Friday, 20 July 2012
Solastalgia on this "alien" planet
In a 2004 essay, A Canadian professor called Albrecht coined a term to describe a hitherto unrecognised psychological condition.: “solastalgia,” a combination of the Latin word solacium (comfort) and the Greek root –algia (pain), which he defined as “the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault . . . a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at ‘home.’
I prefer Solastalgia to Nostalgia because I feel I have been 'forced off my old land' even though I am still here. Solastalgia is something I suffer whilst observing changes against which I am powerless to take action. I think loads of people are suffering from Solastalgia - immigrants know all about it - they have really moved off their land.
The term Future Shock as a possible name for our 'condition' – Toffler describes Future Shock as "too much change in too short a period of time". But I don't think we are suffering from future shock – we are homesick whilst still at home in a now foreign place. We are Solastalgic!