Tuesday, 21 February 2012

OUT & ABOUT - Week 8

Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia, Madou Auditorium - Feb 21

On Friday February 24, the Stage Committee and EPSA present you the Stagiaires Farewell Party! The end of our traineeship is definitely approaching, but there is no reason to be truly sad, we had a great time and hopefully we have a bright future in front of us. The show must go on! With that in our minds, let's get together for the very very very last time, let's dance and have fun! Doors open at 11 pm. Location: City Club, Tickets: € 5.00 presale / € 7.00 at the door.

Stagiaires’ Ideas that Matter: our Impact on the World” is the title of an exciting conference organised by trainees of the European Commission. It will take place on Wednesday 22nd February 2012 at 18.30 at The Hub Brussels. Around ten speakers will take turns on the stage to give short presentations related to the main theme ‘Our Impact on the World’. The conference is inspired by the famous multidisciplinary TED events, but organised entirely independently from TED. Under the motto ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, TED events feature concise presentations (maximum 18 minutes).

On Thursday the 23rd of February the October 2011 Stage Beer and Wine Committee goes down under, for a professional wine tasting in cooperation with the sommeliers of the Australian wine shop Migs World Wines. The evening starts at 7.15 PM in the shop, and includes the testing of 8 wines, as well as introductions, explanations and anecdotes by Mig's wine expert Xavier. Only 15 places are available and will be sold on a first come-first served basis, so please reserve your place ASAP by sending an email to Anna Mirsch or Sophie Kok, who will give you further instructions on payment. Price: € 15.00 (with AC) / € 16,50 (without AC).

Although the European carnival period has ended, Antitapas gives you a chance to celebrate again at Antitapas Carnival Brasil Night. The only and original night with more than 3 different stages, 3 styles of music, 5 live concerts, more than 40 live musicians, artistic performances, free food during the aperò and sometimes free beers. Special Dish of the Night: Feijoada. Location: Les Caves de Cureghem. Tickets: before 11 pm € 5.00 / after 11 pm € 7.00.

Also on Saturday night, The Red Room at Aloft Hotel by Eurocrats. Live saxophone and percussion show accompanying the DJ all night long by Fred Becker and Don Olivero. Music by DJ Markx (Aloft Resident). Dress Code: Modern, trendy, classy. Doors Open at 10.30 pm.

For their very last screening, the CineClub will screen Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011).As the end of our stage period is drawing nearer, CineClub hosts its last film screening on 21 February. To mark the end of a fantastic season of European and international films, the CineClub team invites you to a screening of Melancholia (2011), Lars von Trier's latest film. To celebrate in style, we will not only offer you drinks and snacks, but resident DJ Matt Pole will provide good music to set the mood at Madou Auditorium from 6.30pm onwards. The film then starts at 7.30 pm. Entrance: FREE.

The Brussels International Animation Film Festival, takes place in Flagey from February 17 to 26, 2012. Over one hundred and fifty films participate in the international competition (shorts and features, commercials, music videos). Other events: retrospectives, exhibitions, lessons, workshops for kids, the Futurama professional days, round-table discussions, numerous guests and concerts.

From February 7 until March 11, students of the Faculté d’architecture, d’ingénierie architecturale, d’urbanisme (LOCI) de l’UCL, Architecture Saint-Luc Brussels show their works in the Coudenberg. The exhibition takes place under the arches of the hotel of Hoogstraeten-Lalaing and presents a selection of the works realized by the students in first year of high school (panels and models).

The Cy Twombly exhibition at Bozar presents more than 100 dry prints, generated from Polaroid photographs, which were selected in close cooperation with the artist himself prior to his death on July 5th, 2011. From still-life images of flowers and brushes, snap shots of his studio and museums interiors, details from his paintings to views of ancient temples and atmospheric landscapes, the ethereal and delicate photographs reveal the themes that have nourished the artist’s paintings, drawings, sculptures and graphic art.

