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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: Icons, symbols, and monuments


Ademar Bogo


To our newspaper (1)

You are not big, that doesn't matter.
What's great is your identity.
Free, you do not circulate,
What matters is you reach the masses
In country and in city.
Now you're ten years old, so long!
Everything about this Movement
written down you have it all.
Otherwise it couldn't be
for you have neither day nor hour,
"speak out" even if not called upon!
Remembering your infancy,
inelegant, so small,
what reminiscence I recall.
But your memory is this!
Certainty. For history is
For those who fight, a history to make!
If the future intimidates,
Say no! You are still young!
Move on... your dreams awake.
The way ahead is long, for sure,
but what would become of the boat
with no water on which to float?

And what would become of us all
if you were not the call
that announces the dawn!
Our sincerest salutations,
the whole struggle for the land
with raised voice to you pays homage.
The land is a sister. Tomorrow
belongs to us, the workers.

1 Editor's note: Commemorative poem written on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Sem Terra newspaper (Source: Calendário Histórico dos Trabalhadores, 3rd Edition, 1999, p.58. Authorized reproduction).


November 2002

Resource ID:



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

Jornal Sem Terra (Sem Terra newspaper)
'The monthly publication of the MST arose as a mimeographed bulletin in 1981, in Porto Alegre, to express solidarity and make public the struggle of those encamped at the Encruzilhada Natalino (RS). It accompanied the progress of the movement for the land struggle and, when that was transformed into the MST, began to be published in tabloid format as its official organ. Since 1985, with the establishment of the National Secretary of the MST in São Paulo, it has been published in that city. In 1986, it won the Wladimir Herzog Prize for Human Rights, from the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of São Paulo. It has been published without interruption for eighteen years, the longest-lasting newspaper to portray the struggle for agrarian reform in the history of the peasant movement in Brazil' (Fernandes, Bernardo Mançano e Stedile, João Pedro. Brava gente: a trajetória do MST e a luta pela terra no Brasil. São Paulo: Editora Fundação Perseu Abramo, 1999, p. 37, n. 7). 

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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