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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 -> History: Marches, defining moments, congresses 48 resources (Cultural categories devised by & © Else R P Vieira)

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Children's compositions


Tony Regis Xavier de Souza
(12 years old, third grade, Comendador Hugo Rodrigues da Cunha Municipal School, Fazenda Olho D'Água Settlement, state of Minas Gerais.) Reproduced with the permission of the MST São Paulo


Congratulations MST
(The development of a political consciousness and of a sense of self-worth from the experience in the encampments. The role of the MST in absorbing and giving hope to those excluded from society.)

I am young like you. I lived under black plastic sheeting for five years by the power of fate. I ended up in the orphanage and it was there that I discovered the value of freedom, because it was under the black plastic sheeting that I learned that people have rights and have worth, because you were born and grew up with us, showing every day that the poor must struggle and deserve to be happy.

Congratulations MST, because in these 15 years you have changed the face of Brazil. You have given to many faces of suffering workers the hope to overcome, because you have the courage to take in the street children, the drug-addicts, the prostitutes, all those whom society has excluded. You give hope to our people. Happy anniversary, for you were born to shine.

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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