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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


Gleiciane Fernandes Braga
(10 years old, 4th grade, Elementary School, Escola Unidocente of the Nova Conquista Settlement, in Nova Conquista, state of Espírito Santo.) Reproduced with the permission of the MST São Paulo


The Brazil We Want
(where all have a house, food, clothes, and health.)

Our Brazil today is not too well. It has a lot of unemployed people, hungry children on the streets, families living under bridges because they have no place to live or anything to eat, a lot of illiterate people - especially in the country.

In our region, it has not rained for a long time. Our parents are worried about the drought, because they aren’t growing anything. There are no beans or rice, which were the foods we most produced.

Worry is greater because the government does not help the people suffering from the drought. Even our coffee plants cannot take it any more, because they are drying up, and as the irrigation is very little, it is not enough to water them well. We know that it isn’t easy to solve this drought problem, but the government could help in another way.

We want a different Brazil, where all Brazilians can have a job and fair wages, education and good schools for all, security for the abandoned children and the whole population. What we really want is that all Brazilians may have a house to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, that health be for everybody and not just those who have money, that the government make real Agrarian Reform, and not just pretend, as it always does. And may it always make it possible for the people of the country to be able to live on the land.

We want a better country!

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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