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Luana Braga Batista


Luana Braga Batista is a Brazilian anthropologist. Member of the black collective Marlene Cunha of post graduate students at the National Museum – UFRJ. Widely interested in land reform, peasant communities, conflicts and violence, the political struggle for water, agroecology, gender discussion and the insertion of women in social and political movements in the countryside. She obtained her master’s degree in social anthropology at the National Museum, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (2019). Currently a doctoral student in the same program, where she is a member of the Nuap.


Historicising land struggles, land reform and land concentration in Brazil

This article intends to historicize and discuss how the dispute, the struggle for land reform and the concentration of land happened in Brazil, linked to economic models that generate inequalities and intensify conflicts such as the specific case on etnographic studies that I’ve been carrying out in Bahia backwoods. Therefore, the aim of this work is to analyze how rural workers have organized themselves in the past, accomplishing the land Revolution process, as called by them, and continued to build the political struggle in the present around a rural workers’ syndicate, founded during Brazilian military dictatorship. The years of dictatorship were marked by strong resistance and articulation in the countryside. I’ve been conducting my doctoral research with rural workers in the backlands of Bahia – a semi-dry area with almost no rain. During the military dictatorship in the 70s, these rural workers founded a strong and important syndicate of rural workers in the city of Iaçu-BA, where their political efforts are organized and articulated to this day. This period was a time of intense conflict opposing the Medrado’s family. Workers had their houses and cropping fields burnt, they were arrested, some of them killed. There were manifestations on the streets. The movement was widely supported by the Catholic Church, who helped during the two years of clandestine activity, until the syndicate was finally able to be legally founded. There were intense years of struggle that resulted in land reform and land demarcation by INCRA for local peasants who are still looking for land maintenance policies, access to water, etc.From the biography of these peasants, specially one of the main leaders of this movement, who is my grandfather Durreis, I describe and analyze the proposed thematic. I grew up hearing stories about my grandfather’s fights and those memories took me back to Bahia, as an anthropologist to research inside the sindicate with my grandfather and his companions.

Affiliation: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro