Poster from the SNI. Image Source:  National Archive of Torre do Tombo [pt12004_PT-TT-SNI-CG-00178_m0001]

Welcome to Visualizing Portugal

Visualizing Portugal explores the visual record of the Estado Novo or "New State" period in Portugal, the longest-running European dictatorship dominated by the rule of António de Oliveira Salazar. An esteemed professor of economics who came to power in 1926, Salazar was Portugal's Prime Minister from 1932 to 1968. The visual media of the time included photographs, albums, maps, official publications of the office of propaganda, tourism posters, illustrated magazines, ephemera from special expositions, and children’s schoolbooks that promoted an official ideology for Portugal. Topical units presented here are a mix of visual narratives, texts, and videos. Original essays are also published on the site.

General Statement on Viewing Images from the Historical Record

Visualizing Cultures is a gateway to seeing history through images that once had wide circulation among peoples of different times and places. We do historical research this way  to better understand how people saw themselves, how they saw others including foreigners and enemies, and how in turn others saw them. Visualizing Cultures has been designed to offer viewers—especially scholars, teachers, and students—ready access to hitherto inaccessible materials, as well as guides to their careful analysis and use. Visualizing Cultures invites viewers to examine each image carefully and critically. Images can be harsh, for history itself is harsh. Users must keep in mind that the purpose of Visualizing Cultures is to gain a first-hand sense of all the many ways in which people have presented and viewed their times. Graphics that depict dark aspects of history—such as violence, intolerance, racism, aggressive nationalism, war and atrocity, abuse of others and of the environment in general—have not been censored. We must confront such harsh images directly—and struggle to critically understand them—if we hope to ever make a better world.

Mocidade Portuguesa (Youth Group), Portugal, Photo: Studio Horáciio Novais, Biblioteca de Arte da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian [CFT164_00155]