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The Age of Solastalgia

Glenn Albrecht, creator of the term solastalgia that I discussed in last week’s entry of Jeannie Baker’s work, speaks about the concept in further detail in a recent piece:

The Age of Solastalgia

On the origins of the term:

Solastalgia has its origins in the concepts of “solace” and “desolation”. Solace has meanings connected to the alleviation of distress or to the provision of comfort or consolation in the face of distressing events. Desolation has meanings connected to abandonment and loneliness. The suffix -algia has connotations of pain or suffering. Hence, solastalgia is a form of “homesickness” like that experienced with traditionally defined nostalgia, except that the victim has not left their home or home environment.

Solastalgia, simply put, is “the homesickness you have when you are still at home'”.

The causes of solastalgia:

The challenge of recognising and responding to the experience of solastalgia is greater than ever. Unfortunately, small scale, local damage is still happening to loved home environments as globalisation homogenises urban and rural landscapes. Regional solastalgia is produced under the impact of gas fracking, mining, and agribusiness, as they bring unwelcome damage and pollution on a huge scale to ecocultural and bioregional landscapes.

On how to combat its effects:

There is a drama going on in our heads and hearts, where solastalgia can be defeated by the simultaneous restoration and rehabilitation of mental, cultural, and biophysical landscapes.

Does solastalgia sound like something you have felt before?


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