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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: The landless woman 9 resources (Cultural categories devised by & © Else R P Vieira)

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The Struggle for land: Dispossession, journeys, occupation, eviction


Lyrics: José Cesar Matesich Pinto
(Translated by Bernard McGuirk)


For honour and love

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When I hear them speak of peace or war
Of occupation, violence or of power
In curfew's silence I stay loyal
In honour and love of Ana sem terra .

Doing the encampment rounds
I came to know her bravery, her hope
In her will to have one day
A land, a plot, of her own.

In her mind she'd kept so rooted
The lack of the land her name contained,
That the popular allusion to Ana sem Terra(1)
Become effective and germane.

Many times I saw her, together with her own,
I in moments troubled and restless,
In my thankless duty of repression,
And she not wanting to see me again.

Perhaps she struggles on,
At the front, rearing children,
With that faith that moves mountains,
On the roads to her promised land.

But I never saw her again, since
We stood between war or peace,
And she left, with the rest of the camp,
For Eldorado-Carajás.

1 Editor's note: Ana sem terra / Landless Anna: an allusion to the character Ana Terra, from the first novel, O continente (The Continent) of Érico Veríssimo's trilogy O tempo e o vento (Time and the Wind). She is the symbol of the courageous woman who, after losing all the members of her family except her son Pedro Terra, defends the land during the conflicts in the south of the country over the demarcation of borders.

This song is from the CD Songs Embracing Dreams

 to CD

Lyrics: Edited by Else R P Vieira


November 2002

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Compiled by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Thomas Burns.

Eldorado de Carajás, Massacre of
'Carajás is a region located in the southeast of Pará. It got its name from the Carajás hills, where formerly the indigenous people of that name lived; the regional center is the city of Marabá. In the municipality of Paraupebas, a massacre of 19 Sem Terra people took place, perpetrated by the state police and the landowners, on April 17, 1996, during a demonstration on the local highway. In March, 1998, eight of the same policemen were involved in the murder of two more MST leaders of the region’ (Fernandes, Bernardo Mançano e Stedile, João Pedro. Brava gente: a trajetória do MST e a luta pela terra no Brasil. São Paulo: Editora Fundação Perseu Abramo, 1999, p. 144, n. 13). 

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