Saturday 12 September 2020

Reading and writing skills (Portugal, 1976)

This one’s a puzzle. It’s full of colour (I seem to be drawn to orange stamps) and had so many design elements that still seem to function as a group. The word alfabetizacao (with accents) translates as reading and writing skills and the word trabalho translates as job. This is part of a set of four stamps, each of which has the same wording, but each of which has a different colour scheme and theme. I’m guessing the overall gist is that literacy and numeracy are good things that can lead you to different types of employment.

By way of context, Portugal had been through significant polictical change during 1974 and 1975. The Carnation Revolution of 1974 had seen a military coup and the overthrow of the authoritarian Estado Novo regime. It was a coup with minimal violence and the peaceful gesture of people handing carnations to soldiers, hence the name. There followed a period of upheaval and rivalry between left and right, before free elections on 25 April 1976 (the second anniversary of the Carnation Revolution) brought in a strange but necessary coalition of socialists and conservatives who had to collectively figure out what to do next. Economic recovery was a huge priority after years of authoritarianism and expensive military engagements, hence perhaps the focus on skills and employment in this stamo.

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