Vegetarians would probably disagree, but it was hard to resist the smell of grilled meat coming out from the Uruguay Pavilion. In fact, the Country had focused on its specialty – that, for goodness, contended the primacy with Argentina and Brazil – to attract the lovers of asado (the mixed grilled meat regularly found on Sunday tables in Uruguayan homes) to the Pavilion. At the Uruguay Natural Parilla Gourmet Restaurant, that every day received an average of 500 diners, the grilled meat provided by the National Institute of Meat and cooked by chefs Tomás Bartesaghi, Eduardo Iturralde,Rodrigo Fernández and Agustín Urrust – was the main attraction. Even the red wine and olive oil used were strictly Uruguayan. However, the gastronomic offering was also an opportunity to explain that all cattle are fully tracked in the South American country, the animal farms are open-air and they are fed in natural pastures without using hormones or chemical treatments.
Four key objectives
The ‘agro-intelligent’ production was only one of the four themes around which the Pavilion is organized. The others were renewable energy, education and human rights. These themes were introduced starting from the entrance route to the Pavilion – immersed in a garden – through four cylindrical structures on which the objectives of Uruguay in the short term were briefly illustrated: reach 95 percent of renewable energy, and to provide every pupil in Uruguay with a tablet. 3D Viewers were available to visitors offering them an experience in Cabo Polonio, a coastal town where there is no electricity and that is a unique tourist attraction. The heart of the pavilion was the immersive video projected on the first floor, accessed via a 30-meter ramp with sounds and noises from Uruguay.
The short film, a dialogue between generations
The video, filmed in 4k, was projected on screens with robotic arms arranged around the public.
A kind of dialogue between generations was staged: a grandfather, who emigrated to Uruguay from Italy when he was young, told his granddaughter about the great progress made by the country in agriculture and production and the guarantee of free education to young people which has been mandatory since 1877 at the behest of Jose Pedro Varela. The current results were shown as being the outcome of the commitment and hard work of the Uruguayan people that, despite the daily difficulties, continue to be joyful and to enjoy life. An example? The great passion for football that unites all Uruguayans.