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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 media type -> Poems 46 resources (Edited by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Bernard McGuirk.)

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Culture: Mission of art


Charles Trocate


Barbed wire is a plague

The land's womb
Weary of being
Raped by talk
By the void of barbed wire,
Is open!

Bleeding from it comes
The cry of the dispossessed

And the hand of the peasant signals
It's time!
The plough will avenge them
Turning its blanket
And life's twilight…

I plant everything
For chaos shames the land's desire
For right in front of me
Stands barbed wire
And tons of money circulate unpunished

I plant everything
For the poem isn't apolitical
For in my hand flies
A flag
And I hold tools to compose
Notes of justice...
For openly I clasp
The pregnant flower of rebellion!


November 2002

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

Barbed wire
'Formed by two interlaced wires, where barbs of the same type of metal are fixed at regular intervals, making passage difficult or preventing animals from escaping the fenced-in area. In the land struggle, barbed wired represents the fence of the landed-estate, which means expropriation, violence, poverty, and hunger. For this reason, every time the Sem Terra occupy a landed-estate, they cut the barbed-wire, symbolizing the break from a situation of exclusion to one of resocialization and citizenship (Fernandes, Bernardo Man├žano. Pequeno Vocabul├írio da Luta pela Terra. Unpublished). 

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A first-hand selection, unpublished in Brazil and elsewhere.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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