Doctor Atl’s Olinka: the Search for a Utopian City


The purpose of this research trip to Mexico City was to examine the archives regarding Olinka, a utopian city for artists and intellectuals that Mexican painter Gerardo Murillo (commonly known as Doctor Atl) attempted to build in the 1950s. The archives are located at the National Library and the National Museum of Art. This research belongs to a larger investigation on utopian cities of postrevolutionary modernity in Mexico. This was my second trip to Mexico City in order to do archival research, the first being in 2015 with a project regarding Alejandro Jodorowsky's science fiction work in the 1960s. During my research stay in Mexico City, I was able to consult both archives, gather a profound understanding of my topic, write a blog entry for CLAS, a short article piece for CECLI (a Chilean cultural website), and submit a conference paper on Doctor Atl's Olinka to be presented at a science fiction conference taking place in November in Mexico City ( Both the blog entry and the short article piece also allowed me to contact and discuss with intellectuals based in Mexico and Chile who are working on similar or related topics. The short-term use of this research project is, as I mentioned, a conference paper to be presented this November in Mexico City and which could possibly lead to an article-length publication. From a long-term perspective, this research may be part of or at least inform my dissertation project. If nothing else, it has allowed me to research and present on a very under-appreciated and little-studied topic that nevertheless belongs to one of the key figures of postrevolutionary culture in Mexico.

Alfonso Fierro
Publication date: 
August 18, 2017
Publication type: 
Student Research