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

What is today known as ‘whistleblowing’ could once take the form of interacting with a threatening gaze carved into the city wall. It is the case of the ‘boche de Leon’ or ‘lion’s mouths’ disseminated by the old Venetian Republic throughout its territory to suppress illegal activities. Through a close… Read more »

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As he navigates through the recurrent lockdowns of the pandemic, stranded between hitchiking and muggings, job hunting and separations, Fabio Valerio Tibollo rediscovers photography as a powerful coping mechanism. Recording everything that happened around him for one year straight, from attending momentous events to finding curiosity in shots of simple living,… Read more »

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How many types of lightning are there, and how did the Victorians perceive and rationalise them? This article by James Broome, first published on The Strand Magazine in 1897, puts together photographs from both observatories and amateurs to show lightning in many of its different forms and shapes, while reflecting… Read more »

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