Art and Ideology under the SPN/SNI

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 In 1932 António Ferro advised Salazar to create an advertising agency to promote state ideology among the populace. Culture would serve the politics of the regime in emotive ways that reflected a "policy of the spirit." In 1933 Ferro was made head of the newly-created Secretariado da Propaganda Nacional (SPN), later renamed  Secretariado Nacional de Informação (SNI).

The new constitution of 1933 and the elaborate photomontages of the publication Portugal 1934 demonstrate the mobilization of constructivist aesthetics in shaping and promoting a state ideology for Portugal. Visual efforts of the SPN under the direction of Ferro show how visual culture was harnessed for ideological social engineering. The responses of the superb cadre of artists who were recruited and commissioned for government-sponsored work sheds light on the relationship between creative arts, visual information, and totalitarianism.