In the context of the exhibition by Mexican artist Blanka Amezkua, the famous and beloved singer Silvia Abalos will present an evening of Mexican music at Art Base. Silvia Abalos' voice has an enormous range and flexibility, and she is an impressive performer in all styles. For the concert on Saturday February 25th, she has invited a number of guest musicians that match her strong dynamics and passion. Tickets: €12.50.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Fashion Show at the Parliament - More photos

At the beginning of February, trainees from the European Parliament put together a fashion show to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS charity NAM. A number of Belgium's up-and-coming talents (including Marko Galovic, Mansour Badjoko Wa Lileko, Deborah Rozenberg, Naomie Hamka,  and Harmony Tedde) showcased their latest designs. We have posted some additional photos by request.


Photography by Inga Vaiciakauskaite.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

COMMENTARY - The geopolitical dynamics of the Syrian crisis

As a general perspective, one can say that the double arrogant veto of the two greatest global dictatorships (Russia and China) could be considered a "stimulus to enhance global democracy". Fine, but why would one claim so?

Let's consider the institutional architecture of global governance today, specifically the UN Security Council. In light of the bizarre governing criteria inside this council, a number of interesting questions arise:

1. Which instruments could be introduced to counter-balance a unilateral action taken by one of the permanent Member States of the UN Security Council (always within the UN legal framework)?

2. Which measures could be taken to offset any senseless decisions or those governed by personal interest made at the primary Global Security Watchdog institution (like Putin's/Medvedev's veto in favour of Assad)?

It would be hardly justifiable to consider the crisis in Syria as an internal affair; where Syrians are struggling against one of the most repressive regimes ever for democracy and freedom. One can easily claim that the geopolitical dynamics of the Syrian crisis are (de facto) an international concern that will be a principal factor in re-shaping the institutional order of the Global Governance System ex post. Oddio! and the Global Governance “Rationale” as well!

Intentionally or unintentionally Assad has smartly stated the following: Syria is not Tunisia, Syria is not Egypt, Syria is not Yemen and Syria is not Libya.

The USA, Europe, and Co. are now considering alternative instruments to address the Syrian crisis, for they  themselves are the ones who, directly or indirectly, paved the way for this “Primavera”, and this is why they are the most capable of creating alternative solutions for the rising challenges.

All scenarios are subject to discussion now; in Brussels, in Paris, in Berlin and in Washington (not in Doha). Pragmatically speaking, a Cold-war approach cannot be mimicked, for such a rationale is an intellectual monopoly of expired regimes (like the Assad’s). Therefore, it should not be surprising if a new Global Institutional Order evolves, where the Primavera Arab Governments and its “supporters” could be a cornerstone, for they have the appropriate surplus of liquidity to deploy (wherever feasible), and armed with Al-Jazeera to provide all the "rationale" (to a 400 million convinced audience) behind the neo politik. 

Science fiction can be easily digested vis-à-vis realpolitik, that’s obvious. However, underestimating the current indicators of the Syrian crisis is a serious miscalculation that could lead to an unfavorable future: a place where not many people would like to be.

By Mahmoud Bay

Thursday, 16 February 2012

OUT & ABOUT - Week 7

Loumèn plays at Piola.libri on February 16, 7pm. Photo by Vaya Sigmas. 

BINCHE (BE): Carnival in Binche dates back to the 14th century and has been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The centrepiece of carnival in Binche are the Gilles, clown-like performers wearing strange masks from wax. This year, the main activities are organised on February 19, 20 and 21 February 2012. The parade takes off on Sunday, 3pm. And, as the Binchois say: "Il n’y a qu’un Binche au monde". NMBS offers a 50% discount on your train ticket.

AALST (BE): Also recognized by UNESCO is the Carnival in Aalst. In Aalst, people celebrate Carnival for a full week. The elected Prince Carnaval is allowed to rule the city from Sunday to Tuesday. At 1pm on Sunday, a large parade of groups and decorated floats will start their journey through the city. NMBS offers a 50% discount on your train ticket.

