Célia em Movimento

an E-CHANGER volunteer for 7 years, celia worked until june 2007 for the 'gender sector' of the MST/BA - the rural landless workers movement in the northeastern brazilian state of bahia. from then until june 2010 she worked at the international secretariat of the world march of women in são paulo. although she is no longer a volunteer, she still works in brazil with the WMW and E-CHANGER and will therefore continue to share her professional and personal experiences... enjoy!

25 September 2006

for those of you who are interested in learning more about the MST, i've recently read an excellent book - in english - that i would highly recommend. here's how 'Cutting the Wire' is described on the back cover:

Cutting the Wire: The story of the landless movement in Brazil
Sue Branford & Jan Rocha (2002) London: Latin America Bureau

Access to land is one of the key issues for developing countries – and Brazil has one of the most inequitable land distributions in the world, with vast tracts of land held by often absentee landowners. Meanwhile thousands of peasants live in marginal lands in cities and rural areas.

The Brazilian Landless Worker’s Movement (MST) has proved a huge success with the disenfranchised rural and urban poor in Brazil – becoming one of the largest social movements in the world. Cutting the Wire is the first account in English of the origins, history and current challenges faced by Brazil’s majority. The authors have travelled the vast expanse of the country to record the words and actions of hundreds of activities who have taken their lives into their own hands.

Cutting the Wire is how the MST describe the act of occupying the land, the cornerstone of their movement. It is the baptism of fire for the militant, as essential part of their identity and it plays a key role in the mística, the moment of collective ritual that kicks off all MST events.

“We have always been told that agrarian reform is a good idea in principle, but the conjuntura, or present moment, isn’t right” says Mônica, an MST leader. “Well, we make the conjuntura right.” The activists become subjects of their own history and by doing so they turn their world upside down. Cutting the Wire is their story, told in their own words, in vivid first-hand accounts of a continuing struggle.

Cutting the Wire documents a struggle which will resonate with campaigners and activists all over the world. It will become essential reading for anyone hoping to understand where the new politics came from and how it works.” George Monbiot

“This is the fullest account of what is probably the most ambitious social movement in contemporary Latin America – essential reading for anyone interested in that continent.” Eric Hobsbawm

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