What’s on: How to rebuild a society after a global crisis


An exhibition exploring postwar community finds unexpected parallels in current world events, and we look back at Belgium’s only Olympics, 100 years ago this summer


The city of Ypres and much of West Flanders suffered tremendous damage during the First World War. After four years of centenary commemorations, this exhibition at the Yper Museum uses personal testimonies to explore the process of rebuilding not just a place but a people – and seeks parallels with the crisis we are all living through today.

“It’s about how you regain a community, a life, a society,” Piet Chielens, director of sister museum In Flanders Fields, told Flanders Today. “It’s something we can share with all the players in West Flanders on the former front because everyone was confronted with the same problems.” Visitors are invited to share their own stories of life before, during and after corona, and the exhibition is accompanied by two walks through the city showing how and where restoration took place. From 30 May, Yper Museum, Lakenhallen, Grote Markt, Ypres


While this year’s Olympics may have been postponed, you can still get your sporting fix. The Games have been held in Belgium just the once – and it was 100 years ago, in Antwerp. Sportimonium, the sports and Olympic museum in Hofstade, is putting on a major exhibition to mark the occasion, the first Games since the First World War and the first appearance of the Olympic flag. Athletes broke dozens of records, and Belgium collected 42 medals, 16 of them gold. Visitors are encouraged to put themselves to the test too, with a series of interactive exhibits. Running in parallel to the main show, there’s a mini exhibition of posters, trophies and photos at the viewing depot of the Mas in Antwerp. Until 31 January, Sportimonium, Trianondreef 19, Hofstade; from 1 June, Mas, Hanzestedenplaats 1, Antwerp


As musicians look forward to the day live concerts with an audience are possible again, Belgium’s jazz world is uniting to put on an ambitious virtual festival. The Bel Jazz Fest invites music-lovers to enjoy 24 performances streamed live from Flagey in Brussels, and support performers in uncertain times. Tickets (€15) will get you week-long access to the concerts, so you can create your own programme with performers including An Pierlé Quartet, Esinam, Bert Cools (pictured) and De Beren Gieren. Brought to you by the people behind Brosella, Brussels Jazz Weekend, Gent Jazz, Jazz Middelheim, Leuven Jazz and other major festivals. 29-30 May


Combining fur and feathers, humour and pop culture, marketing and mass media, paintings and installations, the latest exhibition at Brussels’ museum of urban art suggests that the animal kingdom has a lot to teach us about human nature. Eleven international artists unleash their wild side in this collection, where a predator’s grin is both a caustic critique of our society and an expression of our animal instincts. 3 June-30 August, Mima, Henegauwkaai 39-41, Brussels

Photos, from top: Breaking Boundaries © Collectie Stad Antwerpen; Bert Cools © Emilija Vinžanovaitė, Zoo © Elge Zvirblyte