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

Anima Loci Laura Phillips

In the 17th century, an underground cave was discovered in the depths of the Bristol area. Today, the entrance to the cave, Pen Park Hole, lies adjacent to a housing estate in the northern suburb, Southmead. The site above had plans for residential housing but permission was denied when the… Read more »

Anima Loci Raz Talhar

How do cities rise from the sea? Land reclamation is the process of creating new habitable territory in areas normally submerged by water. Malaysian photographer, Raz Talhar, witnessed the process as it occurred in the Straits of Johor, capturing the morphological transformation of the landscape, from the emergence of sand… Read more »

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Antigoni Geronta Anima Loci

In the fishing village of Afurada de Baixo, Portugal, the architectural façade speaks of everyday affairs and circumstances without needing to utter them. In this article, researcher Antigoni Geronta outlines the results of her five-year field research in the village, where thresholds, windows, curtains and tiles give visual clues about… Read more »

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