This represents the Carnation Revolution of 1974, when the Portugese nation freed itself from a fascist, repressive government. Portugal had traditionally been ruled by "100 families" who, with the church, controlled all the land and the wealth. The revolution was led by Army officers disenchanted by the violent wars in the colonies of Angola and Mozambique who decided to take over the country and bring in democratic processes. The poorly-dressed child is placing the carnation of revolution into a gun barrel held by 3 hands - the army and the workers in agriculture and industry.
The broadcasting of 'Grandola' written and sung by the folk singer Jose Alfonso, at midnight on national radio, signalled all was in place for the coup. Overnight the country moved to an excited discussion of its future, with our students, learning English at the British Institure, thrilled that they could now talk about politics. There were some years of chaos and indecision until Portugal emerged as a proudly democratic country. For me this represents the excitement of being in a country at a vital point in its history and reminds me how we too often take democracy and freedom of speech for granted.