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Introduction and Editorial

Vol. 6 No. 1 (2021): Visual Spaces of Change: photographic documentation of environmental transformations

Photographing the altered identity of lansdscapes




“As this wave from memories flows in, the city soaks it up like a sponge and expands. A description of [the city] as it is today should contain all [the city’s] past. The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the bags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.” Italo Calvino

The use of photography as a research tool and as an artistic form of expression to represent landscapes involves the challenge of representing their physical, cultural, social, and political marks, as well as their identity and perceptual singularity as a place. Landscapes represent territories which were transformed by human action and, as such, reveal an understanding and a set of values of past and present societies, witnessing the various (trans)formations of space - natural and artificial space - in line with article 5, a. of the European Landscape Convention of the Council of Europe, the landscape represents an “essential component of the human environment, an expression of diversity of its common and natural heritage and a base for its identity“.



  1. Italo Calvino, Cidades Invisíveis (Lisboa: Editorial Teorema, 2003), 14-15. transl. by the author.