Vista - English Version

Vista Journal

View is surface and distance. Landscape and pathway. Horizon and possibility. With the emergence of photography, the word viewsteps into the designation of landscape. Used by the first photographers to refer to the resulting clichés of their expeditions, the notion of view conveys the advent of our dense universe of technical images and, most of all, signals the conversion of a world seen from the perspective of art into a world represented from the much broader horizon of social iconography and visual culture (that encompasses fine arts and photography, as well as cinema, television, videogames, fashion, advertising, comics, graffiti,…).


Since the 1990’s, with the announcement of the pictorial turn, visual culture became a recurring and privileged focus of interest within the humanities and social sciences. Vista appears in this context as a semi-annual publication in the field of Communication Sciences. Conceived in 2015 by the Visual Culture Working Group of the Portuguese Association of Communication Sciences (SOPCOM), it aims the promotion of a transdisciplinary debate around culture’s visual mediation processes (photography, cinema, television, advertising, videogames and digital media,…).


Vista has the following goals:


- to promote the critical thinking on image and the study of visual objects within the field of communication sciences;

- to bring out a set of studies, resulting from different scientific domains, several geographical backgrounds and diverse historical moments, which translate heterogeneous theoretical and methodological frameworks around visual culture;

- to diversify the objects of analysis within the vast domain of image studies in order to broaden the sharing of the visible, actively contributing to a politics of vision;

- to encourage scientific contributions as well as sundry visual projects in areas such as photography, video art, urban art, contributing to question the existing boundaries between scientific culture and artistic culture.


Call for Papers

vista nº 5 | Imperial Views: colonial visualities and processes of visual decolonization

Invited editors: Teresa Mendes Flores (FCSH-NOVA; Universidade Lusófona)  and Cecília Järdemar (Konstfack University of Arts, Stockholm)

Appel à Contributions FR

Llamada de Trabajos ES 

Chamada de Trabalhos PT 


Gago Coutinho Airport. Source: Arquivo Digital: Lourenço Marques em Postais Ilustrados.



In recent years, there has been an increased access and interest in the archives produced by the European colonizing countries and those provided from the archives of the countries that have become independent. This interest is partly due to the end of the legal barriers that prevented access to or dissemination to these archives. Moreover, after several decades of decolonization processes, which caused traumas and misunderstandings between the actors of both factions, a new generation of academics and non-academics aims to better understand these stories. On the other hand, the work of digitizing some of these assets has made it possible to reveal the very existence of the archives, facilitating their visibility and contributing to their reception outside the restricted group of political and social historians. Thus, in literature, journalism, cinema, anthropology, the history of science, photography and the arts, between theorists, as well as between artists and other protagonists of the world of culture, a critical work is being produced concerning these objects of the contemporary history of the twentieth century, whose effects are still felt.

The number 5 of the journal VISTA uses the notion of "sight", in its diversity of meanings, to propose a debate on the colonial and postcolonial regimes of visuality and their contemporary relevance.

The idea of "Imperial Views" is based on the famous article by W. J. T. Mitchell entitled “Imperial Landscapes”, published originally in the Landscape and Power (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2002). In this article, the American researcher disputed the interpretation that the landscape genre was specifically a genre of painting, as well as a modern and Western genre (Clark, 1979). To dethrone the two arguments, the author pointed out to the Chinese painting and to the earlier Greco-Roman mural paintings, to come up with another interpretation: landscape genre flourishes in imperial regimes and uses all available media. In these contexts, images of the whole, which characterize the idea of landscape - a wide, distant view of a large part of a terrain or geography (the general shot in cinema) - become a means to affirm identity, a policy of identity between self and others, both located in space and time. Mitchell contested, therefore, that landscape genre was a mere affirmation of the aesthetics (Gombrich, 1950) to defend the alternative version that landscape (both the representation and the object represented, site and sight) is a (more or less) powerful form of political struggle, which always conceals a "dark side" (Barrell,1983), which is always a "social formation" (Cosgrove, 1984 ) and which has its field forces, its distributions of subjects and powers: "landscape circulates as a medium of exchange, a site of visual appropriation, a focus for the formation of identity “(Mitchell, 1994: 2).

In this edition of VISTA, we use the motto of "landscape" to interrogate the production of images that can directly reflect on these imperial regimes, but we are not limited exclusively to landscapes, in their strictest sense, or exclusively to images. Although, it is a requirement for the acceptance of paper proposals, their relation to the themes and approaches of Visual Culture.

