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The Sights and Voices of Dispossession: The Fight for the Land and the Emerging Culture of the MST (The Movement of the Landless Rural Workers of Brazil)


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Emerging culture by categories -> Culture: Hopes and aspirations 25 resources (Cultural categories devised by & © Else R P Vieira)

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Children's compositions


Cleonir Jorge de Souza
(9 years old, 4th grade, Elementary School, Escola Cooperativa Construindo o Caminho, the Conquista da Fronteira Settlement, in Dionísio Cerqueira, Santa Catarina.) Reproduced with the permission of the MST São Paulo


The Brazil We Want
(a Brazil where we can express what we feel and where we can work on the land.)

"The Brazil We Want: a Brazil Where We Can Express What We Feel and Where We Can Work on the Land"

Cleonir Jorge de Souza

I am the result of Agrarian Reform and I want a Brazil with free people, where I can express my feelings, my anger, my dreams…A nation where I can continue to live in the country, and take from it my sustenance, using the riches that nature offers and preserving the green of hope. A Brazil with education, where we children, besides learning to read and write, plant, preserve, play, dream…can express what we feel, work on the land, play sports, take part in the decisions of education.

There is so much that I don’t understand, so much that scares me! Sometimes I want to look big, but it doesn’t work. Why are there so many people without adequate living conditions, victims of violence, of exploitation?

I dream of a green Brazil - from the products we plant; yellow - from the wealth created by us workers; blue – without pollution; white – of the freedom won by us workers in the field and in the city.

Children's compositions : Organized by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Thomas Burns.


November 2002

Resource ID:


Life Projects: The Brazil we want.
The children’s texts included here come from a collection of prize-winning essays of the National Contest for Essays and Drawings organized by the MST Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra [Movement of the Landless Rural Workers], in 1998, when the Movement was fifteen years old. The contest included elementary schools of the encampments and settlements all over Brazil.

The winning essays were published in an anthology titled Desenhando o Brasil [Drawing Brazil], organized by Alípio Freire, Silvana Panzoldo and Emílio Alonso (São Paulo: Editora Lidador, 1999). The data on the authors were obtained from the same anthology. All the essays originally had the general title "The Brazil We Want." The specific sub-titles added were derived from the texts of each author. The texts are here republished with the authorization of the MST of São Paulo.

Else R. P. Vieira. Translated by Thomas L. Burns

See also: The compositions and poems of the little landless: history under revision

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