Music: symbol of solidarity and hope for Mapuche children

In the south of Chile there is a people of skilled farmers, the Mapuche, who lives in the region called Araucanía. The Mapuche have a troubled past, their history is full of struggle and love for their land. We are talking about a people rich in traditions and whose culture dates back to 3000 years ago. This population survived first to the Inca who wanted to subdue it, then to the Spanish people and finally to the Chilean ruling classes. The indigenous population was independent until the late 1800s, when it was then subdued by the Chilean state. Even today, the state continues to steal lands (which in the past belonged to the indigenous population) to resell them to other businesses. 

Today, the Mapuche people are suffering discriminations and are still fighting to protect their language, their territory, their culture and their religion. 

The documentary “Chile: the power of music – an instrument of reconciliation” takes us to the Chilean mountains of Araucanía, among the Mapuche children of very poor families who work in the lands of foreign owners which, in the past, belonged to them. The journey takes us among some schools that have decided to collaborate with Papageno by taking part in an important project whose goal is to help Mapuche children to have a better future and live a happier childhood thanks to music. 

The Papageno music institution is a “traveling” school based in Villarrica which works hard to teach and spread the importance of music to 71 different schools, to around 1850 children. Teachers travel within the range of 250 kilometres and spend hours and hours in their cars in order to communicate the love of this art to children living in poverty. When it is time to play music, the little Mapuche children are really thrilled and their eyes show all the joy and desire to learn this new art, and they know it well, this is one of a kind opportunity. Each child receives a musical instrument for free to attend classes, among the instruments there are the flute, saxophone, violin, cello and many others that obviously do not belong to the indigenous culture of this people, but which represent a reason of hope for these Mapuche children. 

The Papageno music school wants to be an example for the spread of music, an effective tool that can overcome any cultural and economic obstacle. Tolerance, optimism, respect, commitment, solidarity and inclusion are the fundamental values this school wants to express through music. 

Papageno was founded by the current Austrian director Christian Boesch, who, after having settled in Chile with his family, decided to create this project to give music to every child, regardless his ethnicity, religion and socio-economic situation. Papageno is strongly committed to involving as many schools as possible to bring about a real change in society and to hope for a peaceful coexistence between the indigenous Mapuche and Chileans, above all with the help of music. 

“May all the children of Araucanía and Chile live a musical experience that makes them discover their talents and that makes them happier, more creative, more authentic, with greater sensitivity and greater reflection”, Papageno. 

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