French-born singer and Europe and Latin America superstar Manu Chao has announced the release of a benefit project entitled La Colifata. The album is named after and benefits a hospital in Buenos Aires (where Chao resides), which was created in 1991 as a unique establishment that uses mass media (both television and radio) as therapeutic treatment for the mentally ill. It is a resource between the clinical and external worlds that allows the patients — known as “Los Colifatos” — to recreate the social link with people living outside the hospital.
Working with La Colifata’s radio station, Chao produced this album of songs inspired by and featuring the patients in the hospital. La Colifata is 20 songs about “life, death, mothers, loneliness, love, tango, The Pope, the end of the world, the sun, and crazy grandmas.”
“La Colifata is quite a special station as it is broadcast from a psychiatric hospital,” Chao said in a press statement. “With the help of a few friends, the patients decided to launch this radio station to express themselves. To relieve everything they have inside and to speak to the world. While I met them five or six years ago, the station has been running this way for more than 15 years. I simply could not believe it when I read their stories.” The hospital’s residents also appeared in the Emir KusturiÃ§a-directed music video for Chao’s 2008 song “Rainin’ In Paradize”.
Cool, right? It gets way better!
The album is available for purchase as a pay-what-you-want donation via www.vivalacolifata.org. Music for a good cause. What’s better than that?