On April 25th 1974, a military coup took place in Lisboa. The revolution started with the military gathering and taking control of the Praça do Comércio, a massive square which lies alongside the Tagus river and ended at the Largo do Carmo, where the leftist military coup overthrew the Estado Novo regime, ending 48 years of dictatorship in Portugal. The remarkably peaceful coup disposed of the previous dictator at the cost of four lives, making it one of the most peaceful revolutions in history.
The coup is called the “Carnation Revolution” because after the dictatorship was deposed of, the Lisboan people placed carnations in the barrels of the guns the military soldiers were carrying. This peaceful act signified the victory of the revolution and the use of no more weapons.
You can walk the historic path the military and people of Lisboa traveled from start to finish in about an hour total. For my piece “Four Flowers of the Revolution” I found 4 destinations along the pathway and placed a carnation on the wall, to commemorate the revolution and to signify each life lost in an attempt to obtain freedom.
One of Lisbon’s most iconic attractions is a medieval Moorish castle that overlooks the Alfama district and the Tagus River. The Castelo De Sao Jorge is home to a flock of wild peacocks who roam freely inside the ancient stone citadel. It was the birds beauty and grace that inspired me to create the piece “flamboyance”, which was to feature two male peacocks in all of their colorful glory. I put “flamboyance” up on a salmon colored wall in the Principe Real district - one of Lisbon’s most colorful neighborhoods- often called “The Castro of Lisbon”.