Ruben de Carvalho(21 July, 1944 - 11 June, 2019)
Intellectual, Fado lover, journalist and communist activist, Ruben Luís Tristão de Carvalho e Silva was born in Lisbon, on 21 July 1944.
From an early age concerned with the anti-fascist struggle, Ruben de Carvalho was a member of the youth committees in support of General Humberto Delgado's candidacy in 1958, and from 1961 to 1964, as a student, was a member of the Board of the Pro-Association of High School Students and the National Student Day Commission.
In Higher Education, he was part of the academic struggle of 1962, having joined the Board of the Pro-Association of Students Committee of the Faculty of Arts of Lisbon the following year and, later, he was a member of the Inter-Associations Meeting. He was also an activist of the Democratic Opposition in the "elections" for the National Assembly in the years 1961, 1965 and 1973, having been part of the Central Commission of the Democratic Electoral Commission in the latter.
His constant and active presence in student movements led him to be incessantly persecuted by PIDE, having been arrested in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965/66 and on April 7, 1974 and, according to him, “introduced to all the prisons of Fascism”.
His contribution to Portuguese politics was vast. A PCP militant since 1970, he was a Party employee between 1974 and 1997, where he held, among others, the position of Editor-in-Chief of “Avante!” and member of the Executive of the National Commission for the “Avante!” Festival, since its first edition, in 1976. The name of Ruben de Carvalho became inseparable from this festival due to his outstanding intervention in the choice of cultural programming and organization/conception of its musical performances.
He was also deputy of the Assembly of the Republic – elected by the Setúbal constituency in 1995-, councilor of the Setúbal City Council (1995) and of the Lisbon City Council (between 2005 and 2013), where he was responsible for the Antifascism Route. He was also a member of the Executive Committee for the 25th Anniversary of the 25th of April, appointed by the President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio.
As a journalist, he worked in “O Século” for several years and collaborated with several publications such as “Seara Nova”, “Notícias da Amadora”, “O Diário”, “Diário de Lisboa”, “Século Ilustrado”, “Contraste” , “JL”, “O Militante”, “Politika”, “History”, “World Life”, “The Capital”, and “Expresso”. He was a columnist for “Diário de Notícias” and a commentator for SIC Notícias and, between 1986 and 1990, he directed the local radio station “Telefonia de Lisboa”, where he produced and directed several programs. He was a member of the Opinion Council of RTP in 2002 and produced, since 2009, the program “Crónicas da Idade Mídia”.
Throughout his life, he wrote several books and prefaced several works. His authorship includes “Dossier Carlucci-CIA”, “Festas de Lisboa”, “Seis Canções da Guerra de Espanha”, “As Músicas do Fado”, “Um Século de Fado”, “Histórias do Fado”, these three last ones of enormous importance for the understanding of this musical genre. As a producer of records and shows, he was responsible for bringing big international names like Pete Seeger, Chico Buarque and Dexys Midnight Runners for the first time to Portugal.
Another of his contributions to the Culture of Lisbon was as a member of the Executive Committee of "Festas de Lisboa" and of the Municipal Committee for the Preparation of “LISBON 94 - European Capital of Culture”, where he was in charge of curating the areas of Popular Music and Editions and Artistic director, appointed by Lisbon City Council, of the "Festival das Músicas e Portos" (1999). He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Centro Cultural de Belém.
Awarded on May 24, 1995 with the Order of the Order of Infante D. Henrique, awarded by the President of the Republic, Mário Soares, Ruben de Carvalho died years later, on June 11, 2019, at the Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon, victim of health complications that required hospitalization.
Ruben de Carvalho's legacy not only passed through the indelible mark it left on the anti-fascist resistance, but also through Culture and the Arts. For this contribution, the Municipality of Lisbon decided to give the name Ruben de Carvalho to the auditorium of the Fado Museum, in a solemn ceremony that took place on 21 July 2021 and was attended by family and friends, the Secretary General from the Portuguese Communist Party, Jerónimo de Sousa, the Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina and the Prime Minister, António Costa.