Event | Film

The Probable Revolution: Archival Futurities in the Portuguese Revolution

Thursday, November 3, 2022, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
KJCC, 53 Washington Square S, NY 10012
Film in Portuguese & Spanish, with English subtitles.

Film screening followed by a roundtable discussion with film director Lee Douglas, curator and Magnum Foundation Executive Director Kristen Lubben, and cultural anthropologist Karen Strassler. Moderated by KJCC Director Jordana Mendelson.

Open to the public with proof of vaccination and booster.

About the film

What is a revolution for? What does it do? A revolution illuminates other possibilities, making it possible to imagine life otherwise.

That is the premise of “La revolución (es) probable,” a film essay that revisits Portugal’s Carnation Revolution through the very images produced to document the popular uprising that marked an end to the Estado Novo dictatorship and the Portuguese imperial project.

Bringing together fragments of some of the most important collective cinematographic works of this period, many of which were authored by militant film cooperatives, the film essay reflects on the political force of revolutionary images. Speaking to the fragile status of documentary images as “proof,” the film explores how we might learn from history to change our present and how, in turn, this might give way to imagining and bringing into being other futures by thinking with and through the counter-histories embedded in these images.

About the participants

Lee Douglas is a visual anthropologist, curator, and filmmaker who is currently a Marie Skłowdowska Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Contemporary History at NOVA University in Lisbon. Combining ethnographic research and multimodal media production, her work unpacks how the past is reconstructed and the future reimagined through collective and individual engagements with the traces of political violence, displacement, and decolonization in Spain, Portugal, and the Iberian Atlantic. She is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Visual Anthropology Review, a member of the Writing with Light Editorial & Curatorial Collective, and has been a research fellow in the Collections Department of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

Kristen Lubben is the Executive Director of the Magnum Foundation, a nonprofit organization that expands creativity and diversity in documentary photography, activating new audiences and ideas through the innovative use of images. Prior to joining MF, Lubben was a curator at the International Center of Photography for 17 years, where she curated more than 20 exhibitions. She is the author of multiple books and publications including, Magnum Contact Sheets, published in 2014 by Thames & Hudson.

Karen Strassler is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the social lives and political work of images. She teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. At the broadest level her work explores the relationship between visuality and political imaginaries, through a grounded, ethnographic approach that traces how concrete images and image-practices shape and intervene in the visual field, opening towards new political horizons and subjectivities. She is the author of Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java (2010) and Demanding Images: Democracy, Mediation, and the Image Event in Indonesia (2020). At present, she is examining histories of violence, contemporary art, and the ethnic Chinese minority in Indonesia.

Co-sponsored by Magnum Foundation, Militant Imaginaries, Colonial Memories Project (dir. by Lee Douglas), and KJCC