Inscribing Memory of Women in the Portuguese Revolution of 1974 in the Rural South of Portugal

Help Joana Craveiro attend UnionDocs Lab this summer!

by UnionDocs

  • $1,500.00

  • $1,590.00

  • 0

    Days to go
Raised Percent :
, Portugal

“I still cry for the revolution”, words by Augusta, aged 87, in Alentejo – the southern and historically underprivileged part of Portugal. Like so many women in the forefront of the revolutionary process of 1974-75, Augusta was hands-on in all the political, cultural, social and economic change of those years of exception. In the small and impoverished country at the corner of Europe which was Portugal, a political whirlwind took place. 48 years of Dictatorship toppled in a single revolutionary coup, followed by a popular movement that turned every ordinary person into an agent of political history. One of the greatest adventures of that revolution was the land reform that redistributed land in a more egalitarian way. Augusta, Cesaltina, Maria, Noémia – names of women who were part of that utopia of “Land to the Ones Who Work it”. This film will explore the poetics of this land revolution and how it is remembered by these women, many of whom are illiterate but still helped to paint murals, distribute leaflets and even photographed many of the occupations and daily routines of a revolutionary country.

In a time of reconsideration of possible futures, of the claim for degrowth and for new forms of political organization and communal practices, what can this revolution in the rural areas of Portugal tell us?, and what can we learn and apply to our current struggles from the ingenuity, dedication and activism of these women?

I have been working consistently to inscribe memory for the past 15 years through performances, written texts and, more recently, documentary film. Participating in the UnionDocs Research and Development Lab is actually a dream come true and a real possibility to further my project and not let it die in some drawer of lost ideas.

Your support for this project will provide me with financial help towards participating in this Research and Development Lab and acquiring technical material for the project. I will be very grateful for your kind support and look forward to sharing with you the developments of my project through an exclusive newsletter and a private screening of the first draft.

My aim is to walk together with you on this journey. I will feel less lonely. I will feel I have companions. 

“Eu ainda choro pela revolução”, disse-me ela ao telefone. Agora já não tenho exactamente presente se ela disse revolução ou reforma agrária, porque para ela as duas são uma só.

O nome dela é Augusta, mas há outros: Cesaltina, Maria, Noémia, por exemplo. São mulheres que lutaram na linha da frente de um sonho: a terra a quem a trabalha. O meu projecto, com o qual concorri e consegui um lugar neste Laboratório de Cinema Documental na escola UnionDocs, parte das memórias destas mulheres no presente de 2023- 24- como foi?, onde estiveram?, que lutas travaram?, e agora, hoje, o que sentem?, ainda

e tudo o mais que elas me queiram contar.

O filme é um documentário poético, é só o que sei a esta altura. Também sei que as histórias destas mulheres são incríveis e cheias de matizes, de camadas, pois.
Nada é nunca uma coisa só.

Este Laboratório de Cinema Documental – UnionDocs Research and Development Lab – em Queens, EUA, é uma oportunidade imperdível para discutir e aprimorar a minha proposta de projecto e para desenvolver mais a minha visão e técnica como realizadora de cinema documental.

Se considerarem apoiar a minha participação neste curso e este projecto documental com alguma quantia, ficarei mesmo muito grata e, mais, escreverei uma newsletter em que darei conta dos desenvolvimentos da criação deste documentário em particular e, quando chegar o momento, vocês serão os primeiros com quem partilharei as versões iniciais, num visionamento comunitário, em que poderemos conversar sobre como foi este curso, como foi a rodagem do filme e a sua pós-produção.


person pointing at framed phone on wallShe told me: “Do you like this picture? Everyone loves this picture. It’s me, you know?”


person climbing a ladder leaned on the side of a buildingShe told me: “I wasn’t the one painting that mural, although everyone thinks it was me. But I don’t know how to read and write. I held the ladder.”


older model automatic cameraShe told me: “They don’t make that old film anymore, now, do they? I wish they did. I used to love taking photographs. You just had to click the button.”

hands holding the photo f three people in black and white.She told me: “I wasn’t the one who took this picture.I know it because I am in it.”

woman mid-torso and up, wearing a jacket and scarf with light skin and dark hair

Filmmaker Bio – Joana Craveiro

I am a Portuguese director, writer, performer, anthropologist, filmmaker and teacher. I majored in Anthropology, I went to Drama School (Conservatoire), I did a Masters in Directing in Glasgow. I was also fortunate to study with Alexander Kelly (Third Angel), Goat Island and Every House Has a Door.