In the field of Visual Culture, we are interested in turning the images deposited in colonial archives into the central objects of reflection and interpretation, as performative media that were constructed and construct the stories they also testify. In this edition, we intend to highlight the visual production, hidden in the archives (photographs, films, engravings and drawings, maps, paintings, videos, objects, etc) and their various modes of use related to the colonial topic - whether the archives are institutional or personal, public or private, national or international. We are also interested in bringing to this issue of VISTA, reflections about the invisible, what was left out of the field, the interdicts, the codes of visuality that transcend the practice of images but organize it, the ethics of the visible and of the invisible. We also call for propositions on the role played by Digital Humanities within the contemporary framework of network communication, not only concerning online archives and museums, but also on the dissemination of these " imperial sights” in the internet, and of their eventual images of resistance.

In short, we welcome contributions to debate the politics of images and views in colonial and post colonial contexts and their contemporary implications.


Barrell, J. (1983). The Dark Side of the Landscape: The Rural Poor in English Painting 1730-1840. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Clark, K. (1979). Landscape into Art. New York, Hagerstown, San Francisco and London: Harper&Row Publishers.

Cosgrove, D. (1984). Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Gombrich, E. (1950). The Renaissance Theory of Art and The Rise of Landscape. In Norm and Form. Studies in the Art of the Renaissance (pp. 107–122). London: Phaidon Press.

Mitchell, W. J. T. (1994/2002). Imperial landscape. In W. J. T. Mitchell (Ed.), Landscape and power (2nd ed., pp. 5–34). Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. 


Important Dates 

Deadline for the submission of papers: 2nd September 2019 

! New Deadline for the submission of papers: 23rd September 2019

Deadline for notifications of acceptance: 2nd October 2019  

! New Deadline for notifications of acceptance: 21st October 2019

Publication: 20th December 2019 

! New Deadline for publication: 30th December 2019

vista - visual culture journal  (ISSN 2184-1284) is a peer-reviewed journal and operates under a double blind review process. Each submitted work will be send to two reviewers previously invited to evaluate it, in accordance with the academic quality, originality and relevance for the objectives and scope of the issue of this edition. Articles for this issue can be submitted in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French to the e-mails of the invited editors: teresaflores@fcsh.unl.pt; Cecilia.Jardemar@konstfack.se. Guidelines for authors can be found here.








Permanent Call for Papers

Submissions for vista - visual culture journal are open permanently. Articles, reviews (books, films, exhibitions ...), conversations and visual projects around the subject of the image are accepted. 

vista - visual culture journal (ISSN 2184-1284) is a peer-reviewed journal and operates under a double blind review process. Each submitted work will be send to two reviewers previously invited to evaluate it, in accordance with the academic quality, originality and relevance for the objectives and scope of the journal. 

Proposals for the permanent call for papers can be submitted in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French to VISTA editorial team: vista.culturavisual@gmail.com. The publication guidelines are available here



Guide for Authors






1. Manuscript Submission

a) Works proposed to Vista should be submitted electronically through the email address vista.culturavisual@gmail.com.

b) Files consisting of the article draft should be annexed in an editable format (.doc, .docx, .rtf or OpenOffice). PDF documents will not be accepted.

c) All works must be accompanied by the identification of author(s), institutional affiliation and e-mail address(es).

d) Each article must be accompanied by an abstract, included in the article page, in three languages (original language, Portuguese and English), with a maximum of 250 words, and 3-5 keywords.

e) If the submitted article includes visual elements, these must be sent separately (according to the indications stipulated for ‘Graphic Materials and Visual Elements’).

f) Articles should be submitted along with the following documents: f1) A declaration signed by all authors, stating that i) the text is original; ii) there is no conflicts of interest; f2) A copyright transfer declaration to Vista.


2. Manuscript Length

Papers are limited in length to 8000 words (recommended 6000-8000), excluding abstracts and references.


3. Language

a) Vista accepts submissions in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French.

b) All quotations, which are not originally written in these languages, must be translated into the language in which the article is written. The original text should be quoted in the endnotes.





1. Format of Manuscripts

- title: Arial 11, bold, maximum length of 12 words.

- abstract: Arial 10, maximum length of 250 words, 3-5 keywords after the abstract, in different languages.

- body text: Arial 11, justified, 1.5 line spacing.

- chapters’ titles: two heading levels, numbered with Arabic and unnumbered in the Introduction and Conclusion texts.

- quotations: If the quotation comprises fewer than 40 words, it should be incorporated into text and enclosed with double quotation marks; if it comprises 40 or more words, it should be displayed in a freestanding block of text, without quotation marks, non-italic and Arial 10.

- footnotes: numbered in Arabic without parentheses, Arial 9, line spacing 1,5. Footnotes should not be indented in the first paragraph.

- foreign words: foreign words must be italicized;


2. Graphic Materials and Visual Elements

The non-textual elements – e.g. tables, graphics, images or video – should be identified using continuous Arabic numbering for each of the elements and they should be sent separately in .jpeg, .tiff or vector EPS format, with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. For videos, we accept avi, mp4, mkv and mov files.  File format for graphics and images should be JPEG or TIFF. Each file is named with a number, indicating the order in which each image appears in the article. In the main body text, we should find the references, the numbers and the captions of these figures.


