1. Landfill Harmonic
An upcoming documentary will tell the story of an “orchestra in Paraguay, where the musicians play instruments made from trash.” The teaser is here, and here’s the film’s synopsis:
Cateura, Paraguay is a town essentially built on top of a landfill. Garbage collectors browse the trash for sellable goods, and children are often at risk of getting involved with drugs and gangs. When orchestra director Szaran and music teacher Favio set up a music program for the kids of Cateura, they soon have more students than they have instruments. That changed when Szaran and Favio were brought something they had never seen before: a violin made out of garbage. Today, there’s an entire orchestra of assembled instruments, now called The Recycled Orchestra. Our film shows how trash and recycled materials can be transformed into beautiful sounding musical instruments, but more importantly, it brings witness to the transformation of precious human beings.
2. Out of Eden Walk
Paul Salopek, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, is about to begin a seven year, 21,000 mile trek around the world – on foot – tracing the alleged path humans took when migrating from the Garden of Eden to the southern tip of Southern America. PBS NewsHour also has an interview with him about it.
3. Orphanages without orphans
Emily Brennan of the New York Times took a look last week at Haiti’s orphanage crisis, where “many of the children are not actually orphans.” Christians have a long track record of supporting orphanages, which in some cases is necessary and good. But we need to be wise, aware of the ways well-intentioned efforts can backfire (see additional commentary in Christianity Today). Brennan writes:
Of the roughly 30,000 children in Haitian institutions and the hundreds adopted by foreigners each year, the Haitian government estimates that 80 percent have at least one living parent. The decision by Haitian parents to turn their children over to orphanages is motivated by dire poverty. Also, large families are common, and many parents unable to afford school fees believe that orphanages at least offer basic schooling and food.
4. The disruption of art
Jordan Crook at TechCrunch highlights Mason Jar Music, a Brooklyn-based music collective I’ve praised before on the blog. The piece mentions MJM’s forthcoming documentary featuring Josh Garrels, and hints at what makes the collective so unique – and disruptive:
Instead of shooting a narrative music video, where the artist lip syncs to the track and plays out some story, MJM shoots live performances and turns them into true music video masterpieces. And not only that, the group shoots in the oddest of spaces, whether it be the catacombs under a church or a random island off of the coast of Washington… It’s not only a story about making music, but a story about disrupting the way we create art in a world where being an artist is nearly impossible.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: themethodcase.com]