July 09, 2013

The Landfill Harmonic Recycled Orchestra


Truly creative, ingenious and inspiring. And these children are very talented indeed!


The people of Cateura, Paraguay, are some of the poorest in Latin America, living off landfill — but one group has discovered a way to create art.

Cateura, in the Santa Ana neighbourhood of Paraguay's capital Asunción, is a slum. The residents live on a massive landfill, picking through the refuse for items to recycle and sell. Where a violin would be worth more than a house, it is, perhaps, the last place you would expect to find an orchestra.

But that changed the day that garbage collector (now luthier) Nicolás "Cola" Gómez picked up the shell of what looked to him like a violin. He took it to Favio Chávez, who was working on a recycling program and had opened up a music school for the local kids — and together, they started creating musical instruments: violins and cellos from oil drums, flutes from water pipes and spoons, guitars from packing crates.

In a place where children have very little chance of a better life, the Los Reciclados (recycled) Orchestra gives them hope. Landfill Orchestra, by documentary maker Alejandra Amarilla Nash, wants to tell the story of Ada, Tania, Noelia, Esteban, Maria and Christian: how they live, and how the Recycled Orchestra changed their lives. If the Kickstarter campaign reaches its stretch goal of US$500,000, it will also send the orchestra on a world tour.

You can find out more about the orchestra on both its Kickstarter page (where you can also find an address to send instruments, if you have any care to donate) and Facebook page.

With many thanks to cnet

Many thanks to Claudette for sending me this.