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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


Jóice dos Santos
(11years old, 4th grade, Elementary School, Escola Rolf Wagner Muller, the Sul Bonito Settlement, in Itaquiraí, state of Mato Grosso do Sul.) Reproduced with the permission of the MST São Paulo


The Brazil We Want
(without injustice, torture, violence, inequality.)

One day I had a dream: that my country was the most worthy in the world. It gave the right to every child to take part in the schools, and men and women were free to decide and achieve their aims.

But I woke up and saw that it was a lie: Brazil needed to change a lot of things. I study in a settlement school, where we have undergone a number of difficulties from the time when it was an encampment until today.

I want Brazil to be different from other third world countries that think big and forget the poor. Together with my parents, we struggle to change society to make it more equal for all, where all may have the same rights as Brazilian citizens. We have to change the consciousness of the Brazilian people to vote for the right people to run our country.

In my Brazil, we need more unity.

Among people, I want them to respect each other as companions and friends. I want a country with less violence, and especially one where there is democracy for all. A country that makes individuals in history according to their own reality, free of racial prejudice. I want those who govern my country not to steal the natural wealth that exists in my, in our, Brazil.

Above all, a free, democratic, egalitarian, humanist Brazil, with objectives related to the Brazilian citizen.

I want a Brazil with more possibilities for small producers to market their products, to obtain a better price.

We want a decent life without injustice, massacres, torture, violence, inequality: a Brazil with more brotherhood and unity.

I want a better Brazil.

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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