Catarina de Sousa, Lui Avallos, Isadora Pedro Neves Marques, Rodrigo Moreira / Portugal, Brazil

A virtual reality experience about the Carnation Revolution – which took place on April 25, 1974 – overthrowing more than 40 years of dictatorship in Portugal, looking back to the present and reflecting on what remains of the revolution, and what the challenges and risks are for the future of democracy.

The Carnation Revolution – which took place on April 25, 1974 – brought down more than 40 years of dictatorship in Portugal and put an end to the oldest authoritarian regime in Europe. Almost 50 years later, “Follow the Carnation” is an interactive virtual reality non-fiction film essay of 15 minutes, where the user, once at time, will be immersed and guided by the carnation – the flower that symbolizes the Portuguese revolution – through three periods that marked the rise and fall of fascisms, and provides a brief history of Portugal between 1926 and 1976, looking back to the present and reflecting on what remains of the revolution, and what the challenges and risks are for the future of democracy.

In the first act, the user will be in a repressive and claustrophobic space like the famous “curros”, where prisoners were subjected to torture by isolation in a small space. The user will hear testimonies of resistance prisoners and former political prisoners who went through PIDE – the secret police of Salazar’s dictatorship. At the same time, archival footage from the Portuguese Colonial War in Africa and testimonies from racialized people who lived through it. References to the “unquestionable certainties” of Salazar’s regime “God, Homeland, and Family”.

After that, in the second act, the “curro” will open passage to a prison corridor that the user can walk freely and listen to sounds about remarkable aspects of colonialism, the liberation struggles of the colonial peoples mixed with archive images of the Portuguese Colonial War in Africa. Pictures of many of the opponents who stayed behind, victims of the repressive system of the dictatorship will appear inside the cages. As the user walks down the corridor, images of the clandestine press begin to appear, as the only vehicle for information about what was really happening in the country and in the world, assuming the free expression of ideas and convictions. At the end of the corridor, a carnation appears, and the user can grab it and place it in the barrel of a gun. The same gesture that happened during 25th April, where the carnations were offered by civilians who joined the “rebel” soldiers in peaceful civil resistance. Even the officers’ guns had flowers poking out of them.
At that moment, there is a transition into the third act – a wide open avenue, where kaleidoscope images of the Portuguese revolution appear in the sky. This transition isn’t linear. We’ll explore the threat of the far right rising nowadays. We’ll explore this tension by using audios and footage of the current Portuguese far right, and they will lead the transition between both acts. When these audios appear, this transition will be blocked. Once they’re over,the user will be 100% in the avenue. Here, we will reflect on the idea of freedom and resistance in tension with the risks of the future of democracy. Testimonies of the children and grandchildren of the revolution along with those who lived it. “Follow the Carnation” intends to row against the current of the forgetting organized by the dominant ideologies in contemporary societies, to ensure that our future is not amputated from our past. The future is built in the present with the memory of the past.

Catarina de Sousa

Director / Producer


Catarina de Sousa has over 15 years’ experience in cinema and visual arts in different countries such as Brazil, United States and Portugal, and has directed and produced award-winning films, screened at international festivals. As an enthusiastic advocate of the new media revolution, using everyday technology, she has been developing cross-disciplinary documentary/research where she explores the question of temporality emphasizing the issue of memory and the archive as footage for shaping the future and think about new possibilities and utopias, rethinking questions of political history and philosophy of time.

Lui Avallos



Lui Avallos is a film and VR director. Selected as Berlinale Talents 2023, he developed “Liminal Spaces”, a VR project at the Short Form Station. He was part of the Biennale College Cinema- Virtual Reality program, where he developed the project “Queer Utopia”, funded by MOIN Film Fund, and selected for the 80th Venice International Film Festival. His latest virtual reality project, “Handwritten”, has been shown at DOK Leipzig festival and Open City Documentary London. He is currently a PhD student in Multimedia Art at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon.

Isadora Pedro Neves Marques



Isadora Pedro Neves Marques (they/them) is a producer, filmmaker, visual artist, and writer. They were the Portuguese Official Representation – Portugal Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022) and were awarded the prestigious Pinchuk Future Generation Art Prize in 2021 and the Present Future Generation Art Prize at Artissima in 2018 for their art career. Their film Becoming Male in the Middle Ages was awarded the Ammodo Tiger Short Award at IFFR in 2022, and their film The Bite won best short film awards at Go Short – Nijmegen, Mix Brasil, Sicilia Queer Film Festival, and Short Waves, as well as the Kodak Prize at MIEFF in 2020.

Rodrigo Moreira



Rodrigo Moreira is a producer and project manager. He currently manages Mundivagante Studio, a production company that developed “Queer Utopia” (Biennale College Cinema 2022); Liminal Spaces” (Berlinale Talents 2023); “Handwritten” ( Prague International Film Festival 2022, DOK Leipzig, London Open City Documentarty Festival; “Desconexo”, Outfest Los Angeles, Habana International Film Festival, Chéries-Chéris Paris, amongst others.