Comun Tierra

Uma Exploração de Comunidades Sustentáveis na América Latina.

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Común Tierra at the World Social Forum in Salvador, BA - March 2018

Posted on April, 06 2018

Even as we settle more and more into life in Serra Grande, we were happy for the chance to get on the road a little bit and travel to Salvador for the World Social Forum!

To Resist is to Create, to Resist is to Transform

The World Social Forum is a massive event that in the 2018 edition brought together over 80,000 students, activists and actors from 120 countries and different areas of society to dialogue, share their stories and network towards new models alternatives to capitalism. Over 2000 workshops and activities took place in just 5 days, ranging from huge marches and protests to intimate talks and strategy sessions.

Opening march in downtown Salvador, March 13, 2018

With the vision that “Another World is Possible,” the first edition was held in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001, exposing the problems of globalization and free-market capitalism, and highlighting efforts to create alternatives. Over the years, the event has hosted 12 planetary editions (most of them in Brazil) and dozens of other smaller events, which have sparked many actions, alliances, and movements towards social and environmental justice.

Leticia was part of the early years of the WSF, attending the event in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005. We also attended a regional version of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in 2010, as we were preparing for the launch of Común Tierra, and then hosted an activity during the Thematic World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in 2016.

So it felt good to reconnect to this movement, and offer another space to explore some of the work Común Tierra has developed over the last few years.

Común Tierra Workshop

We led a 2-hour workshop on the Federal University of Bahia campus, in the heart of the forum. We began by talking about Común Tierra, and then connected to CASA and GEN, sharing briefly about our experiences working in these two broader networks. After watching a couple videos, we introduced a bit of the holistic framework Ecovillages have developed for designing sustainable communities, using the 4 dimensions of sustainability model developed by Gaia Education. We explored these four dimensions and their interconnectedness, then split into small groups for some self-analysis of each participant’s level of engagement with these different dimensions.

And lastly, we analyzed the world social forum to identify strengths and weaknesses in the event structure and content. Some of this was captured in an impromptu diagram:

Our workshop attracted a great group, and it felt like no one wanted to stop when our time was up - always a good sign! It's true, we were really just getting going when our 2 hour slot had already gone!

The rest of the forum was full of activities, and we had to balance time for Anahí with the busy forum schedule. Some of our highlights include the opening march through downtown Salvador, the launch of the Latin American Eco-Socialist Alliance, and connecting to the movement of alternative currencies in Bahia and Brasil at large.


The assassination of Marielle Franco

One of the most alarming events that occurred during the forum was not in Salvador but in Rio de Janeiro, where Councilwoman and human rights activist Marielle Franco was assassinated. Her death sparked protests around the country, and many actions within the Forum to express outrage and to push for justice and investigations.

Even with the logistics of attending with Anahí, we felt happy to to see that the World Social Forum is alive and well, continuing to serve an essential role as one of the only global spaces for social movements to come together and share their alternative proposals for the global crisis we face. As the mainstream political and economic institutions continue to offer nothing but "more-of-the-same," the voices and resistance of social movements and grassroots groups are more important than ever.

Thanks for reading, keep in touch -

Ryan, Leti and Anahí


  • Micki, dia Posted on April, 11 2018

    A wonderful summarycolorful and insightful! Your last paragraph shows why this is important! So glad you could be there!

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