La Ciudad de los Libros, una utopía mecanizada

Por Rebeca Barquera

Ya de lejos se puede oler. Huele a libros viejos. El aroma del cuero, el perfume de la tinta de imprenta, el olor de las hojas que esperan a que nuestros dedos las toquen para compartir sus saberes olvidados… Los invito a que me acompañen, no sin antes advertirles que hablo de un lugar donde leer te puede llevar a la locura; donde los libros te pueden herir o encantar. Sólo aquellos realmente dispuestos a correr el riesgo deberán continuar leyendo…

La Ciudad de los Libros y la Imagen es uno de los proyectos más ambiciosos que se han desarrollado durante la gestión de Consuelo Sáizar al frente del Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.

Tras ocho meses de trabajo casi se concluye la restauración del edificio de la Biblioteca José Vasconcelos en la zona conocida como La Ciudadela, lo que da pie para que se comience la construcción del teatro Antonieta Rivas Mercado el cual contará con una capacidad para 200 personas dentro de una infraestructura de gradas replegables y un escenario movible para que se pueda adecuar a cualquier tipo de presentación. Además, tendrá un vestíbulo que bien podrá ser aprovechado para realizar eventos y exposiciones.

Asimismo, el proyecto planea la construcción de la cafetería Nellie Campobello en el patio central; un espacio infantil con ludoteca, bebeteca, sala braile y espacio para cuentacuentos; y la Librería Educal “Alejandro Rossi” que contará con dos secciones: una para el público en general, y otra especialmente diseñada para los infantes. Además, se tiene previsto añadir espacio para albergar las bibliotecas personales de José Luis Martínez, Antonio Castro Leal, Jaime García Terrés, Alí Chumacero y Carlos Monsiváis.

Cabe destacar que en esta Ciudad los artistas tendrán grata presencia ya que habrá varias intervenciones plásticas. Dentro del teatro experimental, por ejemplo, habrá un mural del Dr. Lakra; en el centro de la cafetería estará una obra del artista holandés Jan Hendrix que será creada a partir de plantas de tabaco (un giño al pasado de la ciudadela como fábrica tabacalera); a partir de una propuesta de Ariel Rojo, en la librería habrá luminarias en forma de libros que acompañarán nuestro vuelo al conocimiento; y, en el gran espacio infantil, se colocarán varias propuestas plásticas de la pintora Magali Lara.

Sí, el espacio será una verdadera Ciudad de Libros, un espacio en el que se entremezclarán las diversas realidades que la literatura propone para crear una nueva sociedad, una utópica. Pero, ¿por qué las utopías se conciben como ciudades?, mejor: ¿por qué las ciudades se piensan utópicamente?

Lo anterior es algo que se han preguntado muchos filósofos, arquitectos, historiadores, algo para lo cual no daremos respuesta en estas líneas. Simplemente pensamos que quizá lo que se intenta es que este contenedor físico, este edificio restaurado, sea el equivalente de un modelo ideal, es decir, se trata de que las ideas, planos y reformas de los arquitectos Alejandro Sánchez y Bernardo Gómez Pimienta conformen un orden distinto, un escenario diferente del que podamos apropiarnos.

En dicho sentido, el objetivo es que la utopía logre ser habitada, que ofrezca una zona cómoda, agradable y accesible para los usuarios, tanto para los que tengan largas sesiones de trabajo como para los que hagan visitas ocasionales.

Como sociedad, siempre hemos estado en busca de una nueva Edad de Oro. La propuesta es una ciudad cerrada sobre sí misma, autosuficiente y, de alguna manera, independiente. Es la representación, la mímesis, de la ciudad en la que vivimos, pero en un orden distinto.

Se suma, pues, la Imagen a la utopía. Se incluirá entonces la creación de una nueva bóveda en la Ciudad que triplicará el espacio actual para la conservación del archivo que resguarda el Centro de la Imagen desde 1994 en La Ciudadela. Dicho acervo está conformado por 45 mil piezas: 21 mil fotografías, 18 mil documentos y 8 mil 500 publicaciones especializadas.

Así, el acervo será digitalizado para formar parte del Cerebro de la Imagen mayormente conformado por películas y fotografías, y el cual se unirá al Cerebro de la Palabra (cuya sede estará en la Biblioteca Vasconcelos), así como al Cerebro del sonido, que se encuentra resguardado en la Fonoteca Nacional. Todos cerebros, máquinas que encierran dentro de sí distintos elementos; máquinas que hacen síntesis de lo heterogéneo.

La mente es una máquina de pensar. Cada uno de nosotros somos una biblioteca andante, cada engrane, cada resorte está organizado para llevar a cabo una función particular en un todo. Lo mismo sucede con estos cerebros. Hay división, especialización y regularidad del trabajo y cada uno guarda distintos tipos de información, de tradiciones que, sin embargo, se entrelazan y forman parte de una misma unidad, como la Biblioteca de Babel narrada por Borges.

Se dijo que La Ciudad de los Libros y la Imagen, sería el centro de un esfuerzo de preservación de la memoria y de atención a diversos grupos de población. Memoria no como un recurso individual sino como un recurso social, recurso en continua construcción que ayuda a conformar nuestra vida cotidiana. Bien dicen que la memoria se estructura en función de su presente y se interpreta de acuerdo con determinados intereses. En ese sentido, todos los elementos que conformen los acervos de los Cerebros se reinventarán con el paso del tiempo.

Y es justo esta capacidad de movilidad la que debemos fortalecer, ya que si esta Ciudad de los Libros se vuelve inmune al cambio se detendrá su propio proceso de autotransformación, es decir, si deja de ser útil, de ser habitada, de ser usada y adaptada a las necesidades de sus usuarios, se volverá un modelo de orden estático y controlado. Las ciudades surgen de forma natural en tanto que, como hombres, no podemos vivir solos. Pero ellas son también un artefacto humano en continua modificación, son obra de arte que busca siempre ser perfeccionada.

Es fácil hablar sobre lo perfecto, de lo ideal, cuando aún no están terminadas las cosas. Ahí donde se juntan sombras con sombras, donde los libros marcan distancias, es donde debemos estar presentes, para que esta utopía no se convierta en una distopía o en una kakotopía infernal. Debemos, como decía el arquitecto Wright, ver ésta ciudad siempre como un proyecto… como una obra interminable.

RMM/RB

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