Kuba is a 24 year old programmer actively fighting for LGBT rights, going through the process of transgender. His awareness of climate change emerged quite early in his life, even though he still faces denialism of that issue in his family. He stresses the importance of acknowledging the ties between climate change and capitalism and exploitation. He also points out that the southern countries, which already are going through ecological catastrophes, are the most homophobic countries, hence a lot of refugees from those places will have a lot of trauma, which can re-occur in European countries like Poland, where tensions connected with LGBT rights are increasing.
When he thinks about the future and climate catastrophe he is afraid of the rising number of homeless people, high prices of food, drought and an increasing hostility among people.
„Divorced from his roots, man loses his psychic stability.”*
Solastalgia – The pain or sickness caused by the loss or lack of solace and the sense of isola- tion connected to the present state of oneʼs home and territory.**
‚Solastalgiaʼ is a term coined in 2005 by an environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht from Latin words:
solus -alone, sole, solitary
solacium -solace, comfort in the face of distressing events
algia -pain, suffering, sickness
It refers to the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault (physical desolation).
In contrast to Nostalgia, Solastalgia is not about looking back to golden past, nor is it about seeking another place as ‚homeʼ. It is the ‚lived experienceʼ of the loss of the present. A form of homesickness one gets when one is still at ‚homeʼ.
For the people portrayed in this project, Solastalgia is future oriented. As ecological or social activists they are the ones spreading awareness about the consequences of climate change. Faced with devastating facts about global warming causing melting ice and rising seas, plant and animals species extinction, forest fires and droughts, heat waves and many more, they go through phases of eco-grief, acknowledging that the planet and ecosystem as we know it is rapidly dying. Even though they live in Europe, where, so far the climate catastrophe hasn’t shown its worst face and their everyday reality hasn’t changed yet, they feel the upcoming tragedy of mass-migration, unbearable heat wave, lack of green areas, people fighting for last resources.
Despite of differences in age, occupation, financial status or sexual orientation, they all share a strong feeling of hopelessness about the undeniable fact that the earth, their homeland has been deteriorating.
*E. Mitchell (1946),Soil and Civilization , Halstead Press, Sydney, p.4
** G. Albrecht (2005), Solastalgia: a new concept in human health and identity. PAN Partners