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What is Solarpunk?
Solarpunk is a prefigurative, utopian artistic movement that envisions what the future might look like if humanity solved major modern challenges like climate change, and created more sustainable and balanced societies. As a genre and cultural aesthetic, it encompasses literature, visual art, fashion, video games, architecture, and more. Solarpunk carries many aspects of punk ideologies such as rebelliousness, humanitarianism, egalitarianism, animal rights, decolonization, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-corporatism, and anti-consumerism. Similar to the cyberpunk genre, the big difference between the two is that in solarpunk technology and nature are in harmony with one another rather than in conflict.
Not all solarpunk stories take place in idealistic utopias. Many tales are rife with compelling conflict among people and communities optimistically striving to reach that ideal while still struggling to solve some existing challenges. But all solarpunk stories do have things in common such as future or near-future settings, optimistic perspectives, and looking toward a better future with at least a growing harmony between nature, technology, and humanity. In short, solarpunk stories are decidedly not dystopias.
Why Solarpunk Magazine?
The time for solarpunk has come, and the mission of this magazine is to become one of many important catalysts for an important and necessary revolution within both the literary world and our larger culture. The genre has been around since the early 2000s, but the current state of global affairs in the 2020s—from dismally apocalyptic climate reports to the global rise of authoritarianism, right wing extremism, xenophobia, male chauvinism, and white supremacy—means solarpunk has never been more vital to the evolution not only of human culture and society, but of all species and the entire planet.
Of course stories about dystopias are fun, exciting, and suspenseful. We enjoy reading, listening to, and watching them immensely. However, dystopia fatigue has also set in. The time has never been more urgent for an explosion of utopian stories to light a path forward out of the darkness into which humanity has dug itself.
We need more fiction and poetry about amazing technological advancements of the future that work in harmony with nature. We need stories about sustainable communities that thrive on cooperation and mutual aid rather than competition and profit. We need to build utopias with pen and page where capitalism and it’s social ills such as white supremacy, patriarchy, and massive wealth disparity are things of the past. In short, we need more literature that demands utopia.
With that in mind, beginning January 11, 2022 Solarpunk Magazine will publish bimonthly issues of short fiction, poetry, and art that tell stories of such utopian endeavors, as well as nonfiction that explores various real world, contemporary topics and their intersection with the solarpunk movement. Our six annual, bimonthly issues publish on the second Tuesday of January, March, May, July, September, and November.
Solarpunk Magazine‘s base of operations is located on Kalapuya Ilihi, the traditional Indigenous homeland of the Kalapuya people. Following treaties between 1851 and 1855, Kalapuya people were dispossessed of their Indigenous homeland by the United States government and forcibly removed to the Coast Reservation in Western Oregon. Today, descendants are citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon, and continue to make important contributions in their communities and across the land we now refer to as Oregon.
We express our respect for all federally recognized Tribal Nations of Oregon. This includes the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and the Klamath Tribes. We also express our respect for all other displaced Indigenous peoples who call Oregon home.
In addition, as our staff is located all over the world, we recognize the unjust and violent displacement of Indigenous peoples around the world as a result of western imperialism and settler colonialism.
(This land acknowledgement was taken and modified from University of Oregon website)
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