Nuit Blanche: Night-time Arts Festival

Have you heard of the nordic white nights, when the sun sets just before midnight and the twilight lasts all night long? In Saint Petersburg, Russia, white nights became notorious for flourishing artistic and cultural events. This inspired many night-time festivals all over the world; these arts festivals range in names from White Night, Light Nights to Nuit Blanche.

The Nuit Blanche is usually an annual night-time art festival, which turns part of the city into a de facto art gallery, providing space for art installations, performances, and other activities. On the festival night a vibrant agenda of artistic events takes over different portions of the city every year, which inspires residents and tourists to find new ways of interaction with the urban space that surrounds them.

In many cities around the world, the Nuit Blanche takes place on the first Saturday of October.

Brussels, Belgium

In Brussels this year’s event took place in the so-called European Quarter, which is usually dead on weekends. Despite the heavy rain, the Nuit Blanche 2016 attracted many visitors. This year’s events theme aimed to raise awareness of the migration crisis. The Nuit Blanche in Brussels dates back to 2003. The focus Nuit Blanche 2016 was on Borders – Nuit Blanche aimed to break down the barriers between individuals, cultures and disciplines, and to bring people together through art. This theme has particularly strong effect in the European context. Photos below have been taken during the Nuit Blanche 2016 in Brussels. Follow #nbxl16 on Instagram to see more photos.

Toronto, Canada

In Toronto Nuit Blanche dates back to 2005. Nuit Blanche 2016 was a common effort of city productions and partner projections. Follow #nbTO16 on Instagram to see photos.

Paris

The first Nuit Blanche took place in Paris in 2002. Check #nuitblanche2016 on Instagram for photos from Paris and elsewhere.

Installation PAS PIEDS IN CALAIS by NADÈGE PRUGNARD & JULIE ROMEUF
Installation BETWEEN DOORS by LABSPACE STUDIO
BORDER by HANS OP DE BEECK
#ORANGEVEST by GEORGIA LALE
GAZA (A)LIVE by MOTAZ AL HABBASH, MARIE SKEIE, MAY MURAD, MOHAMMED AL HABBASH & WESAM MOUSA

Is your city organizing some sort of Nuit Blanche event? Share with us your experiences – we would like to hear about them!