“Festival Meetings 2017” concert series raising awareness about child labour

In support of the Music Against Child Labour Initiative, Milano Classica, in collaboration with the Milan network of middle schools specialising in music (SMIM), organised the third edition of the “Festival Meetings.” 12 concerts involving over 20 schools took place in the build up to the World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June 2017.

News | 24 October 2017
The 2017 “Festival Meetings”, entitled “Terzo Paradiso” (the “Third Paradise”), kicked off in March with a concert by the newly formed Milan Youth Orchestra in Palazzina Liberty. This concert was followed by 11 others, involving many musicians, young and old, and supported by a wide range of partners.

The concerts culminated with two events on 12 June, World Day Against Child Labour, starting with an afternoon performance by the Rinascita – Livi school group and orchestra, “Quanto pesa una lacrima” (“The weight of a tear”) and followed by an evening performance at Castello Sforzesco of “Salta, Farid!” (“Jump, Farid!”), by Dual Band and a youth orchestra. “Salta, Farid!” told the story of a young Afghan boy’s journey from Afghanistan to England, as he travelled through Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy and France.

Behind the scenes, the school children learned about child labour using the ILO’s SCREAM (Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media) programme. SCREAM aims to empower children and youth through the arts, and give them the knowledge and skills to become advocates against child labour in their community.

The schools combined the SCREAM activities with activities based on Michelangelo Pistoletto’s “Third Paradise” (otherwise known as the “Rebirth Symbol”). This symbol represents the “rebirth” of society – a new world, where the “human community” is united, dialogue between opposites if fostered, and balance and harmony achieved.

The 2018 edition of the “Festival Meetings”, entitled “The Tree of Life”, will soon be launched.

“In today’s world, the shared practice of music is more important than ever as a vehicle for harmonic personal development, capable of fostering individual and social awareness and serving as an invaluable educational and relationship-building tool.

Music involves the person as a whole; it stimulates attention to detail, a sound work ethic, capacity to listen, to welcome, and to experience solidarity in the pursuit of common goals, sharing achievements and setbacks. It teaches one to become attuned to creativity and sensitivity through a sense of deep emotional empathy. All these elements add up to the magical gift that is “making music together”.

These are fundamental aspects of young people’s experience of music, and they continue to be core values that we educators and musicians promote at our Festival Meetings, hoping to be instruments of change in line with the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the UN’s 2030 Agenda, and with Alliance 8.7. This change must have roots in our collective memory and history whilst looking to a hopefully worthy future humanity.
In this spirit, welcome to the Festival Meetings 2018 “The Tree of Life”!”
Michele Fedrigotti
Artistic Director, Milano Classica