No, parliament has not yet entered the world of crime: outside the law, it is just the name of a new content created by the communications department of the Assembly of the Republic to show in cartoons some duels from different parliamentary periods of the monarchy until our day.
Each parliamentary duel is divided into several episodes – namely several strips with four squares each – which will be published every week on Parliament’s social networks until the end of the year. Every next month there will be a new duel that has progressed over time. They are currently reporting on eight parliamentary debates that, for whatever reason, caught their attention.
The publication of the strips on social networks begins this Wednesday with a debate from 1842 in the so-called Palácio das Cortes at the beginning of Cabralismo, during which the Kingdom Minister Costa Cabral defends the appointment of a “great deputation” to congratulate Queen D. Maria II. on the birth of the child D. João and a lively exchange between MEPs José Estêvão de Magalhães, Mesquita Gavião and Almeida Garrett, who complained that they had not been given the floor.
The debates about the transfer of funds to Casa Real in 1906, which led to the exclusion from the Chamber of Deputies Afonso Costa and Alexandre Braga and two years later even to a sword duel between Costa and the Count of Penha Garcia (who lost) firstly with injuries on the arm).
Or another from 1972 on the conditions of the questioning of political prisoners between Sá Carneiro, Casal-Ribeiro and Henrique Tenreiro, when the second casually says that crime prevention “is done through bombs”. Or even younger, in October 2003, when the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Durão Barroso’s support for the Lajes Summit – which he joined in the Azores – George W. Bush (US), Tony Blair (UK)) and José Maria Aznar (Spain) – Carlos Carvalhas called Tony Blair an ostrich and was reprimanded by then President Mota Amaral – “I realize he didn’t like the figure of rhetoric but I think he didn’t mean to offend the animal,” apologized become the communist leader.
The idea of doing a cartoon with content from Parliament is old when Teresa Fonseca, now in Communications, was Head of Parliamentary Spending, but that never came about. The creation of content that alludes to the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of parliamentarism created the fact that the debates depicted stretch over the various periods, from the constitutional monarchy (represented only by paintings and drawings) to the first republic, the Estado Novo . to the democratic state.
Filipe Goulão, an illustrator already working with the Assembly of the Republic as the author of the motion graphics for the parliamentary section, told the PUBLIC that he was trying to “reproduce the caricature effect of the times with the exaggeration of lines and expressions, but modernize the language” . There are figures that are easy to identify – the snails near the ears and Almeida Garrett’s tiny pear are still recognizable; the image of Sá Carneiro remains in the collective memory; and Carlos Carvalhas and Mota Amaral still appear on television – but there are other older and lesser-known characters for whom the illustrator has to seek more visual references of his face and his attitude to old paintings and photographs of Parliament.
He even admits that he was not aware of any of the episodes of parliamentary debate that he had to draw according to the dialogues provided by the Assembly, which strictly adhere to the terms used by MPs. Filipe Goulão also needed the help of images of time to represent the Cortes room, he adds.
Outside of the law, he does not want to expose any illegal meandering of parliament, but only show that not only laws are being discussed there and that the AR also knows how to communicate informally – as in the Happy Holidays message from last Christmas.