Celebrating 50 Years of APRIL: from photography to poetry

Monday, May 6, 2024 - 11:58
Celebrar os 50 Anos de ABRIL: da fotografia à poesia

A pedagogical and civic initiative - the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1974 April Revolution - took place on the afternoon of April 22 in the auditorium of the Vila Nova de Cerveira Municipal Library. The event is an initiative of the Municipal Library, in association with the Primary and Secondary School and the region's Training Center (Monção). 

In the spirit of the vast program of national and local commemorations of the April 1974 Revolution, the event was aimed at the general public, of various age groups. For the participating teachers, it also served as a Short-Term Action (STA), certified by the Vale do Minho Training Center. 

This event is part of the “Reading Festival” program promoted by the Municipality of Cerveira and was entitled “Celebrating 50 years of APRIL - from Photography to Literature”. The speakers were Luísa Magalhães and Cândido Oliveira Martins, lecturers at the Portuguese Catholic University (UCP) - Braga, who addressed the two themes respectively. Through Journalism and Photography, but also Literature and Poetry, they evoked the Portugal of the Estado Novo, the long times of resistance and, later, the remarkable and festive event of the Revolution of April 74. 

To this end, Luísa Magalhães first looked at how journalism and photography at the end of the Estado Novo made a decisive contribution to accompanying Portugal's transformation during this decisive transition. She did so through texts and images that elucidated a country gagged and eager for change, namely through the pages of the press of the time, but also through the memorable photographs of Alfredo Cunha and Eduardo Gageiro. 

In a second part, Cândido Oliveira Martins, starting with Literature and Poetry in particular, analyzed with those present how the committed literary word of so many writers played a very important role in criticizing the regime of the Estado Novo. In this way, writers helped decisively to raise awareness of the need for change, despite the many difficulties, such as censorship, persecution and imprisonment by PIDE and the experience of exile. Then, with the outbreak of the Revolution of '74, poetry celebrated the transition to democracy and the values of that New Portugal, not without some concern and a critical sense. 

For these speakers, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Revolution of April 25, 1974 should be a pretext for broad civic and cultural awareness, as a founding event of contemporary Portugal. In this sense, they said it was very timely to revisit this foundational moment in our recent history through two complementary perspectives: Journalism and Poetry - from the press of the time to poetic writing, discourses and representations were built about this event that changed the course of today's Portugal, an event that deserves to be widely celebrated, especially with younger generations in mind. 

Luísa Magalhães and Cândido Oliveira Martins are lecturers and researchers at UCP - Braga, as well as researchers at the Center for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies (CEFH). In addition, both have taken part in activities to promote reading under the National Reading Plan (PNL). In this year of commemoration of the 50th anniversary of April 74, the two professors are collaborating with schools and libraries to reflect on the great importance of this fundamental event in contemporary Portugal.