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Witness
An Italian orchestra
Witness follows the story of a creative new force of musical immigrants in Rome.
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2010 08:54 GMT



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The remarkable Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, is a creative force comprised of of musical immigrants in Rome, who use their cross-cultural musicianship to combat the negative stereotypes of immigrants and the increasing xenophobia in Italy.

In the last ten years the area around Piazza Vittorio, a neighbourhood in the heart of Rome, has become a symbol of multiculturalism.

The lives and stories that can be found around it represent the fleeting point of embarkation between integration and marginalisation.

The orchestra was created in 2002 by a band of writers, filmmakers and musicians.

They originally got together to save an old movie theatre. The group decided to create an orchestra that would unite all the sounds and cultures that could be found around the ailing piazza and gardens devastated by endemic homelessness and crime.

Six years later the old theatre serves as their headquarters. The orchestra is an international success with concerts all over Europe and the US.

Yet despite their renown some of the musicians were deported through Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's anti-immigration laws as the atmosphere in the country is worsening for immigrants.

The orchestra represents the unique cultural diversity hidden behind storefronts and the overcrowded buildings of Piazza Vittorio.

In a kaleidoscope of languages and rhythms their music meshes African, Asian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and southern Italian influences.

The film weaves the tale of the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio with the lives of immigrants and the new vigilantes determined to keep growing cultural diversity well under control.

This episode of Witness can be seen from Sunday, April 18, at the following times GMT: Sunday: 0830, 1900; Monday: 0330, 1400, 2330.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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