In 2001 I founded Teatro do Vestido, a theater company based in Portugal, because I wanted to write my own texts and I envisioned a possible new way of creating dramaturgies. We primièred our first show, “Tua”, in an alternative art gallery called ZDB, in Lisbon. Since then, I have directed over 40 pieces and many of them in what are called “alternative” or “non-conventional” spaces. I still write the scripts for every performance. I believe I have been developing a writing that is autobiographical, documentary, ethnographic, and poetic.

In 2021 I directed a poetic film documentary called Women were there too. It won the Juri’s Special Prize in the Olhares do Mediterrâneo – Women’s Film  Festival, November 2021.

About the Summer Documentary Labs:

The Uniondocs Summer Documentary Lab are a program for a select group of media artists from the US and abroad. Based in one of NYC’s most exciting neighborhoods, Ridgewood, Queens, the Summer Labs offer a platform for participants to spend the Summer making strides and clarify the creative direction of their projects to attract the potential team members, funders and producers they need to find their way to the finish. An intensive schedule of screenings, open seminar discussions, weekly industry “field trips,” and inspiring artist visits from some of the most dynamic voices across the field of documentary, the SUMMER DOCUMENTARY LABS are tightly structured environments that bring participants into a select group of emerging filmmakers to get challenged and encouraged to think through every aspect of their works-in-progress.

Drawing inspiration from across disciplines, this intensive program should not be mistaken for an industrial, journalistic, or traditional documentary training. Scholar Scott MacDonald highlighted in The New York Times that, “UnionDocs has a healthy sense that the older definitions of what constitutes ‘experimental’ cinema and what constitutes ‘documentary’ are up for grabs.” Much emphasis is placed on workshopping lab participants’ writing about their projects as a way to both clarify the creative direction and attract potential team members, funders and producers. Participants receive focused, honest and helpful feedback on their project proposals from prominent documentary artists and industry experts.

The Research & Development Lab is a space for projects to grow while in their earliest stages. When a project is still largely a concept or idea, the lab helps filmmakers solidify the ideas with efforts, assignments, and conversations around best practices for grounding the project in its early stages of writing. This moment of focus can help set up projects for success from these nascent beginnings all the way through from funding to production to distribution.


Name Donate Amount Date
Francisco Nunes da Silva $100.00 August 07, 2023
Martha Norkunas $100.00 August 06, 2023
José Gonçalo Pais $10.00 August 06, 2023
Marianne Mayor $100.00 August 05, 2023
Tiago Craveiro $55.00 August 05, 2023
Pedro Silva $50.00 August 04, 2023
Lillian Ribeiro $50.00 August 04, 2023
Gloria Jacobs $25.00 August 04, 2023
Maria Gil $75.00 August 04, 2023
Lisa Frigand $25.00 August 03, 2023
Maria Silva $40.00 August 03, 2023
KATIA MENEZES $20.00 August 02, 2023
Tânia Guerreiro $100.00 July 31, 2023
Patty Parmalee $50.00 July 31, 2023
Dee Knight $50.00 July 31, 2023
Charles Downs $100.00 July 31, 2023
Lucas Kilravey $100.00 July 31, 2023
Teresa Costa Reis $100.00 July 31, 2023
Maria Craveiro $50.00 July 31, 2023
Fernando Nunes da Silva $350.00 July 31, 2023
João Farelo $20.00 July 29, 2023
maria Samara $20.00 July 25, 2023