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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: Death as life's horizon 4 resources (Cultural categories devised by & © Else R P Vieira)

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Zé Pinto


Phone call from the infinite

Hello, this is Teixeirinha (1),
I'm calling to say
That from here I'm still with you,
Now the hour doesn't matter
Nor the month
For now I'm an angel
Without trumpets or wings
But so politicised
Since I helped take up the burden
Of resistance and of sorrow,
Much despair too
I felt at the fact
Of a summary execution
Hanging heavy on my shoulders
But a little before I fell
As I was losing speech
I felt deep in my soul
A voice insisting
For each Jõao and each Maria:
"Onward Agrarian Reform"
Here's an embrace
For my Sem Terra comrades
And for those who believe
And join in this war,
For if on the wheel of History
There can be no marching back
I appeal directly to my son and wife
Who walked with me
In glory and in suffering
Join up with the camps
Of this country of millions
Who march in procession
On the way to constructing anew
And on the day of victory
Let all hands join together
As they shout in freedom
The fight was not in vain.

1 Editor's note: Teixeirinha: Sem Terra leader killed by military policemen of the State of Paraná in his own encampment. There are those who see the murder as a retaliation for the death of other military policemen.

Poems : Edited by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Bernard McGuirk.


November 2002

Resource ID:


Anthology of poems
A first-hand selection, unpublished in Brazil and elsewhere. A militant poetics; the social and political importance of the poet-singer (cantador), the construction of a canon of exclusion; the landless woman; the theme of death as life's horizon; the pedagogic project.
Else R P Vieira

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