Solarpunk is a relatively new eco-futurist speculative movement focused on envisioning a positive future beyond scarcity and hierarchy, where humanity is reintegrated with nature and technology is used for human-centric and ecocentric purposes.
The term solarpunk is a literary, aesthetic, and artistic subgenre created in the wake of cyberpunk and its other derivatives biopunk and steampunk.
In contrast to the other "punk" science fiction genres that it derives from, solarpunk narratives have a distinctly positive and utopian foundation- as opposed to what are often dystopian narratives found within contemporary science-fiction; to a large extent being a rebellion against widespread pessimism found in science fiction visions of the future. It is conceived as a collaborative social effort to imagine and design a world of post-scarcity abundance, peace, sustainability, social inclusiveness, and beauty- one which is seen as realistically achievable with current technology. Aesthetically it also sits opposed to the often plain and sterile aesthetics of other futuristic subgenres, emphasising vibrancy and vitality in design, blending naturalistic elements with technological components, and mixing the diverse styles of cultures.
Though as a literary subgenre solarpunk has not produced a large literature of its own yet, its major literary influences so far include Iain Banks, William Morris, Kim Stanley Robinson, Hayao Miyazaki, Octavia Butler, Starhawk and Ursula K. Le Guin.
As a response to current global problems such as climate change, solarpunk is tied to eco-political activism. On the whole, it concerns itself with subjects such as sustainability, renewable energy, green politics, and related ideologies and movements.
The prefix "solar-" has been attributed to the idea of green energy, specifically to solar power, as well as photosynthesis, plants, and greenery. The prefix also reflects a commitment to an accessible, evenly distributed utopia for all earth's lifeforms. Sunlight is a universally accessible good that cannot be privatized or commercialized by corporations.<ref name="Valentine" />
The "-punk" suffix refers to solarpunk's counterculture elements. The movement is a rebellion against the contemporary structure of corrupt governments and corporations who pollute the earth and deny their impact on the global climate.<ref name="Nogrady" />
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