That’s our project

MOZART RECYCLED is a documentary about a sociocultural youth opera, initiated by the Argentinian-Swiss puppeteer Frida Leon. Adolescent wast pickers (Cartoneros) from the slums of Buenos Aires step into the spotlight of this youth opera in which the entire scenery was made of recycled materials. They learn how to become puppeteers and the intimacy of acting brings them together with young opera students, with whom they’re sharing the stage for the first time in their lives. Out of their success in Buenos Aires they get the chance to bring the play to Switzerland, on the other side of the world. MOZART RECYCLED documents the developing process of the youth opera since April 2016.

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Why we need your money

The previous shooting in Argentina was only possible through our personal commitment. Unfortunately, we can no longer bear the costs for the travel to Switzerland. In addition to the crowdfunding campaign, we also submit our project to various foundations in Switzerland. But to cover the main costs, we need your help! These costs mainly consist of the travel expenses for our protagonists and our small film team. Especially the flight tickets from South America are very expensive! Please support us to get the Cartoneros to Switzerland and to be able to finish the film!

Background information about the opera project

The opera project «Mozart in Moscow via Buenos Aires – Zurich» already began in 2014. The aim of the project is to enable a sociocultural exchange between young people from different social classes of Argentina and Switzerland.

The opera is based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his famous arias. The choir and the orchestra in Zurich will consist of students from the Basel Music Academy and the ZHDK.

The opera will take place at the Kulturmarkt in Zurich from 28 January to 1 February 2017 and will be co-produced by CACO:BA Association, the co-operatives «Trascarton» and «El Amanecer de los Cartoneros«, Universidad Nacional de las Artes Abt: Musicales y Sonoras, Kulturmarkt and DALANG Puppencompany.

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This is us

Victoria Piczman & Britta Schoening

We are the co-directors of the documentary and got to know us in 2014 during our studies at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. While Britta’s term abroad at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires she met Frida Leon and the young Cartoneros and told Victoria about it. The idea was to accompany the process of the opera for a documentary and to direct MOZART RECYCLED together.

Moreover, we both were equally fascinated by the topic and share a mutual vision. The idea of bringing together young people from different social classes, who would never cross paths in daily life and collectively generate a youth opera and therewith travel to Switzerland, seemed incredible to us! We think music, above all arts, has a healing power, unifying and expanding, that opens borders and connects people.

Next to this beautiful process, it is essential to us to show a social reality of Argentina, that living with every day, one does not register and takes for granted. Such as the slums of Buenos Aires City, where most of our protagonists come from and the hard work of the Cartoneros: Almost invisible they follow the same routes every night to pick up the trash that we throw away.

During a time of economic crisis in Argentina and the governments’ threat to privatize the recycling sector, this project gives visibility to a marginalized society and their everyday struggle for survival and acceptance. For this very reason, our film shows an attempt of integration within a disintegrated society. In this context, giving the possibility to young waste pickers to not only become puppeteers and perform with professionals on stage, but also to travel abroad for the first time of their lives, is simply amazing! We are curious about their expectations of Switzerland, how they will get along in this rich society and inter- act with their Swiss counterparts, like theyoung musicians they will collaborate with. It’s obvious that this experiencewill broaden their horizon and potentially change their lives!

We are looking forward to the next shooting and the completion of the film, to share this special experience with you! In addition we’d also like to create awareness for the hard work of the Cartoneros and show what wonderful things can arise from recycled materials!

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Details about our film

  • Length: approx. 80 minutes
  • Language: Spanish, German
  • Shooting Period: April – August 2016 (Buenos Aires), Januar – Februar 2017 (Zürich), September 2017 (Buenos Aires)
  • Completion: March 2018