Imagine yourself, alone, in the sumptuous corridors of the Palais Garnier - which has been hosting, since 1875, the Paris Opera, founded in 1669 by Louis XIV and one of the most renowned in the world. It seems impossible, doesn't it? No. Now that we are confined to the sound of our four walls, the Company makes its most unforgettable ballets and operas available to the public, free of charge, through its website. A very rich archive, which includes Don Giovanni, Carmen or The Swan Lake, besides a cycle of symphonies by Tchaïkovski. Until May 3, the schedule is defined. After that, who knows, because nowadays we really live "one day at a time." More information at https://www.operadeparis.fr/en. And since we have time, why not get lost in Casa Azul, the museum-house of Frida Kahlo - which is physically located in a very typical street in Mexico City, but which is now at a distance of a click, thanks to Google Arts & Culture? It was here that the artist “was born, lived, and gave the last breath”, and her presence is still felt in every corner, whether by the innumerable personal objects (dresses, makeup, accessories) carefully preserved, or by the exotic, brutal, cheerful décor. In July it will be 66 years since she disappeared, but Frida, eternal symbol of freedom and resistance, remains very much alive. The Museo Frida Kahlo is proof of that. Discover it here: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/museo-frida-kahlo. Other things to discover, which have as much to do with freedom (namely freedom of expression) as with this magazine you have in your hands: the Life Magazine catalog, undoubtedly one of the most interesting documents of the old twentieth century. The publication, which had its golden years between 1936 and 1972, followed all major events, personalities and fait-divers, reached all audiences, photographed all, and with all, the geniuses, made the most unimaginable landscapes on the planet known, spread hope (that D-day kiss in Times Square was published in Life), and gave voice to writers like Joan Didion's. We can only thank this pause for getting lost in this virtual trip. You choose, here: https://www.life.com/. But because we are not all on the same wavelength, hiking is also possible. Without leaving the couch. This is the idea of Google Treks, which allows you to travel through some of the most remote areas of the globe without letting go. From the Grand Canyon, in the United States, to Petra, in Jordan, through Mount Fuji, in Japan, this is the right time to plan the adventure that you will have in a few months, when all this is just a bad dream. Because that's what will happen. Choose the best angles for your (future) photos with 500 likes on this site: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/about/treks/#/grid. And good trips.
Never, not even in our wetest dreams, did we imagine that we would ever have so much time for Netflix and chill. Well, here it is. A huge, gigantic, stupid, almost irrational, infinite black hole - of time. It is likely that after this (we will try not to include the “C” word in each and every text) we will be able to reach the end of the lists of films and series provided by the different streaming platforms with nothing else to explore. Because one thing is to accumulate binge watching desires, another is to be at home, pajama all day, and press play as soon as our working hours reaches its end. Having written this, and because we know it is almost impossible not to return, and review, the usual culprits - Friends, Sex And The City, Mad Men, Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks, The Sopranos - there are newer things that are worth a look. Or try. And no, we're not talking about the 67th season of Gray’s Anatomy - but we’re not judging either. Better Call Saul, American Crime Story, Shameless, The Handmaid's Tale, After Life are some of the series with a quality seal that you should see: it's almost impossible not to be stuck with Bob Odenkirk's (brilliant, we should say) performance as the infamous Saul Goodman; the true stories told by producer Ryan Murphy and company (it was from this group that The Assassination Of Gianni Versace came out); the madness of an unconventional family, who spends his life in bars, led by his firstborn, Fiona; to the dystopia experienced by Offred (masterfully interpreted by Elisabeth Moss), a show adapted from a Margaret Atwood's novel; and punch in the stomach that it is After Life, created, produced and performed by Ricky Gervais (and whose theme, death, is portrayed with a sensitivity that we did not yet know in the British artist). Let us leave space, too, for other titles that are sometimes overlooked. Peaky Blinders, Bloodline, Grace And Frankie, The Affair, Luther, Mindhunter, Sense 8... Do we need to mention Narcos, House of Cards or Orange Is The New Black? Nah... And movies? How are we when it comes to movies? Well, maybe we’re in bad shape, with the amount of good documentaries out there. HBO just released Kill Chain: The Cyber War On America’s Elections, which proves (once again) that the American electoral system is highly penetrable. Netflix, on the other hand, has one of the most relevant docuseries right now: Pandemic: How To Prevent An Outbreak, which depicts the front line to stop a series of pandemics. In another spectrum we find Knock Down The House, about a group of women who stood out in American politics, and Feminists: What Were They Thinking?, about the history of feminist struggle. To end this cycle with a flourish, let us return to the classics that made us swear eternal love to the seventh art - and to others, to so many, loves ... Because any glass of wine, any evening, is better in the company of The Godfather, the epic saga Before Dawn, the four hours of Gone With The Wind, the absurd (but beautiful, but absurd) love of Annie Hall, from the cold terror of Psycho, from the magic, and from the dream, from Amélie. See you at the movies. At home.
