Cícero Bistrot Celebrates April

Democracy, Freedom and Art (always Art!) are the guests of honor for the month of April

An ode to democracy throughout the month of April is proposed by the restaurant gallery located in Campo de Ourique, in the month that marks the countdown to the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution.

Several actions mark the first April of Cícero Bistrot since its opening that suggest several reflections at the table, always with a common denominator: art as a transforming agent, or if this space was not also the expression of the life and work of Cícero Dias, artist, but also a citizen deeply involved with the values defended by Abril.

Inspired by its trajectory, we opened the doors of Cícero to mark the April Revolution and throughout the month, we will carry out actions to remember the impacts of the revolution on the arts and on life in Portugal and also in Brazil.

Cícero Dias, one of the most expressive Brazilian modernist painters and a central figure in our restaurant gallery, was a staunch defender of freedom and democracy throughout his life. His struggle and actions were recognized in 1998, when the painter, aged 91, received the Commendation of the National Order of Merit of France, awarded by the Prime Minister at the time Eduard Ballard, being granted by the then President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

One of the reasons that led to this recognition was Cicero’s anti-Nazi performance. In 1942, the Brazilian painter smuggled the poem “Liberté”, by Paul Éluard, from Nazi-occupied France to England. A gesture that shows his greatness and his subversive and resistant spirit. The text, which was the great cry of the French poet, identified with the pain and anxieties of the people and the country, was translated into several languages and launched by Allied planes in the skies of occupied Europe.

To mark this convergence of the values defended by Cícero Dias and the Carnation Revolution, Cícero Bistrot invited Brazilian actor Chico Diaz, who has just premiered the film Vermelho Monet at the Brazilian Film Festival in Paris, to perform a video interpretation of the poem. The performance will be released the week before April

And to bring the values of April to Cícero, in this convergence that defends Liberty and Democracy, we will have 3 poems by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen – Like a red flower, A Forma Justa and Liberdade, interpreted by the Portuguese actress Gracinda Nave.

In addition to this action, several characters from public life, friends of Cícero Bistrot, are “called” to share testimonies of the influence of the revolution on the arts or vice versa, as evidenced by the testimony of Gilmar Mendes, Minister of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil for whom “Democratization resurrected freedom of expression, which allowed the emergence of new forms of art and culture.” On the other side of the Atlantic, at the time, the April Revolution gave clear signs that it was possible to change since Brazil was also living under a military dictatorship. Gilmar Mendes, who talks about the role of artistic creation as a fundamental element in questioning the Salazar regime, points out “By the irony of fate, which never tires of showing its own artistic creativity, it was a song that started the Carnation Revolution, in the early hours of the 25th. April 1974.”

Sidnei Tendler, a painter, and artist with works in the collection on display at the restaurant gallery, also addresses the impacts of the revolution on the conception of culture, which inspired artists from the most diverse areas and countries in a testimonial now available on the digital platforms of Cícero Bistrot. He, aged 16 in 1973, recalls the impact felt in Brazil at the time and songs by Chico Buarque (who will come to Portugal in April to receive the Camões Prize), such as “Fado Tropical”, which would end up being censored for, clearly, being an allusion to the freedom so desired also in Brazil.

José Manuel Durão Barroso, who will also share his vision and experience of the 25th of April in a statement, recalls that “Portugal before the Carnation Revolution was a very different country from today, due to censorship: we didn’t have Coca-Cola, Karl Marx and Playboy”.

April is also the month that resumes the Luso-Brazilian Summit and Portugal receives, once again, Lula da Silva who chose Cícero Bistrot for his first meal in Portugal after being elected, in November, on his return to power and which would end up being the motto of a series of talks at Na Mesa do Cícero which has already hosted José Manuel Durão Barroso, Gilmar Mendes, journalist, and writer Isabel Lucas and the current Minister of Internal Affairs José Luis Carneiro. These talks by People from Here and from There are the stage for dialogue between Portugal and Brazil in the most diverse spheres of public life and what unites the two countries, in a partnership between Cícero Bistrot, the Associação Portugal Brasil 200 years and has the content also reproduced in the column by José Manuel-Diogo in Folha de São Paulo. In April, a new episode will be released, this time with Brazilian actor and intellectual António Grassi, who was President of FUNARTE – National Foundation for the Arts of Brazil (founded in 1975). Grassi intensely experienced the impacts of the Carnation Revolution on Brazilian culture. All episodes of Na Mesa do Cícero can be seen on Youtube.

In the week leading up to the 25th of April, Cícero Bistrot will also be the stage for a gathering with journalists, artists, and other personalities who will debate, at the table, the role of the arts during that period and the influence of the revolution on artistic creations and cultural expressions. For Paulo Dalla Nora Macedo, co-founding partner of Cícero Bistrot “This is a month to reaffirm the purpose of Cícero Bistrot, which translates into being a space for dialogue, debate, bridges between Brazil, Portugal and, obviously, Europe having art, culture, language as a central element, passing through gastronomy that dialogues directly with art. We believe in the power of art to drive evolution and reflections on society.”

To stimulate this debate on the impacts of the 25th of April on the transformations that took place in Portugal and to mark the countdown to the 50 years of the event that profoundly marked Portugal, Cícero Bistrot offers a special 50% discount on the entire wine list, exclusively for Portuguese citizens throughout the month of April, for reservations made directly (966 913 699) or through The Fork or Open Table. “Regardless of political current and artistic tastes, we believe that a good conversation is much better at a good table accompanied by a good wine and surrounded by art. And the place for good conversations and unusual encounters in Lisbon is, clearly, Cícero Bistrot. We believe in the power of good food to feed the soul”, concludes Hugo Cortez, the Portuguese Chef who runs the kitchen at Cícero Bistrot.”

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