Photography as a social complaint was the pretext found by Pablo Vergara to make the Brazilian reality known from another perspective. This is how he told university students at a meeting held at Camilo Cienfuegos Headquarters. The occasion served to talk a little about the realities of the Landless Movement of Rio de Janeiro (MST) and the struggle for the rescue of unproductive landholdings.
Photo: Pablo Vergara
Pablo Vergara holds a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Chile. He has been living in Brazil since 2009.
Photographer, documentalist, belongs to the communication group of the Landless Movement of Rio de Janeiro, photojournalist of the newspaper Brasil de Fato and collaborator in alternative media and in the Cuban magazine Contexto Latinoamericano of the Ocean Sur publishing house.
The university students, especially those of Management for the Sociocultural Development and the Journalism, talked with the artist about the interiorities of the Earthless Movement and the importance of photography in the scenario of the social struggle of the peoples.
Also on the challenges Brazil faces in a complex context in which social advances have been reversed. There were also interventions by some professors from the Department of Marxism and History who analyzed the struggle of the Landless Movement throughout these years.
The artist helps himself with the portrait to express feelings of discontent and discouragement in those who fight for minimum conditions of life. To capture his snapshots, Vergara lives with the members of the movement for weeks and even months. He gets to establish ties of empathy and friendship and moves with them as one more member of the movement. The lens of the photographer captures ordinary people in their daily tasks: children; to the workers. The black and white serves Vergara to unveil the mysteries of humble, simple people. The gray tones are the common line that links aesthetics and politics from art.
The Landless Movement originated in opposition to the model of agrarian reform imposed by the military regime, mainly in the 1970s, which prioritized the colonization of lands in remote regions, with the objectives of exporting surplus population and strategic integration. Contrary to this model, the MST fundamentally seeks the redistribution of unproductive lands. The group is among the largest social movements in Latin America, with among its members one and a half million landless peasants organized along 23 of the 27 states of Brazil.