The Landless and Homeless Socioterritorial Movements in Brazil: the struggles for territory beyond dichotomies

Authors: José Filho*, Universidade Federal Do Para / Federal University of Pará
Topics: Political Geography, Human Rights, Social Geography
Keywords: Territory, struggle, Homeless, Landless, Socio-territorial movements
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Chairman's Boardroom, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the last three decades, the landless socioterritorial movement has created a new model of struggle for land and territory in Brazil. The initial struggle for agrarian reform began to incorporate new elements and objectives, proposing a counter-hegemonic model of the production of space based on revolutionary perspective. However, in the context of the advancement of neoliberal reason, the MST has declared the importance of promoting a struggle for peasant territory and it sovereignty. Territory has become not just a theoretical element, but also an essential tool that guide the practice of struggle for reterritorialisation and resistance of peasants and landless people. In the course of specialization and territorialization of the land struggle, especially in the 1990s, the MST understood the importance of moving forward in other spaces. Beyond of the articulation in Latin America, on Via Campesina, the MST also built an urban socioterritorial movement in the context of several homeless workers. The formation of the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) established a new scenario in urban spaces, both because it has brought a set of practices and strategies from the countryside (land occupations, road obstruction, marches etc.), but also for new elements related to the Right to the City (urban reform, mobility, segregation, speculation, etc.). This process led MTST to defend housing as an essential territory for the working class. Facing these subjects and process, the socioterritorial movement concept emerges as an important tool to analyze the struggles beyond dichotomies, as well as their articulation in counter-hegemonic networks.

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