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Matters of Place: Placing Religion in Film

M. Gail Hamner explores the place of religion in film where, beyond cartography, place is relational: indexed in an at once individual and collective where, what and when. Beyond tracking actual and tangible places such as the Vatican or American West, religion in film is about what she calls affecognitive economies that offer expression for felt if unthought responses to those places. Hamner’s attention to film form, including light and sound, and to the sedimented histories of certain places further offer ways of feeling the violences that not only mark our current world filmicly but that also inundate our daily lived lives.

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In Search of Gods: A Short Walk in Nowa Huta

Chris Pinney describes his recent visit to the town of Nowa Huta, Krakow, Poland. Through photos of the landscape and architecture he traces the tumultuous history of this formerly Social Realist town that has been the site of Stalinism, the Polish Solidarity Movement and now the regeneration of Catholicism through new churches. This painful history seems embodied in the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, whose scars elongate with the suffering of her nation.

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