Tag Archives: novel

The Godfather of Solarpunk interviewed: Adam Flynn

Adam Flynn wrote “Solarpunk: Notes towards a manifesto” three years ago. How far we have come! The article became a rallying cry for Solarpunksters everywhere, and Adam has been an important hub in the movement ever since (I’m not sure how he will like being called the “Godfather of Solarpunk” – but the title seems to suit him just fine in terms of symbolism!). Continue reading The Godfather of Solarpunk interviewed: Adam Flynn

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Solarpunk in Zine Form: Check out OBSOLETE!

There are several awesome things about OBSOLETE! Press – especially, obviously, that their latest issue from February 2017 is on Solarpunk.

I immensely enjoyed their About page, so I’ll just go ahead an quote a couple of t why the name OBSOLETE!?

In post-post-post-modern society even the term “obsolete” is becoming obsolete- products are obsolete before they hit the market-place, technology is only good as long as its replacement is in beta-testing.

And this beautiful explanation of why a zine in print form was created in the information age of digital everything, where knowledge does not equal wisdom and cultural rigidity is indeed more ripe than we like to admit.

 In the early part of the 20th century, Harold Innis, a Canadian media theorist and predecessor of Marshall McCluhan, postulated that great civilizations were those that balanced “time-binding” media (which retain ideas and history), and “space-binding” media (which allows ideas to travel rapidly). He felt, back in the 50’s, that western society was relying too much on space-binding media like radio and television, and that the over-exposure was leading to a culture where “…The emphasis on change is the only permanent characteristic.” He felt that this trend would kill shared experience and local identity and create and atmosphere of paranoia and rigid political militarization. No one knows what Innis would have thought of the internet, but despite all of the great gifts of modern technology, some of Innis’ warnings seem to be coming true. Despite the gushing flow of “free” information, cultural rigidity appears to be setting in.

And lastly, spoken by true Solarpunks:

The books we publish reflect our love for the physical world and the DIY aesthetic.

I’ll add here that digital versions are also available as the good OBSOLETE! peops recognises the digital media!

Peace yo, and keep up the good work!

Obsolete Solarpunk Issue # 10

Utopia NOW!

Still not many reposts on this blog, even though it is such a convenient (7/11!) way of adding relevant content and spreading ideas.

So here is a repost of an article (called: Utopia now: why there’s never been a more urgent time to dream of a better world) by all-around rad power woman Laurie Penny about our need for more Solarpunk (well, she calls it utopia, but we’ll forgive her that oversight considering how magically underground Solarpunk still is, and gather motivation and determination to nurture Solarpunk into a force for good to be reckoned with).

It’s so worth a read, but if you are strapped for time, here are some standout quotes:

Utopias require that we do the difficult, necessary work of
envisioning a better world. This is why imagination is the first,
best weapon of radicals and progressives.

 

Fredric Jameson observed, “It is easier to imagine the end of
the world than the end of capitalism” – and the reason for that
is not that capitalism is the inevitable destiny of humankind
but that we have spent our lives being told that even thinking
about any other future makes us ridiculous.

 

Right now, the future seems dark and frightening and it is
precisely now that we must continue to imagine other worlds
and then plot ways to get there. In the midst of multiple global
crises, the only truly ridiculous proposition is that things are
going to stay exactly the same.

Peace, siblings!

**Image from  https://www.facebook.com/utopianowband/

The Art of Solarpunks: Luc Schuiten

There is plenty of art out there that could be “classified” as Solarpunk, but the genre is still so underground that not many identify with it (yet).

So I will introduce some artists who I would love to label as Solarpunks, even though labels don’t usually sit well with me…more on that in future posts. In the context of Solarpunk though, I am more than happy to label and be labelled, and hopefully so will these wonderfully inspiring individuals that presently form the centre of my artivism focus!

Luc Schuiten: Vegetal Cities. Solarpunk cities.

The Art of Solarpunks: Molly Crabapple

There is plenty of art out there that could be “classified” as Solarpunk, but the genre is still so underground that not many identify with it (yet).

So I will introduce some artists who I would love to label as Solarpunks, even though labels don’t usually sit well with me…more on that in future posts. In the context of Solarpunk though, I am more than happy to label and be labelled, and hopefully so will these wonderfully inspiring individuals that presently form the centre of my artivism focus!

Molly Crabapple is not just an amazing visual artist, but also a gutsy journalist, activist and excellent writer. Strength of character, honesty and a healthy sense of humour make her stand out from the pack. Her memoir is a page turner with many meaningful quotes and gorgeous illustrations. Her art is unique, at once beautiful, disturbing, and insightful. She is the example for artivism (activism+art); reviews calling her “a brilliant and principled artist – can’t get much more Solarpunk than that!

In my wildest dreams Molly draws the future by illustrating my novel…

molly crabapple general strike

Images credit to Molly Crabapple @ https://mollycrabapple.com/

Solarpunkster on Tour #8 – Reporting back on duty in Brizzzbane

Just arrived back in Brisbane town this afternoon – whoosh – 2 months gone!

But what a beautiful, intense time it’s been! About 5 weeks ago I decided to focus on the most important part of my trip- spending precious time with loved ones. That is why it has – yet again – been so quiet on the Solarpunkcity blog.

If I’m not careful these 2 months end up just being summarised in a measly 6 words: I visited my family in Germany. Now that would be a shame!

However, I filled 120 A4 pages with a mixture of notes, observations, dot points, rants and personal journal, capturing what I saw, heard and experienced while it was still fresh in my mind.

