Hot Schrott

The report "Hot Schrott" introduces an unusual music band. Its members are made up of young people from socially challenged families. "Hot Schrott" is an initiative of the Hamburg Citizens Foundation and is intended to prevent the young people from sinking down into violence or the drug scene. Pictures of Osdorf, a part of Hamburg and a social problem area, illustrate the youngsters' lives. Interviews with the youngsters, their bandleader as well as with the founder of the Hamburg Citizens Foundation round off the report.

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The band "Hot Schrott" comprises 10 young people aged between 15 and 18 from Osdorfer Born. This part of Hamburg is thought of as a social problem area. People from different ethnic backgrounds and often from underprivileged social strata live there. Unemployment and alcohol frequently govern life there and the child supervision is often inadequate. Every Tuesday and Thursday, led by the musician Christian von Richthofen the young people meet up to play music together, or rather to drum together. For "Hot Schrott" is a pure percussion band. What makes them special is that all their instruments have been picked up from scrap yards and with the help of the bandleader made into working parts of drum kits. For example an aluminium ladder provides a metal glockenspiel; old plastic barrels become kettle drums; old traffic signs, empty plastic bottles and washing powder boxes are installed into discarded shopping trolleys so that they imitate the sound of drum kits. The youngsters drum with broom sticks, spoons and brushes. They had their first successes performing at local street parties, in the large festival room of the Hamburg Town Hall and in the legendary Hamburg "Fabrik".

Recently "Hot Schrott" had a great success providing the musical accompaniment to the silent film classic "Battleship Potemkin" in a big Hamburg cinema.

"Hot Schrott" was founded in 1999 and was the Hamburg Citizens Foundation's first project. The non-profit initiative tries to keep socially deprived youngsters from sinking down into violence or the drug scene.

In the meantime the Hamburg Citizens Foundation has originated a series of further projects, for example "Sport against Violence" and the project "Musica Altona" which offers children and young people the chance to receive free music lessons on classical instruments.

By setting up a Young People's Parliament the Citizens Foundation helps young people along with the assumption of political responsibility.

The Hamburg Citizens Foundation which was set up 4 years ago concentrates above all on youth projects in socially difficult areas, the prevention of violence and the education towards democratic negotiation.

Citizens foundations are a relatively new form of non-profit organisation existing only since 1996. They are exclusively funded by private donation and are therefore independent and always pursue charitable purposes.

They are modelled on the American "community foundations" which have already been in existence for a long time.
Goethe-Institut e. V. 2004
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