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Solastalgia

I've been reading about solastalgia because it seems to identify the pain that many in Shetland feel in response to the Viking Energy Wind Farm (VEWF) construction. Solastalgia is a combination of the words 'solace' and 'nostalgia' to describe the distress caused by the transformation and destruction of our home environment. It brings the sense of place we feel together with our health and the environment. It is a relatively new idea, which was first introduced by Dr. Glenn Albrecht in 2003 at an Ecohealth Forum in Montreal. I include an article he has written in the RESOURCES section on this web site as well as a general study that reviews literature about it published from 2004 to 2018.


I wish someone would create a formal research study of the impact of the VEWF development and current construction on people here in Shetland. In addition to the negative health impact on people from noise, infrasound, vibration and pollution, the impact of the devastation being created on emotional and mental health needs serious consideration. It is real and will only grow.


This image shows work by the artist Bea Fremderman, from an exhibition called Solastalgia held in 2016 at the Born Nude art gallery in Chicago, USA. On the gallery's web site it says, "she imagines ... a world after all is lost. Hoodies and socks disappear beneath chia sprouts, fruits are barely held together by sutures, and bowls are made of dryer lint, making you wonder: if every object around you was a reminder of an impending ecological disaster, would you act differently towards the earth?"


I like the way she describes solastalgia in the interview published in the DIS Magazine Blog. She says solastalgia "...captures the particular form of psychological distress that sets in when the homeland that we love and from which we take comfort is radically altered by extraction and industrialization, rendering it alienating and unfamiliar." She says it is "the homesickness you feel when you are still at home."