While most of these scribbles have not made it into the laptop, I have high hopes that I will yet develop a stronger streak of discipline in order to get some words out there on the state of things in Europe. I realise that I do have a slight problem with authority, even my own, making it tough for this solarpunk in the old productivity department…

And now for diving into the wonderful world of sleepless jetlagged nights with plenty of time for reading, reflecting, writing and of course some crazy dreams…

So long!

Big Love and Peace

Solarpunkster on Tour # 5 – Riding GIANT bicycles

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…no, not those ‘giants’! Right now, the bikes I ride are actually gigantic – they weigh little less than half my own body weight and are about as long as a car with a turning circle rivalling that of a council bus. Nonetheless, these gentle giants gather speed quickly, like a draft horse, and float along the pavement steadily. The pedal brake feels rather unfamiliar yet my spine is straight, my neck relaxed and my hair flowing in the Northern Sea breeze as Germany is no nanny state and helmet-wearing not law…we do have designated bike paths on most (busy) roads which are separated with a curb thought – while Germany might be no nanny state, cyclist safety is paramount, most likely why and also because there are so may of them.

So as I get on this Gentle step-through Giant and start riding down the road I can’t help but laugh with joy and slight giddiness. It’s impossible (in my books) to be unhappy while riding a bike. Bike riding is balm for the soul. And after riding a mountain bike on and off-road for the last six years, it’s pure joy to be back on a ‘Hollandrad’.

I get to the Chinese Restaurant way too quickly and then have to wait – I should have just cruised an extra round around the block. But so I have a few minutes to kill by meditating and watching the plentiful goldfish tank. A young boy, about 2 or 3 years old, joins me and my observations. Minutes pass, with no words exchanged. Every now and then he looks at me and I look back and smile before turning back to the tank. He does not return the smile, but stays standing there, watching the fish. Once he looks my up and down, in that curious, non-judgmental way kids stare at you. I’m in colourful hippy pants, a hoodie and Birkenstox and wonder if this experience will shape him somehow?

On the way home I turn a corner when Father Sun makes my breath stop. Hanging just above the horizon, his fiery orange brilliance mixes with my base happy giddiness and out comes gratitude once more. What a treat! Thank you, Universum – Danke, Merci und Gracias!

It’s the next day and I am hunting for food once more, but this time at the supermarket. As you can see, transporting 30 Euros worth of food by bike becomes a breeze with Mr Giant and his two baskets. Also the lunch time beers with my fave cuzzie sis have made me feel ready for some adventure…

 

Meet: The Swarm

Over the last eight months I have continued to be a lazy blogger. However I do have pretty valid excuses and exciting real-life results to show for it! In short, the laziness has not extended to my real life, rather I have been networking and organising and spending time to create and hold safe but casual space for people to come together and grow…something good.

This is our newly formed Theatre Group after its second workshop – what a great form of human bonding as well as gaining confidence and trust!

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Unity. Trust. Creativity. Networks. Community! Cultivating a larger focus on the important things in life.

And that is also part of what The Swarm does. The Swarm was one of the network eddies that has extended its ripples my way, giving me the highly anticipated opportunity to connect with other #solarpunks.

The Swarm is a “new international community of artists, experts, creatives, dreamers, and change makers. We have come together to create new ways to shift the mainstream understanding of what is possible, to help re-invigorate smart campaigns about climate and system change, and link these to the mainstream through the power of arts and culture” (copied from Swarm website – I could not put it any more to the point!).

Now that the new website is going, our newly formed community is really starting to collaborate and brainstorm and empower each other. Exciting events and projects are in the creative pipeline, a new era of artivism is on its way…

Stay tuned and don’t be shy if The Swarm idea resonates in some way or other – this community is all about inclusion and participation. Actually, participation is the only way it will grow and prosper…

Below some artwork from one of The Swarm’s amazing visual artists, Camille aka Nylnook – this is RaDiCaL dReAmInG! #solarpunk YO!

nylnook-radical-dreaming-1024x1024

Much Love & Peace

x

The article that gave my novel a home…in Solarpunk!

I have been writing ‘The last Patriarchs’ since 2009. It has changed a lot and only in the last couple of years have I actually given it the time it deserves, taking off whole weekends (yes, I opted to stay home instead of going on fun camping trips) and generally spending time ‘in retreat’, away from others.

Doesn’t sound fun, does it…but it was to me!

Then, about a year ago, a friend from The Zeitgeist Movement posted this article titled “Solarpunk – a new movement sees the future in a positive light”.

I read the article and butterflies went apeshit in my tummy. I was excited. This was it, this was my genre, finally I had a home for my novel-baby that was cool and memorable (positive future fiction is a great way to define Solarpunk, but on its own it’s just not quite there…). Even though I usually dislike categorising things or people, I feel like a novel without a genre is like a child without parents or something. It’s a bit lost, homeless.

After the above abc article I quickly came across this article by Adam Flynn titled “Solarpunk – notes toward a manifesto” that goes more into the reasons why Solarpunk exists (“We’re solarpunks because the only other options are denial or despair.”) and gives more links to check out for art work and more reading.

Check it out and get sucked in!

Need – more – Solarpunky – content…

…so I will start by re-blogging some of my favourite pieces from the online Solarpunk community.

Through presenting my “What the heck is Solarpunk?” -presentation at the recent Zeitgeist Media Festival in Brisbane I hope to create an additional bit of buzz about this new art movement for a positive future!

So here is a post that was probably one of the first ones out there talking about Solarpunk. It has inspired me so much and I would like to send out a huge thank you to missolivialouise!