From the Instituto Tricontinental
In 1984, almost 40 years ago, a group of rural workers who were leading the struggle for land in Brazil held their 1st National Meeting in the city of Cascavel, in the state of Paraná. There, they founded a peasant-led, popular movement that would become well known not only in Brazil, but worldwide: the Landless Workers’ Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra or MST).
Since then, that group of landless workers has grown, developed, and trained, and has become one of the largest social movements in the world, with more than 400,000 families settled throughout Brazil, carrying the banner of the struggle for land, agrarian reform, and social change.
To celebrate 40 years of the MST, ALBA Movimientos, the International Peoples Assembly, and Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research have come together with the MST to put out a call for artwork.
The idea is to invite grassroots artists from around the world in this mystical and symbolic process of celebration, to collectively reflect, through art, on the history and current challenges of the struggle for land and everything related to it.
To help in the creative process, we suggest four possible thematic axes from which to draw upon when working on the posters, which should be exclusively original illustrations. All submitted posters will be part of a virtual exhibition, but only 40 will be selected to be printed and shown in a physical exhibition. Illustrations must be submitted by November 30, 2023.
1. The MST and solidarity among peoples
Solidarity is a fundamental principle and human value, one that the MST has cultivated and practiced since its inception. It takes on many different forms in the movement: solidarity with the working class, with popular struggles, with collective organization, through food donations, literacy and political education programs, as well as in its internationalist orientation, with various brigades spread across the globe, where militants of the MST donate years of their life to support other popular struggles around the world.
2. 40 years of struggle and resistance
Today, the MST’s food production has been very much embraced by the people of Brazil, with fairs and stores all over the country where anyone can buy food produced by the movement. But one thing that cannot be overlooked is the fact that all of this is the result of a fundamental process: the struggle for land and the occupation of latifundios (large, landed estates). Every single fruit, legume, herb, grain, and dairy product produced by the MST has as its essential component the struggle for land that made their production possible. The struggle is the only way of advancing the victories and rights of the working class, and without it we cannot achieve the social transformations needed for a more just world.
3. We cultivate the land, and the land cultivates us
One of the principal contributions of the MST to Brazilian society is its commitment to producing healthy food for the Brazilian people. The result of the organization of cooperatives, associations, and agroindustries in the settlements, the movement seeks to develop agricultural cooperation as a concrete practice of mutual aid that strengthens solidarity and improves the conditions for agricultural production of the families in the settlements, as well as improving working conditions and wages in the countryside.
4. 40 years of liberating the land and the peasantry
Education is one of the main areas of work of the MST. Since its inception, the movement has developed educational processes and has prioritized the struggle for the universal right to public, socialized education, from early childhood through university. In this sense, the MST seeks to collectively construct a set of educational practices toward a worker-led emancipatory social project.
How to participate?
Poster size: A3 (vertical/portrait); JPG (300dpi)
Deadline for submissions: 10/30/2023
Submission form: https://bit.ly/3qn0VAM