Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Solastalgia, a new type of sadness

Posted on | February 5, 2008 | 1 Comment

From January 2008 issue of Wired (pg70)

Global Mourning
Glenn Albrecht has been interviewing Australians over the last few years and scores of them have described the deep, wrenching sense of loss as they watch the landscape around them change. Familiar plants don’t grow any more. Gardens won’t take. Birds are gone. They no longer feel like they know the place they’ve lived for decades. Albrecht believes that this is a new type of sadness. People are feeling displaced. They’re suffering symptoms eerily similar to those of indigenous populations that are forcibly removed from their traditional homelands. But nobody is being relocated; they haven’t moved anywhere. It’s just that the familiar markers of their area, the physical and sensory signals that define home, are vanishing. Their environment is moving away from them, and they miss it terribly. Albrecht has given this syndrome an evocative name: solastalgia. It’s a mashup of the roots solacium (comfort) and algia (pain) which together aptly conjure the word nostalgia. In essence, it’s pining for a lost environment. Solastalgia, says Albrecht, is a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at home.


One Response to “Solastalgia, a new type of sadness”

  1. Caitlin
    February 7th, 2008 @ 9:32 am

    Love this. Thanks for posting.

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