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

The city of London appears as one of the marvels featured in Wonderful Things, an English 1852 publication collecting the “the most remarkable Wonders of the Ancient and Modern World”. Created by journalist and chartist Robert Kemp Philp, the piece is a curated text which combines the author’s reflections with… Read more »

This October and November we inaugurate our new section “Past Present Archive” with two pieces from a not-too-distant past. The first below looks at one of the most iconic buildings in Europe: the Colosseum. In the second half of the 18th century, French jurist Jean-Baptiste Mercier Dupaty described his travels… Read more »

The archetype of the American cowboy that is infused in western popular culture is perhaps embodied by Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Yet, this simple image conceals a multifaceted history that spans cultures, geographies, genders and identities. Artist and researcher, Brandon Sward, muses over the… Read more »

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