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FELLOWS

Domenico Bonassi

2018/19 Athens

Domenico is a multi-organist musician and a multilingual translator from Metaxourgeio area of Athens. With the help of a very strong and dedicated community, he founded Agia Fanfara, The Holy Fanfara; a Balkan brass band formed by 20 people who had absolutely no idea how to play their respective instruments (although there are some musicians among them). Within 2 years, their passion for Balkan music made Agia Fanfara finally sound like a real band, and this shows on the face of everyone who follows her lead (it is a she!).

Throughout his extensive music experience in Greece and Germany, as well as his studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Domenico has always practiced cultural projects with a social character and self-organized structures. Constant establishment of strong binding relations between collaborators from every corner of the world has been his primary goal. Domenico is a persistent worker for this solidarity network. In 2018, Domenico saw the START Fellowship Program as a possibility to enhance his project management in social culture; skills that help open up his project to children and allow Agia Fanfare to be a tool for providing access to music. Because music is life and life is joy.

Project Progress Phase II Phase I

Phase II

Project implementation in Greece

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Duration

Dec - May

Project Title

Make some NOIZ

Make some NOIZ is a Balkan Brass Band project for children. The project’s main purpose is to collect up to 20 immigrant, refugee, Roma and local children from 12 to 18 years old from the elementary school of the neighborhood, the Music High-school and the three refugee camps of the area. Once they are gathered they are going to be introduced to Balkan music with the most direct and practical approach in order to achieve immediate results. A result is not only considered a good performance of a musical piece but also the fact that kids will get together, make strong bonds within the band and have fun. It is also a good pretext for some of them not being at the streets selling tissues, flowers, umbrellas or even drugs.

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Duration

Sep - Nov

Project Title

Make some NOIZ, Balkan, Brass Band for kids

The goal of the project is to teach the children of the Metaxourgio neighborhood to play and perform in a Balkan Brass Band. 

The Balkan Brass Band is an initiative that emerges from the need to play Balkan music and the absence of such a band in the center of Athens. When we first created such a band in the summer of 2016 we could not imagine the impact such an initiative had to the people. It starts with a smile as a reaction to the sight of 15, 20 people buried by brass, followed by screams full of joy and dance as soon as we play the first tunes, regardless if we play well or not. It is an interactive game that everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to blow a trumpet, or hear how a tuba sounds and especially children.

You can find children playing in the streets of Metaxourgeio or working in the bazaar on weekends. Sometimes they sell flowers and handkerchiefs, and sometimes break into cars or houses or steal a purse or a bike. All the people involved to the activities above mentioned are scientists, doctors, psychologists, teachers, professors, professionals of any kind. All the band members are members of other bands. But above all, they are friends. And they share the idea of having children in the band, teach them to play, and promote the ideas of diversity, collaboration, group working and cultural exchange, under the pretext of a Balkan Brass Band. Furthermore, it will provide them an extra qualification in a place where opportunities
rarely appear. The outcome of this project is reflecting on these children’s faces.

 

Host Institution

Honigfabrik

Built in 1906, the landmarked Honigfabrik was originally a margarine factory. A honey factory moved in after the Second World War, giving the building its current name. The honey production ceased in 1997 and a cultural institution moved in in 1979. 

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