Europalia is running like clockwork

Michaël Bellon

This season, the multidisciplinary culture festival Europalia will not focus on a particular country, but on cross-border train travel. From now until mid-May, Europalia: Trains & Tracks promises more than seventy events all over Belgium.

Next year, for example, we are looking forward to the “Inner Travels” exhibition at Bozar, which brings together the work of Rinus Van de Velde and artists such as Bonnard, Monet and Tinguely. Or to the programme on railway lines on the African continent at the AfricaMuseum. Or to the “station novels” that Lize Spit, Rob van Essen and Thomas Gunzig will be writing.

But what's on the agenda for the next few weeks? From 15 October you can visit the opening exhibition “Tracks to Modernity” at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, about the revolution that the invention of the train caused in painters such as Monet, Spilliaert, Léger, De Chirico, Mondrian, Delvaux and Magritte. They will also be joined by a contemporary creation by the Dutch Fiona Tan, and by the installation Delirious Departures from the Brussels-based CREW, which from 18 November onwards will use VR and AI to transform a space in the museum into the departure hall of a train station. On 15 October, in the hallway of Brussels North station, French choreographer Boris Charmatz will present his durational performance La Ronde, a six-hour sequence of duets.

Train World in Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek will go on a nostalgic tour from 26 October with an exhibition about the Orient Express, for which even two original carriages will be opened to the public. The longest train route in our country – Ostend-Eupen – will become the art parc “Endless Express”, with works in public places by Che Go Eun, Inas Halabi, Flaka Haliti, Chloé Malcotti, Sophie Nys, Marina Pinsky and Laure Prouvost.

Following the book Afropean by Johny Pitts, slam poet and musician Lisette Ma Neza travelled around Europe by train, in search of the Afro-European identity. During a literary evening on 26 November, Muntpunt will present the new work she wrote about it. Even then, we are still far from the end stop.

14/10 > 15/5, various locations,

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