an impossibly high wall on all sides. Full story
  • For Luc Callebaut, selling cheese is both a passion and a calling

    Dealing in cheese

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Luc Callebaut was not born into the cheese industry. He does not come from a family of cheese producers or have experience working on a dairy farm. In fact, he became a cheesemonger almost by accident.Full story
  • Easy like Sunday morning

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Once a week, from eight in the morning until the late afternoon, the Kouter in Ghent is overflowing with flower and plant vendors. While most flower markets in Belgium are a combination of food and flowers or plants and clothing, Ghent's market focuses simply on all things green and growing. This flower market is the only one of its kind in all of Flanders and this exclusivity is for good reason: only the best are sold here. Full story
  • Camiel Van Breedam, In Flanders Fields Museum's 2009 artist-in-residence

    What remains in Ieper

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Camiel Van Breedam has always been fascinated by discarded objects. As a child he would root around in the workshop of his father, who was a plumber, finding pieces of zinc, wires or tubing. Growing up in the village of Boom, south of Antwerp, he saw the demolition of the region's shipyards, brickworks and glass factories, his "former playground" as he puts it. Later in life he would forage through the flea markets of Brussels in search of interesting finds. Full story
  • This year's Silver Award winner: Earth II - Reki by Hiroshi Suzuki

    Silver Fever in Ghent

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    There are 5 Belgian designers among the 45 laureates, including the Ghent-based silversmith and jewellery designer Siegfried De Buck, whose Lavabo in infocentra manus meas was selected. But it's the London-based Japanese Hiroshi Suzuki who won the Schoonhoven Silver Award 2009, a prize named after the town in South Holland renowned for its traditional silver industry. "His impressive vase is archetypal and combines monumentalism with a refined and poetic feeling for detail and finish," the jury says about winner Hiroshi Suzuki. "He renders a transcription of a traditional silversmith technique, in which a perfected hammer stroke has gained a truly meditative character of its own by its performance and power of repetition. The hammered skin reflects the light in every direction and generates strength. This work of art convinces, the natural result of many years of personal development."  Full story
  • It’s in the details

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    34-year-old Robin Vermeersch is the youngest member of a highly artistic family. "When you grow up in a family that is very artistic, you always see your father making paintings, your grandfather making sculptures, your brothers making drawings. Even my mother was a painter so I had contact with different kinds of art at a very early age." He went on to study painting at the Sint-Lucas Academy in Ghent and has since then evolved more towards sculpture and drawing. Ultimately, "becoming an artist was something normal," he affirms.Full story
  • Publicity still from a production in Oberhausen, Germany

    The show must go off

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    The opening of a new Flemish production of Dans der Vampieren (Dance of the Vampires) will not go ahead in December in Antwerp as planned, the producers Musical van Vlaanderen (MvV) announced last week. The group, a non-profit spin-off of the commercial producers Music Hall Group, put the blame for the decision on Studio 100 and Stimuhl.  Full story
  • Image of Westerschelde from Antwerp in the east to Vlissing in the west

    Antwerp hit as Westerschelde works suspended

    4 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Two nature organisations have succeeded in halting works designed to allow the port of Antwerp to receive mega-container ships. In a decision last week by the Dutch Council of State, work to deepen the Westerschelde is suspended before it ever really began. Full story