Professor Sophie Marnette was born in Liège and raised in Brussels. She studied ‘Philologie Romane’ at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and went on to do a PhD in French Linguistics at the University of California (Berkeley). Recently, Professor Marnette became Head of the French Department at the University of Oxford (officially entitled “Chair of the Sub-Faculty of French” in Oxford Speech) a position no other Belgian has ever held before.
In Belgium, comics have grown into an institution. In most Belgian homes you will find a collection of comics or even an entire library dedicated to comic strips. More than half of the books published or produced in Belgium are comics, but the real creators of the 20th century Belgian Kingdom of the Comic Strip are its more than seven hundred artists and scriptwriters.
The embassy has had the pleasure to meet up with two Belgian talents on the London architectural scene: Ramses Frederickx and Michele Brackx. Both architects consider London a very attractive place to work, a vibrant metropolis where artistic ideas emerge and fuse to give birth to remarkable architectural achievements.
Around 250 Belgian refugees were housed in our area, mid Cheshire, during the First World War. They were welcomed with open arms at first with the people of the area organising places for them to stay, finding or making clothes for them and putting on shows and entertainment to help pay for their welfare.
Belgian football has become a brand and has reached unprecedented national and international fame. No less than 18 Belgian footballers are regularly in action in the English Premier League. The majority of them also play in the Belgian national squad. Among them is Mousa Dembélé whose contract with Tottenham Hotspur has just been extended until 2019. He has achieved over 60 caps with the Red Devils. Dembélé, who has a Malinese father and a Belgian mother, first moved to London in 2010 to join Fulham FC. Two years later he signed a contract with the north London Club.
An Van Camp has recently taken up the post of Curator of Northern European Art at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaelogy in Oxford. Before that she was Curator of Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Prints (up to the late 19th century) at The British Museum in London. She recently co-curated the major exhibition ‘Drawing Silver and Gold: from Leonardo to Jasper Johns’ which is on display at The British Museum until 6 December.
Philippe Rixhon is a Belgian entrepreneur at the junction of the arts, business and technology who runs his own London-based company. Before focusing on the arts, Philippe spent twenty years managing successful and innovative projects for major companies in ten countries and worked in the IT domain. He currently publishes and lectures internationally to pass on his expertise to people who intend to launch a business in the arts.
This year saw the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo where the Duke of Wellington and his army celebrated victory over the Emperor Napoleon on 18 June 1815. To mark the occasion, commemorative events were organised in both Belgium and the UK.