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Grounded Struggles: Land, Dispossession, and Freedom in Brazil, Morocco, Tu...

Grounded Struggles: Land, Dispossession, and Freedom in Brazil, Morocco, Tu...

Date(s) - 02/09/2018
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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Eugene Lang Wollman Hall, The New School


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The New School


This day of films and discussions focuses on grassroots struggles for land, dignity, the means of subsistence, and self-determination in Brazil, Morocco, Tunisia, Haiti and the U.S. In the face of (neo)colonial/ (neo)imperial interventions, increased state repression and intensified capital expansion, these grounded struggles shed light on the mechanisms of dispossession as well as cartographies of resistance, solidarity, and transnational connections. By forging alternative modes of development that are not predicated on extraction, surplus, or disposability, these movements expand the horizons of how we might imagine and practice new forms of value and social relations to challenge the structures and logic of racial capitalism.
1:00 Welcoming remarks
1:15 Landless Moroccans, 2017, with Q&A with Dir. Soraya El Kahlaoui.
A powerful documentary by Soraya El Kahlaoui about the resistance of Douar Ouled Dlim’s residents to their evictions from their homes and land that is situated at the heart of a chic neighborhood in Rabat. Their struggle against the land grab and the greed of real-estate developers continues today. 2017. 60 minutes
3.00 Couscous: Seeds of Dignity, 2017, followed by a Q&A with Dir. Habib Ayeb.
Couscous: Seeds of Dignity Almost self-sufficient in grains until the beginning of the 20th century, Tunisia now imports more than half of its food needs as dependency increases from one year to the next. Habib Ayeb’s documentary focuses on the conditions of cereal and couscous production and demonstrates how the food question is in fact at the heart of human dignity and food sovereignty. 2017. 60 minutes.
5.00 Strong Roots, 2001, followed by a Q&A with Dir. Maria Luisa Mendonça.
Strong Roots Directed by Maria Luisa Mendonça, this film documents the struggles of peasants in the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil, which is engaged in a national political campaign to occupy and cultivate unused land. Interviews with several individuals and families are blended with remarkable footage of a mass occupation of unused farmland and subsequent violent confrontations with Brazilian police, vividly illustrating the nature of Brazilian peasants’ struggle not only for a piece of land to farm but also for a sense of dignity and justice in their lives. 2001, 41 minutes.
6:00 Light snacks and refreshments
6:15 Closing Panel: A Conversation on Grounded Struggles as Prospects for International Resistance
Habib Ayeb, Associate Professor at the University of Paris 8 in Saint-Denis, France.
Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper, Postdoctoral Scholar, Institute of Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY.
Kamau Franklin, Organizer, and Founder of Community Movement Builders, Atlanta, Georgia; former organizer, Jackson Plan, Jackson, Mississippi.
Soraya El Kahlaoui, doctoral student in sociology, l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.
Maria Luisa Mendonça, Visiting Scholar, Center for Place, Culture and Politics, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY.
Grounded Struggles: Land, Dispossession, and Freedom in Brazil, Morocco, Tunisia, Haiti and the U.S. is organized by Ujju Aggarwal, Visiting Research Scholar at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center and Benoit Challand, Associate Professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research.
The program is co-sponsored by The New School: GLUE (Global, Urban, and Environmental Studies); Anthropology Department; Sociology Department; The Vera List Center for Art and Politics; Lang International Affairs; Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies, Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs; Kevorkian Center for Near East Studies, New York University; The Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, CUNY Graduate Center; and Jadaliyya.

Image Caption: Habib Ayeb, Couscous, 2017, still

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