About Anima Loci

Anima Loci is a visual culture journal focused on an interdisciplinary exploration of the relationship between images and the places they inhabit.

The journal hosts short articles and photoessays by academics and practitioners from a variety of disciplines.

Concept

As anthropologist Keith Basso wrote, we are, in a sense, the place-worlds we imagine.1

The way in which a place is perceived, remembered and interpreted, either individually or socially, represents a mental and emotional landscape that can inform and affect personal and collective historical knowledge, behaviour and identity.

This process of ‘place-making’ is often mediated by images, that act as elicitors for perception and memory. Images are here intended both as physical as well as mental phenomena: a face in a rock, holy icons, new or forgotten architecture, intentional or accidental monuments, to name some examples. Images can also refer to those that have come to represent transforming areas or neighbourhoods. They can refer to spaces that, through the echoes of historic events, have crystallised into images within the social imaginary. Images are therefore understood not simply as artefacts in the external world, but as vital processes that occupy our bodies as their ‘living medium’.2

Anima Loci explores the potential of images that lie in this intermediary zone and the multifaceted ways in which they affect the perception of a place by providing ground for the workings of personal or collective memory, meaning and imagination.

Fields of Interest

Visual Anthropology, Art History, Architecture, Visual Culture, Aesthetics, Urban Archaeology, Research Architecture, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Ethnography, Philosophy, History, Photography, Art Writing, Critical Geography, Psychogeography. 

 


Footnotes

[1] Basso, Keith. H. (1996). Wisdom Sits in Places. Landscapes and Language among the Western Apache. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. p.7

[2] Belting, Hans. (2014). An Anthropology of Images. Picture, Medium, Body. Princeton NJ & Oxford: Princeton University Press. p.5


Recent articles

A harsh and austere physical environment, Ladakh is a land enlivened by the warmth and hospitality of its people. From crystal mountain lakes to formidable mountain ranges, nature has an inevitable influence on the inhabitants’ relationship with it. In this photoessay, photographer Ralph Steinegger recounts his journey to one of… Read more »

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For decades, Patras has been one of the main hubs for migration routes to Europe, particularly Italy. A short distance from the inhabited areas and tourist facilities lie entire disused industrial sites occupied by migrants waiting to try their luck at “the game”, namely, illegally boarding westward bound ferries. The… Read more »

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In August 1835, the American newspaper, The Sun, published a series of incredible astronomical reports attributed to Sir John Herschel, one of the leading British scientists of his time. Thanks to a “telescope of vast dimensions and an entirely new principle”, Herschel and his team had apparently discovered traces of alien life on the moon, from water and… Read more »

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