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MOVIMENTO DOS TRABALHADORES RURAIS SEM TERRA

The Movement of Landless Workers, Brazil

MOVIMENTO DOS TRABALHADORES RURAIS SEM TERRA (MST)

Written and Directed by Drew Denny
Photography by Drew Denny

With almost two million members, the Movement of Landless Workers is the largest social movement in Latin America. The Movement of Landless Workers seeks to identify and occupy arable land so that it can be used by cooperative communitIes for a greater social purpose. According to the MST’s interpretation of the 1988 Brazilian constitution, the type of land occupation they enact is a constitutionally protected right. Many of the Movement’s projects have led to productive cooperative agricultural communities, though not without controversy and occasional violence.

Drew Denny spent one month visiting MST cooperatives located in the three southernmost states of Brazil (Parana, Santo Cararina, Rio Grande del Sul) photo-documenting the development of the cooperatives and studying the application of agroecological methods in the movement’s agricultural practices. Two effects of this work are Drew’s propensity to smuggle seeds across international borders and her obsession with the concept of allelopathy.