The Wall and The Fear @ Botanique

A man with plenty of experience of in-depth, long-haul reportages, Belgian photographer Gaël Turine opens our eyes to a little-known reality at Botanique Brussels. His subject is a wall some 3200km long, separating India from Bangladesh, which makes it the longest geopolitical barrier in the world.

Erection of this “wall of shame” started in 1993 by the Indian authorities in order to restrict illegal immigration and infiltration from terrorists. It has shattered the already precarious balance in the region, ruining a traditional system of commercial trade, destabilizing Indian and Bangladeshi enclaves on opposite sides of the border and bringing bloody repression to the inhabitants. Arrests and cases of torture have become commonplace in the vicinity of the wall, as the Indian troops of the Border Security Force (BSF) and, to a lesser extent, their Bangladeshi counterparts, the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), conduct such activities with total impunity.

Gaël Turine - The Wall and the Fear. India - Bangladesh

For almost two years and with great force of will, Gaël Turine immersed himself in the daily lives of the people living along the border. In perilous conditions, he managed, with help from local journalists and activists, to get around official restrictions in spite of constant surveillance. The photographer remains true to his fundamentally human approach, and through individual stories he delivers an essential account of one of the most horrific human constructions of the past 20 years.

This reportage was awarded the AFD Prize for the best photo reportage (French Development Agency) and was recently turned into a book, part of the Photo Poche Société series, with the backing of Amnesty International. Gaël Turine has produced a number of other books, notably Avoir 20 ans à Kaboul (2005) and Voodoo (2010). His work has won prizes on several occasions and regularly appears in the Belgian and international press. He is also a member of the Vu’ agency.

Check out Gaël Turine’s fascinating exhibition until 19 October at Botanique, rue Royale 236, 1210 Brussels.

More info on the website.


Car Free Sunday 2014

From 16 to 22 September 2014, the Mobility Week takes place in Brussels and all over Europe. This one week specifically focuses on teaching everybody some alternative ways of traffic: trains, bicycles, streetcars, buses, skates,… On 21 September, it’s time for Car Free Sunday in The City!

Car Free Sunday takes place on the territory of the City of Brussels and on the whole territory of the Brussels Region. Car Free Sunday is valid for everybody, except taxis, journey buses, assistance services, police and persons with a special permit. Vehicles authorized to circulate in Brussels during this day will have to respect the speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour. The whole Brussels Region will be closed for traffic from 9 am till 7 pm. Public transport of STIB and De Lijn will be free all day!

Grab this unique chance to explore the city by bike, on foot, on roller-skates,… There are also many cultural activities on the program. Whatever you like, enjoy Car Free Sunday 2014!

All information can be found on this website.

BOZAR pays tribute to Siena

BOZAR pays tribute to the Italian city Siena and its magnificent pictorial tradition in collaboration with the prestigious Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen.

Sienese artists developed their own style over time, evolving from the rigid patterns of late-Byzantine iconography to more narrative works of art. The exhibition Sienese Paintings – Ars Narrandi in Europe’s Gothic Age showcases sixty masterpieces that bear testimony to a revolutionary form of art which, from the thirteenth until the fifteenth century, took an increasing interest in space and in exploration of human emotions and used brilliant, unusual colours.


The Sienese school inspired other arts centers in Italy and finally left its mark all over Europe. A unique opportunity to see these masterpieces in the city of Brussels!

Until 18 January 2015 at the Center for Fine Arts, rue Ravenstein, Brussels.

Guided tours are possible! More info and all practicall stuff can be found on the website of BOZAR.

Harold Ancart at Xavier Hufkens Gallery

New York-based artist Harold Ancart, born in Brussels in 1980, is exposing a new series of paintings and sculptures at Xavier Hufkens Gallery in Brussels, titled Winning Colors. He also designed the sofas on which you can meditate in front of his creations. On these sofas are blankets of various airline companies, from KLM to Malaysia Airlines, which Ancart brought from his many trips around the globe.

Harold Ancart’s creative process involves drawing and space. Allowing for chance and repetition, he often works “in situ” creating sculptural installations with found objects, minimal traces and graphic underlining to reveal the surfaces, the specificities and the situation of the place. Thread structures, lines, open cubes, concrete and steel point to these architectural and environmental considerations.


The artist says: “I like to envision exhibits not so much as a succession of objects to be looked at, but as tensions created between the various zones of emptiness.” His use of materials such as ink, charcoal powder or soot lends his works on paper and wall drawings a certain delicacy and immediacy. He is fascinated by the marks left by flames, which he sees as the unintentional result of the burning process that he has activated. Colourful burnt photographs, taken from the popular culture of leisure and tourism, counteract the overall minimal character of his interventions. Deliberately recurring motifs include the parrot, the jungle, and palm trees.

Travelling is a very important theme in Ancart’s works. During his last expo at Xavier Hufkens, he showed pictures of tropical places, covered with paint and ashes. Now he’s exposing a series of sea sights and sunsets. “I love the idea of travelling. It’s a window to the world, plus there’s also an autobiographical aspect to it, because my mom used to be a stewardess at Sabena, so I travelled a lot when I was a kid,” the artist says.

Until 4 Oct 2014, only on Saturdays from 11am to 6pm, free entrance.

Place to be: Xavier Hufkens Gallery, Sint-Jorisstraat 6-8, Brussels, check the website!


Bozar presents Rubens and his legacy

The Flemish master-painter Sir Pieter Paul Rubens was the Quentin Tarantino of his day, making Flanders one of the world’s foremost regions for painting. He developed his very own personal style, crafting scenes that very often exuded lust and were marked by violence, as well as compassion and elegance, such as “The Three Graces” below. These themes inspired artists all over the world for many centuries to come.

Rubens, who was born in Germany but for the largest part of his life lived in the city of Antwerp, was a proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasised movement, color, and sensuality. He is well-known for his Counter-Reformation altar pieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

In this unique exhibition by BOZAR, in collaboration with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and the Royal Academy of Arts in London, you can rediscover the work of this indomitable genius that has withstood the test of time as well as that of his heirs. You can also see canvases by other famous painters such as Van Dyck, Watteau, Delacroix, Manet and Kokoschka as well as engravings by Rembrandt and Picasso.

The curator of the exhibition is Nico Van Hout from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, and it is held under the High Patronage of their Majesties the King and Queen. Need we say more…? This is really a not-to-miss expo!

So here’s some practical information:

- “Sensation and Sensuality. Rubens and his Legacy”, from 25 Sept 2014 until 4 Jan 2015

- Place: BOZAR Center for Fine Arts, rue Ravenstein, Brussels

- More info on the website

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