Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

246 projects for the Centennial of the trip of Magallanes and Elcano

Fiction and cinema increasingly contribute to getting used to seeing incredible stories without questioning if they could be done and how. An example of this is the exploration of outer space or coexistence with extraterrestrial beings. A series of adventures and exploits that fill the cinemas and put them into practice in real life is a little more uphill. And it is these situations that, at times, make us forget that in history there have been people who have performed deeds of such magnitude that they have been able to change the conception of the world. This is the case of the expedition of Fernando de Magallanes and Juan Sebastián Elcano, the first circumnavigation of the planet that now celebrates its V Centennial. And this expansion of the language, culture, species and spices that occurred 500 years ago is reason enough to celebrate and commemorate: the National Commission of the V Centennial, through the Ministry of Culture and Sports, present the official program of activities that will take place until 2020 about this feat that changed the paradigm of the world known until then.

The common thread of this project combines two concepts: universalization and celebration. That is, to remember with pride this circumnavigation through the reflection that it produced and the progress with respect to the creation of a more global identity. "The program consists of 246 projects of great variety", assured Camilo Vázquez Bello, secretary of the National Commission V Centenario Magallanes-Elcano. In this way, these activities "will be of different sizes and profiles that seek to cover as much as possible no longer on a Spanish level but internationally," added Vázquez. Between them, there is the exhibition "The longest trip", which will be inaugurated on September 12th by the Acción Cultural Española AC / E) and which will host the Archivo General de Indias de Sevilla. In this exhibition 106 pieces will be presented "with the aim of disseminating and disseminating this series of trips that transformed the world", explained Antonio Fernández Torres -director of the project and co-curator of the exhibition-, and added that the structure is divided into six areas: Dream, Departure, Exploration, Destination, Return and Transformation.

"The program has three main characteristics: it is open, inclusive and multidisciplinary," said Vázquez. Open, because it goes beyond the Spanish borders and its activities will last until 2022. Inclusive, because it looks for everyone to feel involved. And multidisciplinary, "Since it encompasses all aspects of everyday life, from the cultural to the academic or the nautical," added the director of the Commission. With this base, two dates stand out: On August 10, Seville will host a series of events commemorating the departure of the expedition from that city. Among other activities, there will be a military parade, a flag raising by the Spanish Navy, as well as a concert at the Real Alcázar and dramatized visits. On the other hand, On September 20 there will be a new day of events, but this time in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, another of the key cities of this great expedition.

Music, theater, parades, art and celebration. All this in a wide program that can be consulted in the official website of the V Centenario ( and that covers all kinds of activities. For example, it is striking "Cosmopolitan Garden", a proposal that shows the circumnavigation through the botanical places of Seville, having discovered plants in this city that originated from the seeds that arrived with the expedition.

The stories of those who returned

One of the collaborators of this experience that has been brewing since 2017 has been Tomás Mazón Serrano, author of the specialized blog "Ruta Elcano: The first round the world". This engineer has invited to focus the focus of attention not only on Magallanes and Elcano, but also on those crew and survivors who told their story. Before a process of documentation that has investigated more than 200 pieces, Mazón has highlighted, among others, the story of Vasquito, a child who was part of the crew and survived the whole adventure, as well as Gonzalo Gómez de Espinosa, one of the four crew members of the Nao Trinidad who arrived in Spain 5 years after sailing. "They are stories that reconcile you with humanity," said Mazón, "everything that happened and all the decisions that were made, for better or for worse, have a justification found in these documents."

For its part, the international aspect of the program stands out: with the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and the Cooperation of different Embassies, the commemoration project will have activities that will be held "in the same places and on the same dates which was reached in the expedition of Magallanes, "said Ignacio Horcado Rubio, Vice Admiral of the Ministry of Defense and member of the V Centennial ministerial committee. That is to say, conferences and events will take place in the countries directly involved in the circumnavigation route, such as Portugal, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, the American island of Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Cape Verde, among others.

The project, which has had around 200 million euros – open figure between public and private money – is necessary to spread to the public both Spanish and international a story to be proud of. That of an expedition that spread the Spanish language around the world, that started a global conception and identity and matured the theory that the planet is round. The first round the world turns 500 years old. The expedition that made it possible to know what we know of the world today celebrates its V Centennial to remember, first of all, that it was a story of people, and not a science fiction movie.

(tagsToTranslate) concha garcía

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