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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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Cultural categories by media type: The media specificity of landless cultural expression.

Cultural category:

 History: Marches, defining moments, congresses

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History: Massacres and martyrs


Ademar Bogo


Poem written through the march of Bahia - 1998

What shall we tell our children?
When the meal is over,
When the work is done,
What hope is there in life?
Are we to tell that governors are good?
That the police are the people's friends?
That the coffins of our murdered comrades
Are the will of the Creator?

If we do so
One day there'll be
No meal
There'll be no hope
No life for our children.
What then shall we say to them?
That everything belongs to "Sir"?
That we are all brothers?
And that only dreamers die?

We can stay no longer quiet.
The time for victory is now,
The day has come to fight,
And not to die.
The only way to vanquish death
Is to confront it.
The only way to win is fight,
The only road to justice,
Is to struggle on.
And so we'll live forever.

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A first-hand selection, unpublished in Brazil and elsewhere.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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Last updated: July 5th 2016