Panorama is born with a very specific mission: to help create and reinforce a global consciousness regarding the different challenges we as a society face in terms of landscape and territory.

For that reason, we’ve decided to create this platform to join together artistic projects with didactic content to attempt to reach, in the easiest and most comprehensive way, this reflexion to a large part of the society.

We believe that artistic projects accompanied by specialized texts are the best tool for any person, even those who haven’t  shown interest in this subjects before, to understand how as a society we need to reflect on our relationship with landscape and territory.

With this idea Panorama aims to become a big archive where anyone can meet and consult the different authors regarding this matters. And what’s also important, to contemplate them from different points of view.



Panorama nace con una misión muy concreta: ayudar a crear/reforzar una conciencia global sobre los distintos retos que tenemos como sociedad en relación al territorio y al paisaje.

Para ello, hemos decidido crear esta plataforma que aglutina proyectos artísticos con contenidos didácticos para intentar hacer llegar, de la manera más fácil y entendedora posible, esta reflexión a un amplio conjunto de la sociedad.

Creemos que los proyectos artísticos acompañados de textos especializados son la mejor herramienta para que cualquier persona, aunque nunca antes se haya interesado por estos temas, pueda comprender que como sociedad tenemos que hacer una reflexión sobre nuestra relación con el territorio y el paisaje.

Panorama pretende con esta idea convertirse en un gran archivo donde cualquiera pueda conocer y consultar los distintos autores que trabajan en torno a estas cuestiones. Y lo que también es muy importante, contemplarlas desde distintos puntos de vista.



Panorama neix amb un objectiu molt concret: ajudar a crear/reforçar una consciència global sobre els diferents reptes que tenim com a societat en relació al territori i al paisatge.

Per això, hem decidit aquesta plataforma que aglutina projectes artístics amb continguts didàctics per intentar fer arribar, de la manera més fàcil y comprensible possible, aquesta reflexió a un ampli conjunt de la societat.

Creiem que els projectes artístics acompanyats de textos especialitzats son la millor eina per a que qualsevol persona, tot i que no s’hagi interessat mai abans per aquests temes, pugui comprendre que com a societat hem de fer una reflexió sobre la nostre relació amb el territori i el paisatge.

Panorama pretén amb aquesta idea convertir-se en un gran arxiu on qualsevol pugui conèixer i consultar els diversos autors que treballen a l’entorn d’aquestes qüestions. I el que també és molt important, contemplar-les des de diferents punts de vista.


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Ken Taylor Landscape: memory and identity

Any landscape is a condition of the spirit 

-Henri Frédéric Amiel-¹ 

One of our deepest needs is for a sense of identity and belonging and a common denominator across diverse cultures is human attachment to landscape and how we find identity in landscape and place. Studies of  landscape and its meanings have been coincidental with a widening interest in the public history movement and everyday landscapes. It underpins the notion that landscapes reflecting everyday ways of life, the ideologies that compel people to create places, and the sequence or rhythm of life over time tell the story of people, events and places through time, offering a sense of continuity: a sense of the stream of time. Therefore, landscape is not what we see, but a way of seeing.(Cosgrove 1984). Historically taking Cosgrove’s reflection on seeing and comprehending is Milton’s comment on a piece of landscape in 1632:

Streit mine eye hath caught new pleasures

Whilst the Lantskip round it measures.

Neither is landscape simply or overwhelmingly a product. Rather, it is a process in which humans create landscapes – cultural landscapes – where ‘our human landscape is our unwitting biography, reflecting our tastes, our values, our aspirations, and even our fears in tangible visible form.’ (Lewis 1979). In this context of landscape as process, and social/cultural process at that, ‘landscape concerns the world we are living in’ (Wylie 2007:1).

Memory of landscapes visited, or where we live, are invariably associated with pleasant memories and associations. Yet landscape memories are not always associated with pleasure. It can be associated sometimes with loss, with pain, with social fracture and sense of belonging gone, although the memory remains, albeit poignantly. Here we may think of the Killing Fields at Phnom Penh or the Auschwitz Concentration Camp complex. We may also think of a loved landscape that has disappeared as in the case of Margaret Drabble (1979, p.270) in A Writer’s Britain: Landscape in Literature referring to Virginia Woolf’s sense of loss of a loved place where she vividly expresses an emotional sense of landscape lost:

The past lives on in art and memory, but it is not static: it shifts and changes as the present throws its shadow backwards. The landscape also changes, but far more slowly; it is a living link between what we were and what we have become. This is one of the reasons why we feel such a profound and apparently disproportionate anguish when a loved landscape is altered out of recognition; we lose not only a place, but ourselves, a continuity between the shifting phases of our life.

Corresponding with the opening quote to this essay on the relationship between landscape and spirit is Relph’s (2008) proposal that the spirit of a place lies in its landscape. In both quotes ‘spirit’ has associational connections and meanings in the sense of spirit as ‘the non-physical part of a person … the seat of emotions and character; the soul.’ (OED). In this way the abstract idea of spirit is inseparable from the intangibility of the accumulation of human memories and meanings – private and collective – and identity that we associate with the word ‘landscape’. Focusing on landscape as a key word inevitably brings into consideration inquiry into the meaning of the words ‘places’ and ‘spaces’ and their relationship to ‘landscape’. We are apt to interchange these three words ‘space, place and landscape’ and use them synonymously, when in fact, whilst linked, they have different associations.

Space can be described as a location which has no social connections; no value has been added to it and no meaning ascribed to it. It is more or less abstract. Nevertheless there is a relationship between space and place in that spaces become places when given human connections and meaning, either through physical interaction or in indirect and conceptual, symbolic ways as for example in literature and art or by the simple fact of people living there. Spaces and associated places therefore are part of, and cumulatively create, the landscape where landscape is the setting for our lives. Here is what we call the ‘cultural landscape’ physically reflecting the process of landscape making through time replete with human associations anchored in values and meanings. It is a process where we can recognise successive layers in the landscape through time. We may therefore ask: ‘What is landscape?’. Here I am perversely reminded of Peter Howard’s challenging suggestion that ‘Landscape is not very rational’ (Howard 2011:2); a statement which he then perceptively deconstructs with the beguilingly profound yet simple and comforting observation that landscape ‘is intensely personal and reflects our own history and culture, our personal likes and dislikes. It is always about “my place”, or at least somebody’s place.’

To try to summarise, we need to understand that people see and make landscapes as a result of their shared system of beliefs and ideologies. In this way landscape is a cultural construct, a mirror of our memories and myths encoded with meanings which can be read and interpreted. In effect landscape is human culture on display, telling a story of events, people and places through time. As JB Jackson so eloquently encapsulated the essential meaning of landscape as summarised by his pithy comment ( Jackson 1951:5):

A rich and beautiful book is always open before us. We have but to learn how to read it. 



Cosgrove, D. E. (1984) Social formation and Symbolic Landscape, London & Sydney: Croom Helm.

Howard, P. (2011) An Introduction to Landscape, Farnham: Ashgate.

Jackson, J. B. (1951) Landscape 1 (Spring 1951).

Lewis, P. (1979) ‘Axioms for Reading the Landscape: Some Guides to the American Scene’, in

Meinig, D.W. (ed.) The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 11-32.

Relph, E. (2008, first published 1976), Place and Placelessness, London: Pion.

Wylie, J. (2007) Landscape, Abingdon UK & New York: Routledge.

Professor Ken Taylor, Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, Research Centre for Humanities and Arts, The Australia National University, Canberra, Australia.

(c) Text by Ken Taylor


¹Swiss philosopher and poet, 1821-1881.