print on verona paper | 2007 | 2/3
A discussion with historian and researcher Irene Pimentel about censorship during the Estado Novo regime strengthened my will to work on that subject. How censorship was enforced, how writers, journalists and artists used metaphors to convey their messages beneath the censors’ eyes – such were some of the questions posed. Creativity and freedom of speech were suppressed and a new means of expression developed, one that made a full use out of figures of speech. The popular variety theatre, cartoons, socially interventive music and press satires – published in newspapers such as “Mosca”, “O Diabo”, “Sol Nascente”, “Almanaque”, Árvore” – were some of the genres that expressed the veiled subversive messages.
A text by César Príncipe well illustrates the nature of censorship during the Estado Novo, and also my intention with this project: “There was no prior exam. No political prisoners. No suicides. No shantytowns. No cholera. No rising of the prices. No abortions. No war. No hippies. No strikes. No drugs. No flu. No homosexuals. No crisis. No massacres. No nudity. No flooding’s. No yellow fever. No imperialism. No hunger. No rapes. No pollution. No derailment. No typhus. No Communist Party. No frauds. No extra-matrimonial affairs. No racism. And the rulers (idly, serene, luminous) didn’t travel, didn’t get sick, didn’t suffer car accidents, didn’t eat, didn’t improvise and, when they were discharged from duty, they always did it “at their own request”.
The words used in the work were chosen because they were key words of the Estado Novo. Others were chosen because they were excluded from its political discourse. The goal was to investigate the evolution of each word through the years, its change from dictionary to dictionary, from author to author.