Worldwide, there is an increase in emotional distress syndromes due to environmental change. We are struggling to come to terms with our home environments changing around us, beyond our control, causing profound shifts in our sense of place, identity and belonging. The Australian philosopher, Glenn Albrecht, gave a name to this feeling; he called it ‘solastalgia’, conjuring the homesickness of the older word ‘nostalgia.’ Solastalgia recognises that people derive solace from places that are special to them, and experience pain when those places are desolated. In short: solastalgia is the homesickness one feels whilst still at home.
Science is an intrinsic discourse of climate change, but so too is human emotion. Solastalgia aims to combine these two usually disparate narratives. Through geological cartography and scientific illustration, the case studies map the progression of three personal experiences of solastalgia: from solace (in land, home or place) to desolation and -algia (pain).
Solastalgia seeks to link the personal to the global, ultimately helping people recognise their own feelings of solastalgia, hoping they may derive some small solace from knowing they’re not alone.