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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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Studies, statements & references -> Glossary 77 resources (Compiled by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Thomas Burns.)

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Houses of black plastic

'Term used to describe the huts of the Sem Terra encampments. As the huts are built for temporary use (although they sometimes may last as long as three years), the families make use of the black plastic commonly used to protect industrial products from inclement weather, a cheap product a few meters of which can cover the area needed to shelter a family. On the other hand, this type of material collects a lot of heat, so that during the day it is practically impossible to stay inside the huts. When there is a large concentration of these huts, the media usually calls it a "city of black plastic"' (Fernandes, Bernardo Mançano. Pequeno Vocabulário da Luta pela Terra. Unpublished Unpublished). EDITOR'S NOTE: the original term in Portuguese, "casa de lona preta", can be a misnomer in that "tarpaulin"or "canvas" are expensive materials; it was thus translated as 'houses of black plastic'.


November 2002

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