The sertão is no longer able to hold its inhabitants. Its agricultural
structure, rigid and feudal, excludes on principle the possibility of the sertanejo
(man of the sertão) having at his disposal even the smallest parcel
of land for subsistence farming. In turn, deforestation of the area continues
to spread, aggravating the phenomena of drought and desertification in the northeast.
The inhabitants abandon the countryside, seeking survival in the large cities
and heightening the problem of the rural exodus. For example, Fortaleza, the capital
of Ceará, saw its population quadruple in only a few years, transforming
it into one of the great shantytown cities of the Americas. Ceará, 1983.
Salgado, Sebastião. Terra: Struggle of the Landless. Preface
by José Saramago. Verses by Chico Buarque. Translated by Clifford Landers.
London: Phaidon Press, 1998: 74 (photo), 140 (caption). Thanks to Sebastião Salgado for providing free use of his photographs and captions on this web site. For further information about the photographs and captions contact firstname.lastname@example.org