What would an 18 years old middle class Portuguese think in 1974? What would he write in his Facebook page if he had one?
For the last month, an unknown Portuguese writer has been feeding a Facebook page pretending to live in 1974 – the year when the Portuguese revolution put an end to almost half a century of conservative dictatorship.
The author puts himself in the skin of Pedro Xavier, a young man who fled to France in 1973 as he refused to fight for the colonial war. Despite his rejection for the country’s regime, Pedro’s love for a Portuguese woman who stopped answering his letters makes him comeback to his country at a crucial historical moment.
We are in March 1974, just one month before the Carnation Revolution. Through Pedro Xavier’s Facebook page, we discover his clandestine journey to enter Portugal and his arrival in Lisbon where he has to hide from his neighbors who could denounce him to the political police. We follow his hunt for his disappeared girlfriend, and learn about the first actions that led to the revolution of April 25th.
More than a Facebook page, Pedro Xavier’s page seems like a book of very small chapters describing an exceptional event through the eyes of a young runaway. The essence of it is in the small details, such as the many photographies and the scanned newspaper articles and advertisements of the time. This brilliant idea actually seems like a whole new way to teach History.
Unfortunately, the Facebook page is only available in Portuguese but you could always give it a try! And for those of you who read French, check out this article from Courriel International.