Our partner Commissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) launched on 16th October the new book about Landless Workers´ Movement (Port.: Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra – or MST).
It has been said and written a lot about Landless Workers´ Movement in Brazil – one of the biggest social movement in Latain America. Land and Pastoral in Alagoas: conflict and liberty (Port: Terra e Pastoral em Alagoas: conflito e liberdade) tells the stories of 9 MST workers at Alagoas (north-eastern state of Brazil). The main objective of this book is not to describe the movement but to publish the voices of the workers who represent the set of camps in interior of Alagoas where CPT works.
“The story of the movement is a life of its members.” 9 people are talking about theirs life – how it was before the MST, what did bring them here, how did they fight or are still fighting for their rights to have land, what are their dreams. Sugarcane cutters, agricultural workers, domestic workers, seamers – all of them worked for the benefit of the landlors, receiving almost nothing for their labour. Though the slavery officialy doesnt exist in Brazil, it is still present, and as before there are people who are fighting against it. As one of the interviewed workers said: “The folk is enslaved. The land is enslaved too by the system of plants, sugarcane, monoculture.”
The book might not have scientifical value, but it awakes feelings of compassion, sorrow and pride for the “semterras” ( engl. landless). If you are scientist, student, teacher, volunteer or anyone interested to know MST better, without understanding the emotions and feelings of the workers you will not get the full picture.
We are very proud to see among other organisers of the book GoBrazil alumni Anke Nikolaus. Anke started to work with CPT as a volunteer 4 years ago. Since then she became an important member of the team, helping CPT to make an impact and improve the lives of landless workers and small farmers in interior of Alagoas.