LDN – BXL – LDN

I’m just back from a few days in Brussels. Despite the best intentions to get straight into some art appreciation at one of the many brilliant galleries in Brussels, upon arrival I couldn’t bear to drag myself indoors away from the glorious SUNSHINE. And so, the first afternoon was spent wandering the city flâneur-stylee, picking streets at random and sauntering into parks to knit/ read.

bxl7bxl10bxl5bxl6bxl4bxl1bxl2bxl3Later in the evening I met our host, who cooked a beef and beer stew (blue label Chimay, 9%, for those of you who, like me, will be attempting to recreate this dish) and told me about a fantastic Brusselian knitting group called ‘Tricot Trottoir‘ (rough trans.: ‘Curb Knits’) who draw attention to environmental and pollution issues by (amongst other methods) knitting plastic bags into colourful garments. Art that uses knitting and green ethics? Tick, tick.
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The following day, Sayed and I visited a nearby fleamarket (to get a present for my sister) and a specialist belgian beer shop (to get a present for my Dad), before heading off to Recyclart to set up the evening’s one-night exhibition. Recyclart is a fantastic organisation, run for 12 years by a dedicated group of creatives in a series of units under the main railway line that cuts through the city. We set up Sayed and Karl’s exhibition in Unit 13 – Studio Marcel.

Two videos and a series of photographs projected on the wall presented their ongoing project ‘My Granddad’s Car‘. Outside in the street, a friend’s car borrowed for the night stood in for the two vehicles far away in Pakistan and Nigeria. We covered the car with a sheet and showered it with blossom petals in a half-invented ritual echoing past ceremonies. After dark, a small crowd stood watching the satisfying effects of flurries of wind caused by the passing trains overhead.

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Act of Terror Documentary

Just seen a short film by Gemma Atkinson that I thought worth sharing. It’s an animation about her experience of UK police misuse of the terrorism act, funded by the resulting settlement.

There’s more information about the film on the act of terror documentary website.

It reminds me of what a powerful weapon a camera can be. This happens to be the subject of the latest This American Life piece – ‘Picture Show’. If you haven’t come across this Chicago Public Radio show before, I’m delighted to introduce you to one of the most thoughtful and varied discussion shows out there in this baffling expanse we call the web. All their past shows are available free here on their archives page.