for the Bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence
There is no doubt that the Revolution is a seminal event in the history of modern Greece, but the international public knows very little about it. the five-year planning of Exodus until the Bicentennial of the Sortie of the Guards of Messolonghi is the ideal opportunity to renew international interest in the Greek War of Independence and its significance in the evolution of European thought, art, and ethical attitudes towards human freedom and dignity.
Exodus will highlight the global character and significance of the fatal siege of Messolonghi. The Sacred City of Messolonghi became the capital of philhellenism. The self-sacrifice of Lord Byron in Messolonghi and the heroic death of thousands of warriors and civilians during the Exodus in April 1826 caused a real crusade among the civilized peoples of Europe. The fall of Messolonghi was a military disaster, but it laid the foundations for the final Greek victory. The Europeans realized the need for immediate assistance and support to the Greeks.
Exodus will promote the Greeks who stood out globally over the last two centuries. Throughout the 19th century, Messolonghi provided Greece with prominent politicians and writers who defined the character and image of the country at a national and European level. The third contribution of Exodus is to highlight the dynamic elements of the contemporary society of Messolonghi. The city has the potential to become a hub of creativity and innovation that will contribute to the development of the wider region and will prevent the loss of the most dynamic and educated people.
Under the general umbrella “1821-2021: The City of Freedom”, Exodus will invest in the legacy of Messolonghi to achieve maximum international visibility for modern Greece. It will have an active presence in international exhibitions and organisations that strive to secure the global advancement of the ideals of the Sortie of the Guards. At a time of widespread threats to human dignity and freedom, Exodus is the springboard for a renegotiation of human relations with power and a reminder of the hard work and unwavering vigilance needed to defend freedom locally, nationally, and internationally.
Equally important is the contribution of Exodus to the formulation of a new vision for the country’s future and regional development prospects. The strategic planning includes many actions that highlight how we imagine the future of Greece over the coming decades. These actions will target both domestic and international audiences with scientific conferences, cultural events, professional and trade exhibitions, environmental interventions, development of local and regional infrastructure that will endow the local society with a legacy for the future.
International scientific conferences and various summer schools will turn Messolonghi into a centre of intellectual activity. Academic tourism is guaranteed to project local advantages to a global, educated, cultured, and dynamic audience, which can define and influence the international reception of the city and its potential. The twinning with cities abroad (with emphasis on the birthplace of the philhellenes who fought in Messolonghi) will contribute to the formation of a network of cities and the development of strong commercial and cultural ties.
Student mobility, the transfer of know-how and best practices, the promotion of local products and culture through innovative technology, and a comprehensive digital information campaign at a national and international level will increase the number of visitors with multiple benefits for the local and regional economy. Numerous planned urban interventions will improve the citizens’ daily life and enhance the experience of the visitors to the Sacred City of Messolonghi by promoting its history, the ecological wealth of the enchanting lagoon, and the delicious features of the local culinary tradition.