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

In the depth of the Trentino mountains, there is a high-security prison. Amongst the captives is M49, a brown bear classified as dangerous for his reoccurring attacks on livestock and human property. The animal has been the subject of much media attention, both in his homeland and abroad. What are… Read more »

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Thames Town, a British-themed village on the outskirts of Shanghai, attracts residents and tourists with its gothic-like church, red phone boxes, and statues of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. What is “real” in a quintessentially “fake” place like Thames Town? Does thinking through these categories even make sense? Who gets… Read more »

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In comics, when do landscapes change from setting to subject? Usually thought of as the backdrop to the unfolding of events, the landscape often plays a deeper role. In this article, semiologist Daniele Barbieri recounts some moments found within the history of comics in which the landscape becomes an important… Read more »

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