If you’re in need of a little educational enrichment after a summer spent engaging your brain exclusively in the search of respite from the heat (no judgement, it’s a full time job), then look no further than the Biblioteca Nacional of Buenos Aires. The historic library is bringing back its program of free weekly workshops and applications are now open.
You have six options to choose from, all running on weeknights between 7-8:30 PM from March 11th. Led by teachers recognized for excellence in their respective fields, these high-quality sessions on offer to the public range from literature critique and poetry writing to chess and even a Nietzsche course on the connection between philosophy and literature (!). There’s also a Friday book club if you’re still working on that New Year’s resolution to read more.
Students will be utilizing the Library’s collection throughout the workshops, so this is also a cool opportunity to explore the fascinating interior structure of the brutalist icon. As you may have noticed, the top-heavy formation of the library, though it appears to be a concrete fortress, was actually built to allude to the trees surrounding it. And architect Clorindo Testa even extended this structure to the archives, which branch out below the grounds to mirror the roots of trees. It’s a concrete-meets-nature fusion, otherwise known as the most important library in Argentina.
Applications can only be made on the library’s official website, and are open until February 22nd (that’s soon, so hurry!). While the courses involving creative writing are limited to about 40 students, the discussion-based workshops will be accepting up to 80 participants.
Take a look below at our rundown of the schedule, and then hurry over to the website to secure your place.
The Workshop Schedule:
Monday – Children’s Literature Workshop, 7-8:30 PM
María Luján Picabea is running this interesting course exploring the impact of the literature we read in our childhood. She’ll be covering the greatest children’s classics from both Argentina and abroad, the ways in which adults can use stories to support a child’s growth, and how to create a diverse reading path as kids grow up.
Tuesday – Nietzsche and Literature, 7-8:30 PM
Sebastían Chun and Maia Shapochnik are running this workshop to demonstrate ways in which philosophy and literature have intertwined. In particular, they’ll be focusing on the rich relationship between Nietzsche and many classic authors such as Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and Borges.
Wednesday – Poesía Sos Vos, Reading and Writing Poetry Today 7-8:30 PM
Gabriela Franco wants to help poets make room in their daily lives for their creative writing. She’ll be leading students through a reading list of impressive poets including Irene Gruss, Susana Villalba, and Jorge Leónidas Escudero, to explore poetic techniques and inspire writers. Motivation can be hard, so head to this workshop if you need that extra push to write your own poems.
Wednesday – Chess for Beginners, 7-8:30 PM
Strategy. Positioning. Patience. All this and more is yours if you go along to this chess for beginners workshop also on Wednesdays. Led by Julián Chomski, who for years has been running similar classes all over the city, the course encompasses everything from where to place the pieces, to a few handy tactics that will give you the upper hand next time you’re challenged to a chess duel. A good one if you’re looking to learn a new skill this year.
Thursday – Indicio de lo otro: Leer para escribir, 7-8:30 PM
Led by Jorge Consiglio, author of Hospital Posadas and Tres Monedas, this workshop will examine a range of universal literature. The aim is to encourage students to delve deep into the literary techniques used by novelists in order to learn and gain inspiration for their own writing. So if you’re an aspiring author, this is your free opportunity to polish up those allegories, and refine your symbolism.
Friday – Book Club, 7-8:30 PM
Been looking for a great book club? Well Friday’s workshop is your solution. Led by Laura Cardona, the sessions will involve presentations on the author, genre and literary techniques before group discussions aiming to enrich your enjoyment and understanding of literature. Novels on the to-read list include Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Enero by Argentine author Sara Gallardo.
Director Elsa Barber has confirmed she’s planning more courses for the winter months, so if you’re unlucky this time then keep your eyes peeled around June for further announcements.
Biblioteca Nacional | Agüero 2502 | Monday-Friday 9 AM – 9 PM, Saturday-Sunday 12 – 7 PM | Web