Solastalgia “a corrupted form of nostalgia”

Thanks to In These Times for sharing a term new to me, solastagia. The term is in the August 28, 2018 article by Elizabeth Catte “How Fallout 76 Can Help Us Rebuild West Virginia,” where the term is used in relation to videogames, memory, and nostalgia. The article is highly recommended reading for everyone for many reasons. In the article, Catte explains:

Solastalgia, a corrupted form of nostalgia, is the psychic pain that occurs when one’s home vanishes, usually through unwelcome environmental change, be it a natural disaster or mountaintop removal. It’s a form of mental distress among individuals with a strong place connection and is characterized by a profound and unending sense of powerlessness.

With climate change and sea level rise evident in our daily lives, as well as with the ever-widening wealth gap, people lose the homes and spaces they have always known. Where nostalgia is a longing and yearning for a home you can never return to, for belonging, the term solastalgia offers a needed term for necessary conversations.