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 photoessay that documents a different side of Tuscany, where the overlooked spreads and defies the resistance of an apparently immutable landscape. Diving into the mundane, photographer Lorenzo Valloriani tries to capture and celebrate the unnoticed that flows in the undercurrents of the land.

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During WWII, a high number of bunkers and casemates were implanted upon the territory of the Venice lagoon. How have these massive monolithic shapes contributed to the reorganisation of the postwar landscape? Have they remained as inert forms or have they rather established a relationship with the inhabitants of their… Read more »

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The vast urban sprawl of Lombardy, Italy’s most industrialised region, has given life to nameless spots that seem to exist autonomously, with little dialogue with the landscape. Inspired by Rem Koolhaas’ essay Junkspace (2001), this photoessay by Simone Ludovico shows the only moment in which nowhere adorns itself to become… Read more »

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