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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


Hernandes da Silva
(16 years old, 6th grade, Elementary School, Escola Estadual Barbosa Vidal César, the Laudenor de Souza Settlement, in Itataré, state of São Paulo.) Reproduced with the permission of the MST São Paulo


The Brazil We Want
(with social and economic equality, without violence and social or racial discrimination.)

The Brazil we want is a Brazil where everyone has social and economic equality, where there is no violence and racial or social discrimination.

The Brazil we want is a Brazil where all can plant and harvest food for their family’s sustenance.

The Brazil we want is a Brazil where I can wish you a good morning even without knowing you, even if you wear an earring and chains round your neck, even if you have dyed or bleached hair, if you are white, brown, Indian, or black.

The Brazil we want is a Brazil where society works and all have equal rights.

For this reason, the Movement of the Landless Rural Workers was, and is, being established. So, when you hear on television or the radio, or from the mouth of another person that the Sem Terra have stolen something, you will ask these questions, and life will answer you!

Why has a Sem Terra looted a market?

- Because he is also a human being like everyone else and needs food like everyone else. The only thing he does not need is to be excluded from society.

This is why we are in this struggle for a better country and better world.

In short, this is the Brazil we want: children in school, health for all, equal rights, and our number one objective: Agrarian Reform.

And this is the Brazil we have: children with no school, a high rate of child mortality, social and racial discrimination.

Let us fight so that the first objective may become a reality, OK?

MST! Long Live Che!

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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