The Carnation Revolution in one work from CAM’s Collection chosen by actress Isabel Ruth

On the 50th anniversary of the 25 April Revolution, we asked different generations to choose a work from CAM’s Collection and relate it to this decisive moment in our recent history.
Isabel Ruth 24 May 2024 3 min
25 April

Actress Isabel Ruth, a key presence in Portuguese Cinema Novo and forever inseparable from that revolutionary movement, chose the artwork ‘A Poesia está na Rua’, by Maria Helena Vieira da Silva.

We share her words:

It couldn’t have happened in any other month: April showers, isn’t that what they say? Aprilis in Latin means opening, referring to the germination of crops, and Aprus is the Estruscan name for Venus, goddess of love and passion. They also say that people who fall in love in April fall in love forever (there’s nothing like a bit of internet research…). But April is also spring, the scent of jasmine, trees stretching out their bud-laden branches… April is also my bed, my first tumble from space, from the cosmos, from my mother’s belly, my arrival in this world, my identity card, my citizenship. 

The April that took place 50 years ago is not the same as the April of the 1950s. Back then, I was freer than ever: that was my childhood. Freedom for me was the taste of sugared almonds at Easter, the beautiful little wooden boxes with silver decorations and satin linings in which they were guarded like treasure… White, blue, pink, slender, flat, perfumed, some of them made with liqueurs and shaped to look like babies in bonnets. That was my April, my evolution… The courage to fill my lungs and blow out the candles on my birthday. The certainty of having been born, of being alive, the freedom to be myself, the joy, the celebration of love by those who love and protect one another, my cocoon. In that April, 80 years ago, the carnations were scented…

25 April 2024. Today the weather is different, the heat is hotter and the cold colder. Or is it just me muddling the seasons? Have I become indifferent to the differences and to what goes on in people’s hearts?! There’s no doubt that red carnations in the barrel of a gun are the friendliest, most peaceful manifestation of a revolution. What a great idea! Anonymously, in my corner, I was forging that revolt, that about-turn! There was that need, that urgency. Some say that if you concentrate really hard when you make a wish, your wish will come true. I wish, I believe. 

If I painted a picture…
If I wrote a song…
If I made a film…
If I wrote a book about 25 April… Oh! If I did…

The end


25 April

CAM honours democracy with several initiatives that ask different generations to take part in the celebrations, such as creating new artistic projects and reflecting on what the Carnation Revolution was and is today.

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