Statement by , Press Conference

A Presentation of the Avante! Festival 2015 edition

A Presentation of the Avante! Festival 2015 edition

Today we are announcing some of the major highlights of the upcoming 39th “Avante!” Festival. This year it will be held on 4-6 September, at Atalaia, Amora, Seixal. Tomorrow's issue of “Avante!” will be covering it in detail.

Throughout its previous 38 editions, the “Avante!” Festival has come to be known by several generations as a unique event, not only by virtue of its political and cultural aspects, but also due to its human features: as a meeting place, with its fraternity and camaraderie, with its own identity and its roots within Portuguese society.

It is a major event, that is open to all. It is organised by the Portuguese Communist Party and is open to Portugal's people and workers, to the youth: It is also an expression of confidence in the struggle to build A Portugal with a Future, Based on the April [25th 1974 revolution's] values.

This major event is only made possible through the work and militancy of thousands of men and women, of young PCP and JCP [communist youth] members, of many friends of the Festival that participate every year in building it, in Work Days that this year began on 7 June, as well as in the many other tasks that contribute toward its success.

By virtue of its dimension, diversity and predictable impact, this year's “Avante!” Festival will be a major event in Portugal's political and cultural life – with its own identity and features, with its constant renewal and new points of interest. Visiting it for the first time or returning is always worthwhile.
The "Avante!" Festival is being held just weeks before the Assembly of the Republic [parliament] election, and the PCP and CDU's proposals will of course be featured in the Festival's political content and events.

The Central Area will feature a large exhibition entitled “The people's might – solutions for Portugal with a Future” that will seek to summarise our proposals for policies that are truly alternative, patriotic and left-wing, capable of making a break with the PSD, CDS and PS [parties'] right-wing policies that have led Portugal into one of its darkest periods in recent history.

The exhibition will address the most relevant features of Portugal's economic and social situation, prominent among which are privatisations, the plunder of national assets, rising poverty and social exclusion, the onslaught against the rights of working people and pensioners, and the debasement of the democratic regime.

Right-wing and national decline policies have their unavoidable culprits: the PS, PSD and CDS governments – and it is also impossible to hide their intention to continue on the same road toward greater exploitation and social retrogression.

Basing itself on workers' and people's struggles against right-wing policies, the exhibition stands for new policies, with alternatives to the fetters currently hindering Portugal's national sovereignty and development. It also addresses the key points of the PCP's electoral programme “For Portugal with a Future”, highlighting the Party's role, its struggle, its work, and how important it is to strengthen the PCP, and the CDU [electoral coalition] so as to secure patriotic and left-wing policies for Portugal.

The Central Area will also host some 30 debates on current national and international events that will be held during the "Avante!" Festival. A political highlight will be the Festival's rally, which will be addressed by Party General Secretary Jerónimo De Sousa, “Avante!” director Manuel Rodrigues, and JCP leader Elsa Severino.

In the International Area, the theme will be “Rights, Sovereignty, Peace – Anti-imperialist Solidarity”. In this year, on the 70th anniversary of the victory over nazi-fascism and the end of world war II, peoples' resistance and struggle will be celebrated, and the dangers and potential of the current moment highlighted.

Dozens of Communist Parties and other progressive organisations will be present at the Festival, and Portugal's communists will convey their fraternal solidarity, with events in solidarity with the peoples of Cuba, Palestine, Ukraine, Venezuela and Western Sahara.

The "Avante!" Festival will also include important exhibitions. The 19th Fine Arts Biennale, that already has a significant number of applications (open until 21 June). The event is open to all works and arts, specifically drawing. sculpture, photography, engraving, painting and video.

In the Arts Area there will also be an Urban art exhibition. After taking over spaces in public areas, street artists have begun to also participate in exhibitions and in urban rehabilitation projects.

The Science Area's theme this year will be Light, and its motto “Festival – Struggle, Light, Future”, marking the International Year of Light. This topic has great potential, as will be shown by the presence of very diverse fields, including biology, astronomy, physics, social sciences, as well as art and humanities
The Festival will also host a very broad and diverse range of performances, all kinds of music and concerts, dozens of expressions of art and culture, on the 10 stages installed all over the grounds.

Just a word about the New Values Stage (next to the Youth Area) that will host the winning bands from all the contests held by JCP all over Portugal. Over 100 bands performed in 37 elimination stages and 10 finals, involving thousands of young people. The New Values Stage is a must-see for all those who want to learn about new Portuguese music.

Theatre and the performing arts will also be prominent in the festival, at the “Avanteatro”. This year, the Bando [“Gang”] group will perform “In Name of the Earth”, “Afonso Henriques” [founder of Portugal, in the 12th century] and “Imaginary Lord”, the Almada Theatre Company will perform “The Mandarin”, The Teatroensaio group will perform “Transhumance”. The Almada Dance Company will also perform.

At “CineAvante”, Portuguese cinema will be prominent: Sérgio Tréfaut's “Alentejo, Alentejo”, Jorge Pelicano's *Suddenly my thoughts stopped”, António-Pedro Vasconcelos's “Cats don't have vertigo”, as well as “River labour on the Douro” and “The old man from Restelo” by Manoel Oliveira {recently deceased at age 106].

The "Avante!" Festival will also host the Book Festival, with book launches and autograph sessions, as well as a diverse Food Tour with dishes from our regional cuisine. There will also be sports events involving thousands of athletes of all ages competing in 30 different sports (including both regular competitors and high-level athletes) representing hundreds of local associations and clubs. The high point is the Festival Race on 6 September, with starting line at Amora park and finish line 10.2 Km later, inside the Festival grounds.

The "Avante!" Festival is a mirror of real life from every region of Portugal, their culture, food, handicrafts, the work and participation of PCP local organisations, the struggles of working people and local communities.

The Festival continues to grow and become more prominent, benefitting from its magnificent venue at Atalaia Farm, with its excellent conditions to welcome many thousands of visitors. Next year, on the Festival's 40th anniversary, it will become even better and larger, with the addition of adjacent grounds from Cabo Farm.

At the Festival you can find and experience the might of the people, the people that build it, that are involved and make it their own, and that after nearly 40 years of "Avante!" Festival continue to guarantee its future. Because “There is no Festival like this one” [traditional "Avante!" Festival motto].

  • Central
  • Cuba
  • Israel
  • Middle East
  • Palestine
  • Peace
  • Ukraine
  • USA
  • Venezuela
  • War