MAASTRICHT (NL): From the 19th of February until the 21st of February 2012 Carnival in Maastricht will be celebrated, also known as “Vasteloavend in Mestreech”. During this three day festival all people forget their boundaries and the city centre of Maastricht is filled with thousands costumed people. Sunday the 19th of February the annual parade takes place in the city centre of Maastricht. With dazzling decorated vehicles, costumes and music the Carnival celebrating people of Maastricht will go through the city.

COLOGNE (DE): In Cologne the "crazy days" of Carnival begin the Thursday before Rosenmontag and are celebrated with parties on the streets, in public squares and in pubs. Traditionally the gathering of the colourful Corps troops can be seen on Saturday at the Neumarkt. On Carnival Sunday school groups and borough parades take place all over the city. But the highlight of the street carnival is Rose Monday with a kilometre-long Carnival parade.

Not a carnival fan? But you do like Snaps, Stockholm, Ikea, and blonde Swedish girls? Then the Swedish Spirit Party might be more your thing! On Friday night,  Eurocrats and Just a Night host another exclusive party at Anglican church-gone-club Spirito Martini. Julien d'Aléo will spin Commercial music, Disco, house, 80's and 90's. The dress code is "Nordic Twist". Doors Open 22:30.

Everybody wants to be classy or exclusive these days, but Filippo and Giorgio just want to have fun! Hotnights is back, and Filippo and Giorgio invite you to the first Hotnights party of the year in Cafe des Halles in St. Gery. Doors open at 9.30pm. Entrance: € 5.00.

Piola.libri presents Perceptions, a photo exhibition by Vaya Sigmas. Vaya's photography explores different states of mind: fantasising, masquerading and contemplating. Three states of mind that shape our perception of our surroundings and encounters and the appearances we maintain. The exhibition opens on February 16 with an acoustic show from Loumèn at 7pm.

Earlier this week, Galeries (previously Cinéma Arenberg) replaced the 10-year old projection screen in screening room 1, this means you can now experience an improved quality and a brighter image. Go to a screening of Albert Nobbs (2011), Go Go Tales (2007) or Sleeping Beauty (2011) and see for yourself! Tickets: € 8.00.

Two scenes, two days, two moods: the [PIAS] Nites play it both ways and plan to change the entire atmosphere from one night to another. With a complete transformation of the venue's space, [PIAS] Nites promises to be intimate and cozy the first night, and electric on the second. Friday, the evening augurs a monumental party thanks to the exclusive presence of M83! Location: Tour & Taxis. Tickets: € 35.00 presale / € 42.00 at the door.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Fashion Show at the Parliament

Trainees from the European Parliament put together a fashion show to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS charity NAM. NAM is one of the world’s leading sources of independent information on HIV and AIDS. The organisation aims to make information available free of charge to everyone, everywhere, at anytime.

On February 9th, fashion designers Marko Galovic, Mansour Badjoko Wa Lileko, Deborah Rozenberg and a number of other up-and-coming Belgian talents showcased their latest avant-garde and pret-a-porter designs. The catwalk was taken over by a mix of professional and stagiaire models. Member of Parliament and former Flemish Minister Kathleen Van Brempt was present to introduce the event.


By Eve Beurskens

Friday, 10 February 2012

Fashion Show at the Parliament

Trainees from the European Parliament put together a fashion show to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS charity NAM. NAM is one of the world’s leading sources of independent information on HIV and AIDS. The organisation aims to make information available free of charge to everyone, everywhere, at anytime.

On February 9th, fashion designers Marko Galovic, Mansour Badjoko Wa Lileko, Deborah Rozenberg and a number of other up-and-coming Belgian talents showcased their latest avant-garde and pret-a-porter designs. The catwalk was taken over by a mix of professional and stagiaire models. Member of Parliament and former Flemish Minister Kathleen Van Brempt was present to introduce the event.


