Brazil Ground Level Panel

International Movement ATD Fourth World and Raízes em Movimento facilitated a ‘Ground Level Panel’ in Brazil July 2013.  The Panel comprised a diverse group of eleven men and women living with poverty, insecurity and exclusion, including urban slum-dwellers from the favelas, indigenous people, ex-convicts, riberinhos (riverside-dwellers), people of African descendants (from ex-slave communities), and people from the Amazon forest. They deliberated over the UN High Level Panel’s (HLP) recommendations for a post- Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda for development and made their own recommendations based on ‘ground level’ experience.

Discussions took place over five days, culminating in an outreach day in Rio de Janeiro, where the panelists presented their recommendations to local and national audiences, including decision-makers, the media and civil society organisations.

The process began with panelists getting to know each other and the realities they came from. They discussed their different concepts of “extreme poverty” and the group established a common understanding about poverty, the mechanisms and solutions to leave no one behind. Through small group discussions, drawing, theatre and video work the Panel discussed the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations (UN) and the post-2015 development agenda and how this translates into their own life. They discussed development, economy and dignity and the UN High Level Panel’s five transformative shifts for development, recognising that these five shifts are interconnected.

At the start of the outreach day, the panel delivered an indigenous prayer to open the minds of everyone present. The panel also performed a song written and composed by the panel members themselves, in the indigenous Tupinambá language.  The panelists presented their recommendations, as well as poems and videos to the decision-makers who attended. The audience was then invited to respond to their presentations.

The song, written and performed by the panelists at the outreach day highlights the importance of listening and acting on citizens’ proposals for change, as part of the decision-making process. Please click on the link to listen to the song.

The Ground Level Panelists produced a final communiqué of the outcomes of their deliberations. The document is entitled Awêre para Kisile. Awêre is a Tupinambá indigenous word meaning “that everything may work out.” Kisile is a Banto African word meaning “those who don’t have a name yet” and was used by one of the panelists, Rafael (from the black movement) to talk about the people we can’t leave behind. One of the panelists, Raull, a slum-dweller joined the two words to say: “Everything may work out for those who don’t have a name yet.”

Read the blog article written by Mariana Guerra, from ATD Fourth World, reflecting on the Ground Level Panel in Brazil.

Painel das Bases Brasil (Ground Level Panel Brazil) was made by the panelists to reflect on their five day deliberations around the post-2015 development agenda. The video includes interviews with the panel members about their dreams for themselves and the planet.

Members of the Participate Ground Level Panel in Brazil composed and performed a song about their experience of the Panel discussions.
Lyrics and music composed and sung by Raull Santiago, panellist from Complexo do Alemão.
Guitar and vocals: Rafael Nascimento-Feijão, panellist from Espírito Santo
Drums: Ben Hur, panellist from Rio Grande do Sul
Vocals: Lana Souza and Carolina Guerra (panel documenters)
Production: Antonio Garcia (panel Audio-visual documenter)

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Awêre para Kisile Ground Level Panel song

Intro: Open the window of the favela, you will see the beauty that is inside it
In the midst of the Tijuca Forest with the Amazon,
Indians, from Ilhéus, percussionists from the south.
With the beats of Espírito Santo I go to Belém do Pará
Minas Gerais, Petrópolis Lets get connected
Look from above and picture the scene
Governments tremble, know that there’s trouble
Trouble for them because for us is the answer
Because the base is strong and brings transformation

Tune in and pay attention

I know it ain’t easy
But when it’s from the heart
It’s impossible to stop
Utopia came about,
Within us materialized,
And to make it better,
You gotta multiply.

Strength and faith. Awêre for KISILE.
May others see, may others add,
Participate, transform, multiply and win
Dream to live and not live dreaming.
Believe and walk towards change every day
For our Amazon, for indigenous lands.
Favelas, palafitas, peripheries of Brazil and the world.
For everyone, come everyone.
Horizontal and collective democratizing
Not only talk, indeed transforming.
Evolutionary poetry that brings you hope
Children’s smiles / for their future.
For the planet earth / that we’re killing
Without this planet we exterminate ourselves.

Tune in and pay attention
I know it ain’t easy
But when it’s from the heart
It’s impossible to stop
Utopia came about,
Within us materialized,
And to make it better,
You gotta multiply.

www.atd-fourthworld.org
www.raizesemmovimento.org.br