Ensayo por Remi Bouquet

Publicado en enero 2014 | por Remi Bouquet

129

Ferrocarriles Argentinos: Ocaso y renacimiento

Edificios carcomidos, trenes oxidados y talleres en desuso son los recordatorios de la otrora próspera industria ferroviaria argentina. Hoy estos cadáveres arquitectónicos están adquiriendo una nueva vida marcada de posibilidades y desafíos. En este ensayo, el fotógrafo y arquitecto Remi Bouquet narra con imágenes el accidentado camino que recorre el ferrocarril hacia la resurrección de estos tesoros arquitectónicos.

por Remi Bouquet

[easymedia-gallery med=”3477″ filter=”1″ pag=”6″]

Las ruinas del tren, las estaciones abandonadas y la historia que yace en los escombros de estos cuerpos de metal y concreto han captado, instintiva e inexplicablemente, mi mirada. Como fotógrafo y arquitecto, esta fascinación puede deberse a mi interés por documentar el paso del tiempo en las arquitecturas. El tiempo afecta inexorablemente las construcciones humanas convirtiéndolas muchas veces en edificaciones decadentes presas del olvido.
Pero más allá de esta curiosidad estética, mi interés tiene un trasfondo personal y emotivo: mi abuelo Antonio fue maquinista ferroviario y mi ciudad, Santa Fe, ubicada en la región centro-este de Argentina, acunó durante décadas una próspera industria ferroviaria que con el paso de los años y los avatares políticos decayó. La desaparición de los ferrocarriles no sólo dejó un hoyo en la economía nacional sino también en la memoria colectiva de los ciudadanos, pues su importancia se extendía más allá de su función de sistema de transporte.

Mi abuelo Antonio, quien como sus ocho hermanos era conductor de trenes, conoció la geografía argentina conduciendo ferrocarriles. Sus relatos acerca de su vida sobre los rieles aún resuenan en mi memoria: el levantarse a las 4 de la madrugada cuando el “llamador” le golpeaba la ventana del dormitorio de su casa para tomar servicio, las comidas que cocinaba viajando durante días fuera de su casa, las amistades que se forjaron en “la línea”.

Y es que en su tiempo la sociedad ferroviaria en Argentina gozaba de gran prestigio. Cuando a mediados del siglo XX, la dirección de los ferrocarriles argentinos pasó de manos inglesas al estado argentino, la industria ferroviaria gozó de una época de oro en la que fue una importante herramienta de desarrollo de la economía nacional. Una arteria vital del país que contaba con 50,000 kilómetros de vías, el ferrocarril fomentó la generación de pueblos y ciudades, la creación de industrias donde se fabricaban las partes de las locomotoras desde tornillos hasta coches de tren, y con ello produciendo una vasta vida social en torno al ferrocarril.

Sin embargo, el auge de la industria ferroviaria empezó a decaer durante la presidencia de Arturo Frondizi (1958-1962) cuando se instalaron las empresas multinacionales de automóviles y camiones y la construcción de carreteras. Desde ese entonces el ferrocarril se vio encaminado hacia la extinción: con el paso de los años y los gobiernos, miles de locomotoras fueron desarmadas, los edificios abandonados, las personas desempleadas y los pueblos nacidos a la vera del ferrocarril devastados.

En la década de los noventa, debido a políticas neoliberales, los ferrocarriles argentinos fueron privatizados y traspasados a empresas que poco a poco fueron desapareciendo, dejando tras su paso 85,000 trabajadores ferroviarios sin empleos, 800 pueblos incomunicados y un millón de emigrantes que tomaron rumbo hacia las capitales argentinas y abandonaron pueblos y ciudades del interior.

Testigos, y víctimas, de esta decadencia son los talleres vacíos, los edificios en desuso, los cadáveres de trenes desparramados a lo largo de las vías férreas, oxidándose a la intemperie — un vivo recordatorio de la herida creada en ciudades como Santa Fe —. A diferencia de muchas otras poblaciones que desvanecieron, Santa Fe ha sobrevivido el cierre del ferrocarril y está tratando de dar nueva vida y nuevas significaciones a estas cicatrices arquitectónicas. Hoy, muchos de estos cadavéricos edificios, como el Molino Marconetti, la Estación Nacional General Belgrano y el antiguo taller ferroviario La Redonda, están siendo recuperados no con la función que les dio origen sino como centros culturales que albergan obras de arte contemporáneo, y espectáculos de música y danza.

Este ensayo fotográfico — realizado entre 2009 y 2013 y que retrata edificios ferroviarios abandonados, trenes en ruinas y el inicio de una nueva época — explora los conceptos de la memoria, el paso del tiempo manifestado en las arquitecturas y la inquietud por vencer el apego ante los cambios que el tiempo impone. En las ruinas y en los gestos por darles vida nueva, surgen nuevos tiempos que no sólo presentan la posibilidad de nuevas apropiaciones y re-significaciones, sino que también reflejan los desafíos y falencias de las autoridades y entidades en su labor de recuperar y renovar estos tesoros arquitectónicos.

Remi Bouquet

Remi_0822_4Remi Bouquet es arquitecto urbanista y reportero gráfico de Santa Fe, Argentina. Su afición por la fotografía nació hace siete años. Su interés se centra en capturar un momento en tiempo y espacio, retratando su propia naturaleza, su belleza intrínseca, su alma, poniendo en evidencia una de las tantas realidades posibles, como así también exponer el valor estético propio del objeto fotografiado y de la imagen.



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