Terra Madre Brasil 2020: Celebrating Real Food

16 November 2020

Tomorrow marks the opening of the third edition of Terra Madre Brasil, with more than 50 events being held online from November 17 to 22.

The event is entirely dedicated to comida de verdade, or real food, as defined by the Slow Food philosophy of good, clean and fair.

With so much going on, we’ve put together this short guide to some of the most significant events in the program of Terra Madre Brasil, which will all be held in Portuguese—but wait a moment!—in the weeks and months after the event we’ll work to translate content and release it in other languages too!

The main question that Terra Madre Brasil seeks to answer is this: Given that 150 years ago humanity was feeding itself with 3000 different vegetable species, 90% of which were consumed locally, and that nowadays just 15 vegetable species account for 90% of our vegetable consumption, and just 4 species (wheat, corn, rice and soy) account for 70% of global crop production and consumption… what can we do to save biodiversity?

The events are all free and will be broadcast live on the Facebook page of Slow Food Brasil, the YouTube of Slow Food Brasil and the Facebook of Slow Food International.

All times below are given in Brazilian local time: if you check the event pages it will show you the time in your own time zone, too!

November 17 (Tuesday)

2pm – Opening Ceremony (YouTube link) / Event page

An introductory conference and inauguration of Terra Madre Brasil featuring the President of Slow Food International Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food Brasil Georges Schnyder, Wilson Dias, Director of Companhia de Desenvolvimento e Ação Regional (CAR), Dionete Figueiredo, coordinator of the Grande Sertão Barù Nut Presidium, and Bela Gil, chef and TV presenter.

6pm – Food culture and Public Polices (YouTube link) / Event page

A Round table discussion on strategies for promoting food culture as an expression of identity and the role of intersectional public policies.

The “Food Culture and Public Policies” is a debate with Tainá Marajoara, chef and founder of Ponto de Cultura Alimentar Iacitatá, the historian and write Célio Turino, and Mariana Gontijo, head chef at Roça Grande in Belo Horizonte. Moderated by Lina Luz, specialist in Cultural Management for Fundação Joaquim Nabuco and the Federal University of Bahia.

7.30pm –  Concert with Chico Cesar (YouTube link)

Transforming poetry into protest with one of Brazil’s greatest lyricists, Chico Cesar. A mixture of musical styles ranging from rock to forró, via afrobeat, reggae, funk, folk and brega.

November 18 (Wednesday)

6pm – Food and nutrition security (YouTube link) / Event page

The impact of social and environmental crises on quality of life and food security is worsened by the pandemic, highlighting the need for new intersectional alliances.

Participants in this conversation bring their reflections on the fight against hunger and malnutrition a fast-changing world.


  • Ligia Amparo: Professor at the School of Nutrition of the Federal University of Bahia.
  • Patrícia Gentil: Nutritionist and public policy consultant in the area of Food and Nutritional Security and Human Rights to Adequate Food. Responsible for implementing the Food and Nutritional Security System (SISAN) in Brazil.
  • Valéria Paschoal: Director of the VP Functional Nutrition Center, she is a member of the Slow Food Brazil network and the Brazilian Institute of Functional Nutrition (IBNF), and author of the book Functional Nutrition, Agroecology and Sustainability.
  • Marília Emília Pacheco (moderator): Anthropologist and member of the executive center of National Articulation of Agroecology (ANA) and the Brazilian Forum of Food Sovereignty and Nutritional Security (FBSSAN).

7.30pm – Concert with Chico Nogueira

In this show, Chico Nogueira presents songs from his first solo album, as well as songs that represent his universe of inspiration such as the Cerrado and the popular culture of the Midwest of Brazil.

November 19 (Thursday)

6pm – Agroecological management of social biodiversity (YouTube link) / Event page

A round table to discuss the use and management of socio-biodiversity resources in different parts of Brazil.

The agroecological method combines traditional and scientific knowledge with respect for natural cycles, and allows for a gentler way of dealing with the land, promoting the conservation of biodiversity and genetic variability.


  • Natal Magnanti: Coordinator of the Vianei Center for Popular Education.
  • Marlene Borges: Fisher, farmer and activist for the defense of the environment and food heritage.
  • Eduardo Guimarães: practioner of agroforestry and founder of Agrossilvicultura São Cosme e Damião
  • Gabriel Menezes (moderator): Socio-environmental entrepreneur, with 20 years experience working in the solidarity economy.

