Photographic Mnemotopes: Phototextual Reports as a Research Tool for the Communication of the Memory of Places


The proposed study refers to Communication Design for the Territory, a discipline that has taken up the territorial theme as its own specific dimension, in conjunction with memory studies, an academic field that investigates memory as an integrated interdisciplinary system that combines the physiological dimension with the socio-cultural one. The focus is the concept of mnemotope. The term combines two Greek words, mnéme, memory and tópos, place, becoming a plural object of territorial interpretation of various forms and scales, that can be categorized in mnemotopes with trauma (e.g., war mnemotopes) and mnemotopes without trauma (e.g., birthplaces of illustrious people, literary mnemotopes). The communication and representation of mnemotopes is essential to manifest their territorial network and to make their cultural value emerge. Photography, given its historical link with the memory of places and its visualization, is one of the most suitable systems for mnemotopic communication, especially in its relationship with the textual narratives. For this reason, it has been developed a specific design tool, the mnemotopic phototextual report, which can enhance the recognition of mnemotopes, express their different typologies, and evoke their immaterial qualities. The report not only merges textual apparatus and visual apparatus in a unique environment but cross the traditional models used in the academic context for case study research with diaristic narratives and literary travelogues. The paper will show in detail the features of the mnemotopic phototextual report as valuable tool for the description of territories, places, and their memories, on the edge between photography and design.

Author Information
Clorinda Sissi Galasso, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Paper Information
Conference: ECADE2022
Stream: Research Methods in Art and Design

This paper is part of the ECADE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Galasso C. (2022) Photographic Mnemotopes: Phototextual Reports as a Research Tool for the Communication of the Memory of Places ISSN: 2758-0989 – The European Conference on Arts, Design & Education 2022 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon