Agostinho da Silva

13 February 2021

In 1906, #inthisday 13 of February was born, one of the most outstanding Portuguese thinkers of the 20th century: George Agostinho Baptista da Silva.

After studying in Porto, passing through Paris and returning to Portugal, we found Agostinho da Silva at Liceu José Estêvão in Aveiro. It was 1935, the year in which Decree 27.003 was issued – which obliged state officials to assert themselves as part of the Estado Novo and repudiated by communism and other subversive ideas. Agostinho da Silva refuses to sign the declaration and is dismissed from the Civil Service. He moves to Spain, where he remains until the beginning of the Civil War, returning to Lisbon and teaching at Colégio Infante Sagres. Among the collaborations at “Seara Nova”, the social gatherings and the changes that he is implementing in the education system at Infante Sagres, in 1940 Agostinho da Silva begins – with the collaboration of Fernando Raul – the writing, editing and distribution of the Cadernos de Informação Cultural , seen as an affront to the regime’s educational program.

He is arrested on July 24, 1943, for inquiries, and sent to Aljube, where he remains incommunicado for 18 days. After he was released, he was sentenced to a fixed residence sentence in Portimão. He went into exile in Latin America in 1944, settling in Brazil between 1947 and 1969, the year he returned to Portugal. After April 25, 1974, he returned to teaching at several Portuguese universities, directed the Center for Latin American Studies at the Technical University of Lisbon and worked as a consultant for the Institute of Culture and Portuguese Language (current Instituto Camões).

Agostinho da Silva died in 1994, at the age of 88.

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