7.30pm – Documentary film premiere of Dois Riachoes: Cacau e Liberade (Dois Riachoes: Cacao and Freedom)  (YouTube link)          

November 20 (Friday)

4pm – Comida de terreiro (Garden food) (YouTube link) / Event page

African religions provide different ways of understanding the role of our relationship with nature and, within this context, the idea of culturally appropriate food. This panel discussion shares knowledge and approaches from symbolic experiences in the “terreiros”, our true terroirs. Professor Anderson Carvalho will guide the discussion as moderator.


  • Vanda Jovelino: Quilombola of the community of Kaonge, Iguape Basin
  • Solange Borges: Entrepreneur, she leads, among other cultural tourism and agro-ecological projects, the Cuisine of Terreiro.
  • Elmo Alves Silvia: Chef and Specialist in cultural studies, stories and languages, with emphasis on Food history and Bahian cuisine

6pm – The Resistance of Black Women: Food that resists, food that connects (YouTube link) / Event page

Black women preserve a culinary knowledge that merges with the cultural identity of the diaspora. Our ideas of different black cultures are born of the mystique of food prepared and marketed mainly by women. This conversation discusses how, starting with black female cooking, a diasporic food culture resists in the kitchens and in the streets and connects people and stories.


  • Jucilene Jovelino: Seafood chef, teacher and coordinator of the Iguape Valley Quilombola Women’s Center.
  • Rita Santos: National coordinator of the Association of Baianas de Acarajé Mingaus Receptivos e Similares (ABAM).
  • Marivalda de Jesus Pereira: food producer of the community of Santa Sofia Farm, in Nazaré das Farinhas, Bahia.
  • Maria Conceição de Oliveira (moderator): former Municipal Secretary for Culture of São Paolo.

November 21 (Saturday)

11am – Feeding pandemics – (Terra Madre Dialog conference) (YouTube link) / Event page

Obesity, malnutrition, climate collapse and the pandemic are not only the major problems of our time, but are consequences of a system focused on the commodification of nature and food. In this conversation we seek to bring reflections on major global issues that compromise our future.


  • Elisabetta Recine: Lecturer at the University of Brasilia, where she is a member of the Observatory of Food and Nutritional Security Policies (OPSAN/UnB).
  • Soledad Barrutti: Argentine journalist and writer, author of Bad food: how the Argentine food industry is killing us (Planeta, 2013) and Bad milk: why ultraprocessed food makes us sick from infancy (Planeta, 2018).
  • Paulo Artaxo: Climatologist, researcher and professor at the University of São Paulo (USP), member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Marina Yamaoka (moderator): Journalist with a focus on public policy and food systems at the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po-Paris).

6.30pm – Terra Madre dialog featuring Ailton Krenak and Gilberto Gil (YouTube link)

The land defines our place in the world and how we think. It connects nature, politics, culture and food. For this meeting, we invite Ailton Krenak and Gilberto Gil to share their thoughts having, as a common thread, the ground they walk on and the different elements that make them who they are. Featuring music from former Brazilian Minister of Culture and key figure in the Música popular brasileira movement of the 1960s himself: Gilberto Gil.

November 22 (Sunday)

11am – Other Possible Paths (Terra Madre Dialog conference) (YouTube link) / Event page

A dialogue on other possible pathways between three personalities with different experiences of conventional urban society: a musician, an indigenous farmer and a friar engaged in popular movements. This conversation is an invitation to share other perspectives, with the centrality of food as a premise.


  • Jerá Guarani: Traditional seed farmer and leader of the Guarani Mbya people, from Tenondé-Porã Indigenous Land, located in the extreme south of São Paulo city.
  • Tiganá Santana: Musician, poet, translator and researcher, as well as Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Humanities, Arts and Sciences of the Federal University of Bahia.
  • Friar Betto (moderator): Dominican friar and writer, journalist, anthropologist, philosopher and author of 69 books.

6.30pm – Concert by Alessandra Leao (YouTube link)

Terra Madre Brasil closes with Solo, the new show by Alessandra Leão, percussionist, singer and composer, born in Pernambuco. Solo is about origin, about walking and above all about not being alone.

In her repertoire is traditional music from the Northeast of Brazil from composers such as Odete de Pilar and Zé Neguinho do Coco.

To all our friends and colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic: boa sorte e parabens!

by Jack Coulton, info.eventi@slowfood.it