Momentous Eventus: May Day! May Day! Edition

For eons now, the custom has been that any given two-week State of Emergency is replaced by another two-week State of Emergency — but this time it really is different!

Good news, everybody!

Infamous selfie-obliger and President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that the country’s current two-week-long State of Emergency finally ends today! But wait, you say — for eons now, the custom has been that any given two-week State of Emergency is replaced by another two-week State of Emergency (totaling 15 States of Emergency — i.e., 30 weeks — since March of last year). And, yes, you are right — but this time it really is different! This time it’s actually being replaced by a new and improved “State of Calamity.”

And, even though in English “calamity” is a synonym for “disaster,” “catastrophe,” “cataclysm,” and “collapse,” this really is good news for Portugal. First and foremost, because fewer people are dying. But also because sports, concerts, cinema, art exhibits, parties, in-door dining, wining, bar-hopping, clubbing, May Day celebrations, and all sorts of other long-forgotten ancient pastimes are set to gradually resume all around town. To learn more about these, check out our full calendar of events, which is slowly making its way offline, and here’s some stuff* you can do for the next few days and weeks, provided we all behave ourselves.


Not one but three internationally renowned painters (two Portuguese and one Chilean) have solo shows going up around town this Friday, Apr. 30. Emanuel de Sousa presents Á Minha Maneira at Espaço Exibicionista (read our interview here), Bruno Pacheco presents Borrasca at Galeria Pedro Cera, and Francisco Ariztia presents Landscapes, and not so much at Casa da América Latina. All three shows are free to enter, and up through the end of May, June, and July, respectively (pandemic-pending).


Austrian symbolist Klimt and French impressionist Monet both died around a century ago, but their art continues to imbue people around the world with a sense of awe and wonder to this day. Impressive Monet & Brilliant Klimt is a multimedia exhibit with a cheesy name that invites you to experience the art legends in a new way — not on a canvas, but projected onto the walls of a 200-year-old water reservoir right here in Lisbon. It’s up now through Jun. 30, for 10-22€.


This year’s May 1 celebrations, like any major celebrations, are still a topic of heated debate among Portuguese authorities, health officials, capitalists, communists, and whatnot. The CGTP (General Confederation of Portuguese Workers) is calling for everyone except old people and children to take to the streets all over the country on Saturday. Here in Lisbon, marches are scheduled for 15h, starting in Anjos and Campo Pequeno and eventually converging on Alameda Afonso Henriques. If you care to join, bring your mask (preferably a red one), and unite responsibly.


Locally-bred and internationally-renowned saxophonist Rodrigo Amado has a solo show titled Refraction. It’s a collection of some refractions of his favorite musical influences that he had been working on in recent times, in seclusion, due to the eternal lockdown, and he now wants to share it with you, in person, on Tuesday, May 4, for 8€.


The Dark that Lights You or The Last Seven Words of Christ is a semi-interactive, semi-dance, semi-performance art play directed by local heavy-hitter stage director and actress Mónica Calle. It has a long name, minimal dialogue, maximum movement, no specific end-time, and, according to the hosts, “will depend on the limits of the performers themselves… until their exhaustion reveals the meaning of the show, both to themselves and to the audience.” It’s happening for five nights in a row (May 5-9), in theory, starting at 20h30, and you can attend for 7€.

*Remember to double-check with the organizers about any unforeseen calamities or emergencies before venturing out, be safe out there, and have a very Happy International Workers’ Day, everybody!


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