3. Funding Acknowledgements

They should be placed at the end of the article, before the References section. The identification of the funding entities must contain their complete designation. In the case of more than one entity, references are separated by semicolons, the last of the list being preceded by "and".


3. References


a) References in Text

 References in text follow the APA Format – 6th Edition, as in the examples:

- one author: (Didi-Huberman, 2012);

- one author, specific page: (Didi-Huberman, 2012, p.63);

- two authors: (Evans & Hall, 1999);

- three authors: (Howard, Thompson & Waterton, 2013);

- more than three authors: (Andriopoulos et al., 2001); 

- several authors and several works, ordered according to i) the year of publication ii) the alphabetic order: (Harper, 1998; Prosser, 1998; Rose, 2000; Banks, 2001; Pink, 2013);


b) Reference List

Entries should be arranged by alphabetic order by the surname of the first author, at the end of the article, including only the sources used in the article. They follow the APA Format – 6th Edition, as in examples below:

- book: Siegert, B. (1999). Relays: Literature as an Epoch of the Postal System. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

- article or chapter in an edited book: Peters, J. D. (2010) Mass media, in Mitchell & Hansen (ed.). Critical Terms for Media Studies (pp.266-279), London: The University of Chicago Press.

- article in a print magazine: Santaella, L (2009). O pluralismo pós-utópico da arte. Revista ARS, Vol. 7 Nº 14, 131-151.

- article in an on-line magazine: Santaella, L (2009). O pluralismo pós-utópico da arte. Revista ARS, Vol. 7 Nº 14.Retrieved from: http://www.revistas.usp.br/ars/article/view/3057.



This format privileges the visual content, opening up to the diversity of configurations that it can take, from photography to illustration, without neglecting the audiovisual, collage or digital remix. The evaluation of the submission will take into account mainly the quality of the images and the visual narrative. Submissions can articulate text and image or dispense the former, assuming the latter as a single vehicle of meaning production. Nevertheless, the visual essay must be accompanied by a descriptive memory capable of contextualizing the visual work, clarifying its framework, intentions, objectives and / or methodology. It is recommended that the visual test does not exceed 20 independent images, to be submitted in .tiff with resolution of 300 dpi / ppp. If the audiovisual format is adopted, the video file should not exceed 10 minutes in length. It is requested that its compression allows the quality of visualization in different devices. The descriptive memory may not exceed 700 words. If the essay comprises text and image, the first may not exceed 2000 words; this option does not dismiss the descriptive memory (the number of words already mentioned will be counted separately). The visual essay must be original and unpublished, that is, the proposal must be designed by the author (s) / author (s) of the submission or by members of his / her team.



Vista uses the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition) as the primary style guide. We strongly recommend authors to consult this manual in order to clarify aspects not covered by our guidelines.


Who are we

Editorial Coordination 

Maria da Luz Correia (UAc/UM) 

Carla Cerqueira (UM/ULP) 


Comments and Conversations Section Coordinator

Isabel Macedo (UM)



Visual Projects Section Coordinators

Ricardo Campos (UNL)

Ana Cristina Pereira (UM)



Paging Coordinator

Sofia Gomes (UM)


Editorial Advisory Board

Albertino Gonçalves (UM) 

Ana Gabriela Macedo (UM)   

António Fernando Cascais (UNL)

Bernardo Pinto de Almeida (UP)

Domingo Hernández Sánchez (SP) (US) 

Fabio La Rocca (FR, UPV)

Helena Pires (UM) 

Isabel Babo (ULP)

Jacinto Godinho (UNL) 

João Sousa Cardoso (ULP)

José Gomes Pinto (ULHT)

José Bragança de Miranda (UNL, ULHT) 

Julieta Leite (BR, UFPE)

Luís Loureiro (ULP)

Luís Nogueira (UBI) 

Madalena Oliveira (UM)

Manuela Penafria (UBI)

Margarida Medeiros (UNL)

Maria Augusta Babo (UNL) 

Maria Teresa Cruz (UNL) 

Maria Teresa Flores (ULHT) 

Miguel Leal (UP)

Mirian Tavares (UALG) 

Moisés de Lemos Martins (UM) 

Nelson Zagalo (UM)

Pedro Mota Teixeira (IPCA) 

Ricardo Campos (CICSNOVA (FCSH/UNL)) 

Victor Flores (ULHT)



Honorary Board

Bernhard Siegert (GE)   

Georges Didi-Huberman (FR)    

Gillian Rose (UK)   

W. J. T. Mitchell (USA)  

Lucia Santaella  (BR)