Reading Bodies. Libraries as place for encounter
08.06.2016 – Reading Bodies. Libraries as place for encounter was a workshop developed by TIER in collaboration with A Public Library/The Public School Berlin and Bookcamping for the festival Readmagine, a collaboration between La Casa del Lector, Dirección General de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos de Madrid and Intermediae.
The project introduces the library as a place for encounter: encounter of new reading materials; as a content display trough its spatial design and the library as a social space, where the readers place the body to read and to share what they gather.
Libraries concentrate a common social space, where (re)production, circulation, and sharing of knowledge take place. Similar to exhibitions, they embody local and global histories. They are a meeting point and a point of departure. Reading Bodies intends to operate through these parallels as a reflective platform, focusing on the idea of the library —and the bodies who circulate in it— as a metaphor for social construction and its conflicts.
Public Libraries, as with other public institutions, are subject to changing societal and governmental structures and values. As custodians of public information and places of commonality, these entities offer access to knowledge to a wider audience. The recent socio-political shifts have proven the relevance of the bodies and voices coming together: if we consider libraries as condensers of social meaning, it might be pertinent to recall their potential as a place for encounter, sharing knowledge and experience within the framework of an exhibition.
The aim was focused on the assistance to the process of the starting collaboration between EVA Arganzuela and the Madrid City Council to set a new library for the neighbourhood of Arganzuela, where the workshop took place.
The workshop was divided in two parts. In the morning, together with different collectives, we created a common area to work in the afternoon. The participants were: EVA Arganzuela, Equipo Sanfermín, La Casa del Lector, Intermediae, Dirección General de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos de Madrid, A Public School/The Public School Berlin, and Bookcamping.
In the second session, we divided the participants in five groups to produce what we called a projection diagram for a future library. In order to develop that tool, we worked about three topics: accessing to the library, reading the library and situating the library.