Hunting and Painting Memories on the Streets: Representations of the Revolution in the Cinema and Murals in 2014

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In 2014 Portugal celebrated its 40th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution amidst times of political and economic uncertainties and social distress. Three years before, the government had signed its third bail-out deal since 1974. The 25th April is celebrated as the Portuguese Freedom Day, marking the day the Estado Novo was overthrown and the new government pledged a transition to democracy and the protection of civil liberties. More than thirty years later, different generations have a relation with the Revolution: those who were born some time before 1974 experienced the Carnation Revolution directly whilst those born in 1974 or later construe the present-day meaning of the Revolution based upon listening to and reading the memories of the former generation.
When the Portuguese were about to celebrate 40th anniversary of the Revolution, young artists, musicians and writers showed through their work that 1974 must signify more than a holiday to enjoy and a landmark of an event they had only heard of. In 2014, the Indie Lisboa showed A Caça-Revoluções, an experimental short-film directed by the young director and producer Margarida Rêgo, focusing on the relation between these two generations and times and different struggles. This animation is based upon a photograph taken in Lisbon in 1974, just after the Carnation Revolution. This film was also showed in several international cinema festivals, such as in Brazil, Poland, France and Latvia. In addition, APAUrb, the Portuguese Association of Urban Art, set up the project 25 April 1974:40 Anos/40 Murais with the purpose of bridging different generations of Portuguese muralists in expressing the significance of the 1974 Revolution in 2014.
This paper analyses these films that represent the Carnation Revolution based upon the (re)construction of memories to discuss the extent to which they play a role in the making of the revolution as a “militant utopia” (Fernandes, 1996) in the 21st century, able to mobilize the Portuguese at times of crisis and legitimize it again as a left-wing utopia instead of being a depoliticized historical landmark.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalWrong Wrong Magazine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Carnation Revolution
  • Memory
  • Utopia
  • Cinema
  • Murals


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