‘The Vote is of the People’
Brazilian democracy is young, hard-won and under threat. As the country goes to the polls, its history reminds us that the right to vote is not a given.
In 1960 Norma Porto Carreiro and Germano Coelho – a couple from the northeastern state of Pernambuco – created a social movement designed to teach Brazil’s poorest people to read. The Popular Culture Movement (Movimento de Cultura Popular, or MCP) would open schools for adults and children, develop activities to preserve culture, spearhead literacy and political awareness campaigns throughout the region and train groups in other states, regions and countries to replicate their success. The MCP would change Brazil – and then the developing world.