What’s on: Love on the down low in Ghent


PinX queer film festival is high on our list of cultural events this week, right along with Brafa fine arts fair, a festival devoted to listening and a tour of The Great Belgian Songbook


Ghent’s queer film festival is back with a healthy mix of flicks dedicated to lesbian, gay, transgender and intersexed lives. Highlights among the 12 features are Deux (pictured), in which an older Italian couple are shaken out of their comfortable existence living on the “down low”, and Matthias & Maxime, Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s new film about childhood friends who are still questioning the boundaries of their relationship 20 years on.

But there’s a hardly a misstep on the programme, which also includes guest appearances and debates. A workshop will teach you how to crochet breasts, while a revival of the classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert includes a drag performance and a Love Boat afterparty. Holla! 29 January to 2 February, Sphinx and other venues in Ghent

Brafa Art Fair

Back for an extraordinary 65th edition, the Brafa Art Fair acts as both exhibition space and marketplace. This year, for instance, visitors are invited to see some 35 paintings and drawings by the great Flemish Symbolist James Ensor. Brought together by Knokke’s Samuel Vanhoegaerden Gallery, some of them are even for sale. You’ll find many works by well-known artists at Brafa – such at a print by Bruegel and this exquisite framed portrait by Corneille de Lyon. But there is much that is easier on the wallet, including decorative objects, jewellery, sculpture, masks and all manner of ancient, modern and contemporary art. 26 January to 2 February, Tour & Taxis, Havenlaan 86

Week van de Klank

Sound is all around us, all day, every day. While a lot of it is pleasant or comforting, some of it is annoying. But mostly, sounds are so ever-present that we learn to tune it out – for better or worse. Week van de Klank (Week of Sound) sharpens our awareness of sound through performances, installations, conferences, ‘sound walks’ and concerts in the dark. This 10th edition takes in several cities across the country, including Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent. Every single activity is free. 27 January to 9 February, across Belgium

Get tickets now: The Great Belgian Songbook

Do you have a gat in uw cultuur when it comes to classic Belgian songs of yesteryear? Get hip to the collective memory scene at this tour of big band concerts featuring the greatest pop and rock hits from the last 55 years. A new album with a select few – from Jacques Brel’s La chansons pour des vieuw amants to Gabriel Rios’s Broad Daylight – releases on 31 January. The first two shows in the tour are already sold out, so buy now for dates in Ghent, Genk and other cities. 25 January to 18 April, across Flanders

Photos: Brafa, Corneille de Lyon’s “Portrait of Dauphin François”, circa 1536, courtesy Bruil & Brandsma Works of Art; Courtesy Week van de Klank; Courtesy The Great Belgian Songbook