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Explanation of the Bicentennial Generation in Peru

Citizens participated in protests as political crisis deepened in Peru. Photo: ANDINA/Renato Pajuelo

Citizens participated in protests as political crisis deepened in Peru. Photo: ANDINA/Renato Pajuelo

15:00 | Lima, Nov. 20.

During the recent protests that ended the regime of Manuel Merino, the term "Generacion del Bicentenario" (Bicentennial Generation) emerged to describe the crowd —made up mostly of young people who marched in Lima and other regions throughout the country.

Below is an explanation of the term.

In an interview with Andina news agency, sociologist Noelia Chavez —who created the term at the height of the demonstrations— explained that it refers to a political narrative. It is a politically powerful term that helped create an identity used among the people who protested in defense of democracy.

"I think that the Bicentennial lacked a narrative to give it a meaning. We were going to have a sad Bicentennial celebration because of history and the country's shortcomings. Social mobilization ended up helping redefine the Bicentennial, as well as the multiple generations that have risen up to defend democratic and civic values throughout history," she said.


Who makes up this generation?

According to Chavez, the term can help understand the identity of those who march and protest: they are mostly young people who are different from one another.

"A characteristic of this generation may be its incredible diversity. They represent different autonomous groups merging in different spaces of the city and country," the expert explained. 

"Further research is required, as well as a monitoring to see who they are within this diversity," she added.

According to Chavez, after experiencing a traumatic situation —which combined health and political crises— citizens experienced a moral shock that involved a need to change things and defend democracy, though fragile.

They were joined by people over the age of 30, both in the streets and in pot-banging protests from their houses: fathers, mothers, grandmothers, and grandfathers joined the cause.

"This occurred all over the country. We have to be careful in saying that the generation is made up of young people aged 15-29. This generation is driven by young people who came out with new repertoires of collective action —which encourage other generations— and come together in the outbreak of the protest," she stated.

(END) VVS/RMB/MVB

Published: 11/20/2020
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