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Hermínio da Palma Inácio April 25, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

We attended an exhibition opening in Torres Vedras of material on Hermínio da Palma Inácio who at one stage was the most wanted man in Europe. He was the head of the Liga de Unidade e Ação Revolucionária (LUAR) a Left Wing Revolutionary orgainisation. We were given our own tour of the exhibition in English by José Pacheco Pereira.
Hermínio da Palma Inácio was one of a group that hijacked a plane in Casablanca , flew in over Lisbon where they dropped a hundred thousand anti fascist leaflets calling for the overthrow of the dictatorship and free elections, before flying back and landing again in Casablanca.
They carried out the biggest bank robbery in Portuguese history to help fund their activities as well as a failed attempt to take over the city of Covilha. He spent many periods in prison and escaped a number of times. Included in the exhibition was a tobacco pouch which contained a file which he used to get through the bars of one of his cells. The pouch was a gift from his sister.
There was also propaganda material from LUAR , wanted posters and more.

After that we were given a Virtual Reality tour of the Archive. It was very strange getting a VR tour of rooms we had been earlier in the day. Still you can see a massive use for it for Museums and so on.
There was also a book launch of a number of books in the Ephemera Collection. One on FUR which was a Left wing alliance of small left groups set up after the 1974 Revolution. There was an array of wonderful stickers and other material from these groups on display.

Another Book was on Mozambique and there were a number of propaganda flyers dropped by the Portuguese onto various areas of the country. In the middle were leaflets with pictures of people that were quoted as saying they were in favour of Portugal. When Mozambique gained Independence the people pictured in the Portuguese Propaganda were all killed.
Then it was off to a restaurant for a dinner which was hosted by the Mayor. Then back again to the actual exhibition opening (it took place at 10 pm) where a comrade of Hermínio da Palma Inácio walked the crowd through the exhibition. It was broadcast Live on Facebook and at one stage had over 100,000 viewers. Then speeches there before heading into a lecture hall for talks on the various Ephemera books and a talk on the archive by José Pacheco Pereira.
The talk finished and we were presented with a gift by the Mayor of a number of books about the locality and wine and some local pastries. It topped off an incredible day!
One of the things the archive has been doing for a number of years is having someone present at every protest in Lisbon. There they gather flyers, take photographs and also ask people for their hand made signs at the end of the protest. There is quite an archive of these signs already.
The following day , taking it easy eating lunch in Lisbon in the Praça do Comércio we noticed a protest about Venezuela. After lunch we went over to the protest to see if any of our friends from Ephemera were there. We didn’t see anyone , so I took some pictures and sent them on. They hadn’t known about that protest!
An amazing few days that thought me a lot about archiving, themes, Portuguese History, telling stories in an exhibition and more.
Should you find yourself in that neck of the woods it’s well worth contacting them.


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