By Eve Beurskens

Tels Quels Film Festival - Interview with Pascal-Alex Vincent

The 26th edition of Belgium's LGBT Film Festival lasts until February 11 and has a number of great features and documentaries on the programme this week. ESJ met with French director Pascal-Alex Vincent, whose documentary Miwa, a Japanese Icon (2010) was screened at the festival on Wednesday.

Miwa, a Japanese Icon is Pascal's first feature documentary and looks back on the 50-year career of Japanese entertainer Akihiro Miwa. As a young singer, Miwa popularized androgyny by fusing the masculine and the feminine. This evolved into performing as a woman and living off-stage as a man.

Pascal-Alex Vincent studied film history at University Paris III, and worked in Japanese film distribution in France. His first short film Baby Shark was nominated for the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, and his animated short, Candy Boy was selected for Director's Fortnight at Cannes 2007. His first feature film, Give Me Your Hand (2009) was released in 15 countries, including the United States. The film was also chosen by New York's Museum of Modern Art to be showcased in their annual event, New Directors/New Films.

Pascal's second feature film, a horror/thriller called It's In The Trees (Dans La Foret), is currently in pre-production. The film has Francois Goeske attached as the male lead and will be shot later this year.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

OUT & ABOUT - Week 6

Affordable Art Far Brussels, Feb 9 - 12 at Tour & Taxis

Let's party together one last time at the Euroball on Saturday! Being February, this Euroball is drawing inspiration from Carnival. Dress code: Ladies should don their favourite cocktail dress, and gentlemen a suit and tie. Conceal your face with a mask, or paint something exotic on your cheeks... It is sure to be a mysterious night! This year's ball takes place at Les Caves de Cureghem, the magnificent underground cellars. Tickets: €20.00 (non-AC) at the door. 

Mombo Party is back again with another great party, this time the theme is masquerade! Friday night's Masquerade Night takes place at La Place, a place that will not let you indifferent. Dress code: wear a mask, or you may not get in.Music by DJ Mombo from Spain, DJ Deenie from Jordan and local DJ Boykos. Doors open at 23pm. Entrance: € 5.00.

The trainees from the European Parliament have put on a Charity Fashion Show for an HIV/AIDS charity. On the catwalk there will be a mix of professional and stagiaire models, and maybe even some MEPs. The best of up-and-coming Belgian talent will feature the latest in avant-garde and pret-a-porter designs. So come show your support on Thursday and let´s round off our traineeship in style and fun. Where & When: European Parliament, Thursday 6.30pm.

From February 9 until February 12, Brussels hosts the Affordable Art Fair, with (you guessed it right) affordable art! This fourth edition of the Affordable Art Fair welcomes a selection of more than 90 Belgian and international galleries at the 'Tour & Taxis'. It is the unmissable art event for anyone who wants to find themselves a perfect work of art. All works are sold for between €50 and €5000. Tickets: € 11.00 pre-sale, € 13.00 at the door.

On Thursday, February 9th, Bozar gives you the opportunity to visit the new exhibition Per Kirkeby for free! The museum will be open until 9pm and you have the chance to be one of the first to discover the retrospective of one of the biggest Danish painters after Asger Jorn and his unexpected confrontation with the “forbidden” paintings of Kurt Schwitters. A tribute to nature, colours and freedom, which also opens the festival Let’s Dansk. Entrance: FREE

The 26th edition of the Tels Quels LGBT Film Festival lasts until February 12 and has a number of great films on the programme. Worth seeing: Miwa : à la recherche du lézard noir (2010, France) on Wednesday at 7pm (Watch our video interview with Director Pascal-Alex Vincent), Joe + Belle (2011, Israel) on Thursday at 7pm,  Looking for Simon (2011, Germany) on Saturday at 9pm, and Zenne Dancer (2012, Turkey) on Sunday at 3pm. Location: Cinéma Vendôme, Ixelles. Tickets: € 7.00 / 5.00.