We have time. We have much more time. The hours, which seem to scarce in the pre-quarantine days, are now somewhat elastic. Let us then seat in that hole in the sofa that already knows the contours of our body, and loose ourselves. Let us take some time, time which always eludes us, to learn more about freedom, in all its forms. This may not even be the top 10 to end all the top 10 but we believe that these books - even more so now - can help to unravel what we have been doing with our freedom.
1- The Candy Book of Transversal Creativity: The Best of Candy Magazine, Allegedly, de Luis Venegas, Rizzoli (2020), € 70.
2- 1984, de George Orwell, Penguin Books (2013) € 9.
3- Brave New World, de Aldous Huxley, Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2004), € 11,36.
4- Fahrenheit 451, de Ray Bradbury, Simon & Schuster (2012), € 16,73.
5- Man Searching For Meaning, de Viktor E. Frankl, Ebury Publishing (2004), € 9,94.
6- We Can't Do This Alone: Jefferson Hack the System, Jefferson Hack, Rizzoli (2016), € 65.
7- Of Love & War, de Lynsey Addario, Penguin Press (2018), € 18.
8- A Desobediência Civil, de Henry David Thoreau, Antígona (2015), € 9,10.
9- O Delfim, de José Cardoso Pires, BIS (2010), € 5,10.
10- 25 De Abril, 45 Anos, de Alfredo Cunha, Tinta da China (2019), € 14,90.
It was transported to the United States of America in 300 pieces, distributed by 214 boxes, in a boat that was on the verge of sinking due to the tumultuous waters. Four months after its success, The Statue of Liberty Illuminating the World opened in New York, more precisely on the Island of Liberty, on October 28, 1886. Today, we know it simply as the Statue of Liberty - and despite its coppery tone has faded to a greenish color, its meaning has withstood all the tests of time. A greater symbol of liberation, the statue offered by France to the United States represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. The seven thorns in its crown symbolize the seven seas and the seven continents of the world, translating a universal concept of freedom. Their feet are positioned on top of a broken handcuff and chain, with the right raised, depicting the refusal of oppression and slavery. It is one of the greatest symbols of freedom, but he is not the only one - after all, from culture to art, through music, cinema, literature and poetry, human beings have never spared praise for what is one of their most powerful and fragile rights. In Berlin, the remains of the wall that divided the German capital for 28 years still remain intact. In Paris, the Bastille, one of the landmarks of the French revolution of 1798, which took place under the motto “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) and the place where, in 1830, Colonne de Julliet was built as a tribute to the revolution. In Lisbon, the obelisk of Restauradores, located in the square with the same name, was inaugurated in 1886 and commemorates the Portuguese liberation from the Spanish rule. In Pretoria, Freedom Park, a memorial built in honor of all those who fought for a freer and more democratic South Africa. In Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell, the famous bell of the American revolution, which rang to call the inhabitants of the city when the Declaration of Independence was first read in public, and in which is inscribed the following sentence in the Bible: “Let us proclaim Freedom throughout the land until all its inhabitants ”.
These same concepts - freedom of speech, religious freedom, freedom to have an adequate standard of living and freedom to live without fear - inspired artist Norman Rockwell to paint Franklin D. Roosevelt's four freedoms, based on his own perspective of them: perspective that gave rise to the series The Four Freedoms, recently revisited by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur, who recreated the scenarios originally portrayed by Rockwell to convey a more diverse, more inclusive, more complex sense of freedom. From Bob Dylan's Chimes of Freedom to Queen's I Want To Break Free, not to mention Freedom! '90 by George Michael, music also composed his pieces of art in the name of freedom, creating liberation hymns that continue to echo today. From cinema to literature and poetry, freedom was also addressed to some of the most passionate and passionate love letters - after all, she is the one we all want. But of all the symbols, it is possible that this is the most genuine: the red carnation, the flower of our democracy, of our revolution, of our freedom. The one we want to continue to build on every April 25th - and every other day. Today and always.
This article was originally published in Vogue Portugal's Freedom issue, from April 2020.
Para ler este artigo em português, veja a edição de Liberdade da Vogue Portugal.