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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Landfill harmonic

4 minutes

The children of Cateura’s Recycled Orchestra refuse to be defined by poverty

To view scenes from the landfill slum of Cateura in Paraguay is to look into the depths of extreme poverty. But within the contents of the landfill are glimmers of hope in the form of cardboard, utensils and other discarded materials that can be crafted into imperfect but usable musical instruments. These makeshift violins, flutes and cellos, combined with instruction from a local music teacher, have given birth to the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura. Through the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Vivaldi, this orchestra allows the young musicians to transcend their identity as children of poverty.

Director: Graham Townsley

Producer: Rodolfo Madero, Belle Murphy, Juliana Penaranda-Loftus

Website: Landfill Harmonic

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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