Dr. Rebecca Tarlau Publishes Book on the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST)

Over the past 35 years the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), one of the largest social movements in Latin America, has become famous globally for its success in occupying land, winning land rights, and developing alternative economic enterprises for more than a million landless workers
Dr. Rebecca Tarlau Publishes Book on the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST)

Assistant Professor Rebecca Tarlau addresses a packed house at Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe.

Over the past 35 years the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), one of the largest social movements in Latin America, has become famous globally for its success in occupying land, winning land rights, and developing alternative economic enterprises for more than a million landless workers The movement has also linked education reform to its vision for agrarian reform by developing pedagogical practices for schools that foster activism, direct democracy, and collective forms of work. Contrary to the belief that movements cannot engage the state without demobilizing, the MST has demonstrated that educational institutions can help movements recruit new activists, diversify their membership, increase technical knowledge, and garner political power.

Center-affiliated Assistant Professor Rebecca Tarlau shared these insights and many others on November 14 at a talk and launch party for her book, Occupying Schools, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education (Oxford University Press, 2019). The event was hosted at Webster’s Café and Bookstore, where 65 attendees were treated to live Brazilian music, snacks, and drinks. It was one of many book talks that Rebecca is giving this year across the United States and Canada. M.P.S. Student Luis Mendoza called the talk a “moving demonstration of organized communities’ agency to overcome economic constraints.” He elaborated that, “The book describes the struggles for the right to land and education, which are essential to understanding the recent history of many Latin American countries. The cry that ‘the land is for those who work it,’ which was born in 1911, is still in force in many countries that need comprehensive agrarian reform.”