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.
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!
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!
Much Love & Peace
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!
Not only am I dreaming up a grand positive future fiction story in The Vision (see Preface or Chapter 1 – Departure), but I also record most of my normal dreams, night after night. Then last year my friend lent me the book Exploring the world of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge. It is a guide on how to become aware in your dreams that you are dreaming.
Sounds lame? Maybe in theory, but achieving this conscious dream state is actually an utterly exhilarating experience. In essence a lucid dream offers ultimate freedom, because in this private world of your own imagination you can do anything you like, even the impossible! That’s cool, right?
But taking control of your dreams can also help you to take control of your waking life; reports range from musicians getting over their stage fright, students using extra studying-time for exams, sports people practising their moves and people getting over recurring nightmares.
Lucid dreaming sure is an interesting tool for psychological self-exploration yet the science behind it is only in its infancy. It is a fickle subject to study and LaBerge’s Lucidity Institute keeps doing a lot of pioneering work and there are of course many more great resources on the web.
Now to tie all this back to The Vision…exploring impossibilities in dreams may just help keep my mind supple to explore different future scenarios, especially those unlikely positive ones that I hear so little about!
I admit that lucid dreaming is also a means of escape for me and being bumped out of one is always connected to the somewhat sorry feeling of, ‘I don’t wanna go back to normality…’ 😦 But at least there is no hangover.
The experience is not unlike being immersed in writing The Vision actually, diving into this world of infinite possibilities where I can choose my next moves without the normal attachment to waking life…
Lucid dreaming is definitely one of my favourite subjects of interest. The work you put in pays off and it always feels awesome to be able to say, ‘Honey, I am going to go to sleep to do some research!’