The current political and economic situation in Brazil is shaped by the emergence of a new type of anti-environmentalism of an authoritarian and racialised character. The pressure for the liberalisation of public lands and communal territories by the rural segment is accompanied by a rhetoric of stigmatisation against indigenous peoples, “quilombolas”, traditional communities and spaces for environmental preservation, identified as obstacles to development. Such rhetoric has been used as a strategy for social convincing and as a way to legitimise practices of environmental and land deregulation.
The purpose of this discussion is to reflect on the challenges of the work of identifying and characterising lands traditionally occupied by “vazanteiras” and “quilombolas” communities located in the middle basin of the São Francisco river, based on the experience of the Interdisciplinary Socio-Environmental Cluster at the State University of Montes Claros (NIISA-UNIMONTES).
- Felisa Anay, DSc in Sociology and Professor at the State University of Montes Claros, Brazil and visiting fellow at IDS
- Alex Shankland, IDS researcher
- Patta Scott-Villiers, IDS researcher