Friday, 3 February 2012

OUT & ABOUT - Week 5

Cupcakes at the 14th Brussels Vintage Market, February 5

Music lovers will get to revel in a mixture of different music styles at the ProPulse Festival at Botanique. World music, urban, jazz, blues, folk, pop-rock, rock, electro... ProPulse has it all. Suggestions: Noa Moon (acoustic), Crazy Lady Madrid (pop/rock/electro), Funky Bompa (funk/tropical), Joy as a Toy (pop/rock). January 30 - February 4. Tickets: €7.00 per day.

On Sunday February 5th, vintage enthusiasts should head to K-Nal for the Brussels Vintage Market to partake in an afternoon of second-hand shopping. Scavenge for clothes, bags, hats, shoes, jewellery, belts, watches, gloves, scarves, glasses and more. And don't forget to try the cupcakes! Open: 12pm to 7pm. Entrance: FREE.

DG Devco has organized an Express Party to take your mind off job applications. DJ Mattia will be behind the decks. Location: Smouss Café. Entrance € 4.00.

For those who can't wait until Carnaval: there is a masquerade ball at the breathtaking club-in-a-church Spirito Martini. The former Anglican church was converted into a club and now features three bars and five seperate lounge areas. Le Grand Bal Masque by Elitist starts at 10.30pm and includes music by Fabio Simone & Juilien D'Aleo and violinist Milena de Barquin.

Check out La Demence at Club Fuse for the biggest circuit party in the Benelux. Two floors with different DJs, including Fabio White, Steven Redant and Elias. Entrance € 15.00 (22h-23h) / € 20.00 (after 23h) or €10.00/15.00 (when younger than 26 years).

Havana Club is hosting another Friends Party, which means one free bottle of Champagne if you come with a group of friends. Happy hour from 10pm to 12am.

A small and intimate 80s funk dubstep party at art studio Atelier Orange, right by Metro Botanique. From 10pm to 5am. Address: Rue Royale 172. Entrance: FREE.

From 23pm, (wannabe) hipsters will flock to Biberium near Central Station for the first Bitchy Butch of the year. The dresscode is whatever you want: gold leggings, strass, glitter, cardboard, your grandmother's dress, a panda-suit... anything goes really! Music by Dent de Lait, Celine Gillian and Horst von Shampoo.

Celebrate the below zero temperatures at Winter Sensation at Mirano, near Madou. They serve Lemon-Vodka sorbets for those who aren't cold enough yet. Happy hour from 11pm to 12am.

On Thursday, the 26th edition of the Tels Quels LGBT Film Festival kicks off at 7pm with a screening of Going Down in LA-LA Land (2011, USA). Click here to read our interview with director Casper Andreas. Also worth seeing: Notre Paradis (2011, France) on Saturday at 7pm, Kill The Habit (2010, USA) on Saturday at 9pm (Watch our video interview with director Laura Neri), Romeos (2011, Germany) on Sunday at 7pm, and Mon Arbre (2011, France) at 9pm. Location: Cinéma Vendôme, Ixelles. Tickets: € 7.00 / 5.00

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Tels Quels Film Festival - Interview with Laura Neri

This weekend, the 26th edition of Belgium's LGBT Film Festival kicks off. ESJ met with Brussels-born director Laura Neri, whose film Kill The Habit is set to screen on Saturday evening.

Kill The Habit is a dark comedy about three women trying to dump a body. The main character, Galia, finds herself in a bind after killing her unscrupulous drug dealer Lyle and calls on her long-suffering best friend Soti to help her out. The girls must find a way to cooperate long enough to avoid arrest and dump the body somewhere safe…

Writer, director and producer Laura Neri did a BA in Film Analysis and Screenwriting at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and then went on to do an MFA in Film Production at the USC's School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. She has written and directed several short films which have screened at festivals worldwide, including "A Kiss on the Nose” which won over 15 awards.

Kill the Habit, which Laura wrote, directed and produced, is her first feature film and has screened at the Mexico Film Festival, Cinequest and the BFI LGBT Film Festival in London. On Saturday February 4th, at 9pm, Kill The Habit has its Belgian premiere at Vendome.