For a piece of land
“In the absence of any State presence, weapons are used to conquer a piece of land” Henri des Roziers, Pastoral Land Commission
In Brazil, the abolition of slavery was a slow and gradual process that resulted in a huge class of free workers. However, they did not have access to the means of production, in particular the land. Faced with the possibility that the abolition of slavery might result in the collapse of major rural producers, which depended on this workforce, the Brazilian Government ensured that the access to the means of production continued to be limited to a small number of individuals.
Nowadays, the 4% of landowners in Brazil control the 80% of the arable land, and 5 million families remain landless. While some see the land as a business, others see it as a means of survival. During the last decades, this gap in the use of land and its uneven distribution has led to a violent outburst, chaos and conflicts over the land, what has resulted in a massive rural depopulation, in which those millions of dispossessed have created hundreds of favelas surrounding the cities.
I have dedicated the last 3 years working on documenting the hope, despair and struggles in these favelas, living with the marginal communities with no rights, formed by those landless families or their descendant, who had been running away from the poverty, oppression and violence of the interior of the country.
For the last four months I turned my camera and my life to the Brazilian countryside, to understand the roots of one of the most unequal societies in the world. Documenting the current situation of thousands of peasants who are living by opposing to emigrate to the cities and who keep fighting for a piece of land.