What is a Solarpunk?

Solarpunk is an art movement that showcase how the future might look if humanity gets success in solving major contemporary challenges by emphasising on sustainability problems like climate change and pollution.

Key Points

  • Solarpunk describes a multitude of media including fine arts, literature, architecture, music, fashion, tattoos, and video games in a manner similar to adjacent movements like steampunk & cyberpunk and more established art movements such as Baroque, Art Nouveau & Impressionism.
  • Iconography of solarpunk focuses on renewable energies including solar and wind power.
  • Solarpunk is highly concerned with technology but also embraces low-tech ways of living sustainably. For instance, gardening, positive psychology and DIY culture.

Ideology of solarpunk

Solarpunk comprises of many aspects of punk ideologies such as egalitarianism, humanitarianism, anti-consumerism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-corporatism, anti-war, anti-racism, anti-sexism, decolonisation, animal rights etc. It also comprises of aspects of free-culture movement, freedom of information and free software.

Examples of Solarpunk

Some of the examples of solarpunk in speculative fiction include:

  1. Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastical Stories in a Sustainable World.
  2. Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation.

Background

Solarpunk name is derived from 1980s science fiction genre cyberpunk. Earliest ideas of solarpunk dates back to 2008 when a blog named Republic of the Bees published a post, “From Steampunk to Solarpunk.” Post started the conceptualization of solarpunk as a literary genre. Following the trend, the first solarpunk anthology called “Solarpunk: Histórias ecológicas e fantásticas em um mundo sustentável” was released in Brazil in 2012, for which English version was released in 2018.

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