Retomada Da Terra: The Guarani Fight to Reclaim Their Ancestral Lands
Renaud Philippe (Canada)

Far from the Amazon, in Brazil, the "Retomada da Terra" is a movement led by the indigenous Guarani to occupy agricultural land in order to recover ancestral territories that have been confiscated throughout history. This conflict pits the Guarani against agribusiness mafias, and is a slow genocide that claims dozens of victims every year, with complete impunity.

These coordinated movements of struggle have enabled many Guarani to recover, often at the cost of their lives, part of their sacred ancestral territory, which corresponds to what was once the Atlantic forest. These lands are located in the states of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul, a region where soy and corn monocultures have replaced the forests of their ancestors, and where today only 7.3% of the original Atlantic forest remains.

The Guarani's struggle is also an environmental one, for reforestation and against the abusive use of chemical pesticides.

In a country where, as far as the eye can see, monocultures have long since replaced the vast forests their ancestors knew, they are becoming the guardians of the earth. Their struggle is one that all humanity should follow for our own survival.


Renaud Philippe (1984) is an independent documentary photographer based in Quebec, Canada. For nearly 20 years, his work has focused on the long-term consequences, for civilian populations, of armed conflicts and climate disruptions. Renaud brings an anthropological and humanistic perspective to the notions of forced exile and collective trauma in both current and historical geopolitical contexts.

His work has been exhibited, among other places, at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec, the Bangkok Art and Culture Center in Thailand, and in The Guardian gallery in London.

Since January 2022, he has been dedicated to documenting the movement for the reclamation of ancestral lands by the Guarani indigenous people in Brazil. Renaud regularly collaborates with the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, and Bloomberg.