What is commemorated?

The celebration of the Bicentenary of the Process of Uruguayan Emancipation is framed by a spirit of freedom, equality, justice and solidarity, to summon all Uruguayan beyond all borders to remember a moment of our history and project our future together. These fundamental values will allow us to re-think our identity by remembering those facts that, during the year 1811, took part of the regional processes that determined, by means of the different essays of political organizations, the founding of our country and the other republics in the region. There year of commemoration will allow us to reinsure our sense of belonging as Uruguayan society and ensure the integration of the diverse identities that characterize us. All of this adds to the idea of the building of a republic, as one of fundamentals for the traditional Artigas ideals, which we wish to sustain in the present.

Because these values come from our historical past, they are still valid in our present days, and inspire us for building a more integrating, prosperous and modern future.

In the commemoration, we will remember events as they were in 1811, the “Grito de Asencio” which was the beginning of the insurrection in this side of the Uruguay river (28th February), the Proclamation of José Artigas to his Countrymen from the Mercedes General Quarters (11th April), the Battle of Las Piedras (18th May) which resulted in the the Montevideo city site, the Assembly in the “Quinta de la Paraguaya” in which José Artigas was elected as “Jefe de los Orientales” (Chief of the Uruguayans, 10th to 23th October) and the ending with the “Éxodo” between the 23rd October and the first weeks of December when the Uruguayans finally crossed the Uruguay river to settle in the Ayuí.

We expect the participation of the main representatives of the thinking and political construction processes. The labor and education authorities, the main actors of the artistic creation in all their manifestations, sports and local communities’ representatives and the Uruguayans abroad.

The celebrations will strengthen our identity because we propose to think through our long 200 year quest to reach who we are. It will be an opportunity to reinsure the respect for our differences, as well as a possibility to find factors in our community that allow us to participate in diverse social processes. As it happened during the ”Éxodo”, in which men and women of the city, from the villages and the countryside, traders and landlords, slaves and free negroes, zambos, poor creoles and Indians, incorporated to the colonial society or in their autonomous communities, they found in this social and political processes, an opportunity to protect their possessions, find a space for political power, change their condition or participate in the hope for freedom.

Freedom, equality, justice and solidarity and the principles that integrate us because we respect the different conceptions that each inhabitant has, and because they allow us to enjoy, unafraid of discrepancies, the coexistence and collective construction.

So, the celebration of the Bicentenary will be for each and every one of us, whatever their ideals, individual beliefs and different ways to interpret our history. It will be a time in which every citizen will be able to look at themselves, ponder on that which makes them equal and allows them to live integrated in the Uruguayan community inside and outside the country.

A story for reflection:

The processes that ended up with the formation of our country have built our way of thinking and cultural habits that identify with our character and a national culture. This center of ideas and common feelings is the one that consolidates us in diversity and union. It has given us the integrity and bravery necessary for the following generations of Uruguayans to, throughout the time, overcome many adverse situations.

For all these reasons, it is important to think about our history¸ see those facts that some consider the founding pillars of our nationality, and others see as part of the diverse processes of organization of the states in the River Plate region, recuperate the different ethnical and social identities of the people who participated in the revolution in multiple ways, generate a critical thinking for the past, debate with respect for all opinions and individual visions and, finally, the importance of divulging our particularities that characterize us and make us so proud.

A present to live:

In these 200 years we have built a society with a sense of belonging to our ground, to our past and to certain cultural behaviors common to us, “that allow us to be, in similar but slightly different ways, according to the vision each has of the world”

We understand nowadays, that it is necessary to strengthen this feeling, embrace the freedom, independence and permanent shaping of our collective being: give this sense to the celebrations, in the ways of respect, diversity, enjoyment and commitment from the citizens to the present he is part of.

For this reasons we must celebrate, respect the diversity of our communities, groups and people¸ appreciate the constant changes for they will let us continue developing as a society with our own cultural characteristics.

A future to project:

The opportunities to rebuild and transform demand adaptation to changes, to recognize that we live in a country others built, as we build it for the future generations. Also, this opportunities demand a collective attitude of participation and recognition in that which we have in common, that identifies and distinguishes us, but that also unites us to other peoples in the region, in the continent and in the world, in the time of the Bicentenary of those processes that moved Europe and America during a few years.

The future as a creation from the present, as seen in the historical past we need to revalue, it is possible with the participation of everyone. We will be, and we will continuously transform, without losing the collective personality or the republican coexistence.

Therefore, for a growing country, it is also important to forge work possibilities, to have motives for hope, to educate for a critical thinking, autonomous and with a future, to develop research, innovation, justice and respect for each individual and for the diversity in all aspects of our social life.

The celebration of the Bicentenary of the Process of Uruguayan Emancipation is framed by a spirit of freedom, equality, justice and solidarity, to summon all Uruguayan beyond all borders to remember a moment of our history and project our future together.

Bicentenary Commission

www.bicentenario.uy