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Arms raised and the making of the gesture: the use of images as a disciplinary mechanism in the MST

Universidade Estadual de Londrina
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  • Mst - Movement Of Landless Rural Workers
  • Visual Speech
  • Discipline.
  • Mst – Movimento Dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra
  • Discurso Imagético
  • Disciplina.


This article examines the making of a characteristic gesture of the landless people linked to the Movement of Landless Workers (MST): a raised arm (either with a fist, or holding a machete, an ax or a sickle). It investigates how the MST has used a set of pictures published in the Official Journal of the Landless Rural Workers, owned by the Movement, in order to establish this gesture among the landless people. On that account, this research uses the concept of discipline according to Michel Foucault in his book Discipline andPunish, in which the author discusses the discipline as a method of control of a particular group of individuals.

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