Solarpunk Art Showcase: What Does a Solarpunk Family Look Like?

Welcome to this exercise in collective visioning and creation. A new version of the future is being born, and your participation is kindly requested. This joyful vision has been incubating for more than a decade, but the world was not ready for it. Now, we are not only ready; we are hungry for it!

There’s a burgeoning movement of artists, dreamers, builders, visionaries, teachers, innovators, doers, and makers who have been taking consistent steps to bring forth a bright, just, regenerative world for all children and future generations.

We are retelling the story of humanity. A new way forward built on ancient wisdom and the most beautiful values of humankind.

Jessica Perlstein - The Fifth Sacred Thing

Creation requires imagination. Everything that exists today was once imagined. We are going through a process of collective renewal and art is essential for our soul’s survival. Art is a powerful healing outlet, a vehicle for cultural transformation, and a potential force for social change.

“Radical times call for radical imagination and a radical transformation of how the world can operate.”

~Andrewism

The old paradigm of working in silos and echo chambers is dying. The following 30 months are crucial for the future of all living things on this planet. Our actions today will impact the lives of millions tomorrow. It is time to work together in unity, radical collaboration, and coordinated global effort. We need you!

Solarpunk Generation:

Solarpunk Generation is a multi-level project grounded in a framework that borrows elements from solarpunk combined with research-based elements of community psychology, emotional intelligence, positive psychology, and eco-psychology.

It envisions a regenerative future built on a foundation of equal inclusion, empathy, and respect for ecological and human diversity (regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, ability, language, sexual orientation, or neurodiversity), where everyone has a unique role in promoting ecological well-being, harmony, and resilience.

Solarpunk Generation is launching a series of projects leading to local and global networks of eco-hubs and common pools of resources to support the healing of our planet and radically address eco-anxiety in children, youth, families, and diverse communities.

The graphic depicts some of the foundational elements and values guiding these projects. More will be revealed as other projects are launched. Anyone is welcome to build upon or modify the graphic to create their own models or frameworks in their particular areas of work or projects —as long as these projects reflect life-affirming intentions that support the healing of our planet or communities.

Solarpunk Generation Values

The first project launching is a different kind of podcast. A bridge between generations that reflects diverse voices sharing life-affirming values, visions, and actions for a more sustainable, regenerative future. It will feature inspiring families, from children to grandparents and everyone in between (Gen Alpha, Gen Z, Millenials, etc.), actively working to build this future today.

The podcast is the seed for other upcoming projects. Many guests will be encouraged to contribute their wisdom, brilliance, or experience to different phases of the larger project and sub-projects (e.g., area expert guests/mentors for Summer Camp, pilots, live events, etc.). There will be many opportunities to support, connect, and amplify their efforts and dedication.

This art showcase seeks to accurately reflect the richness and diversity in the solarpunk movement. More than an art showcase, this is a live co-creation of the future—each piece adding infinite possibilities to our collective imagination. A beautiful tapestry of vibrant colors, textures, and flavors of the best possible future we can create together.

We will share entries on social media channels and amplify the work of those entering the showcase as much as possible.

What is Solarpunk?

For many, the future looks bleak and grim. We’ve all seen multiple images of disaster and destruction that often keep many people overwhelmed, helpless, and paralyzed by fear. Young people feel particularly anxious and with nothing to look forward to. It’s time to change the narrative.

“We are solarpunks because the only other options are denial or despair”.

~Adam Flynn

To support the mental and emotional health of children and youth, we need to be able to offer a new way forward. We can’t get there by only focusing on the problems. We have to bring attention to the solutions already being implemented and the people behind them.

It is time to unleash our human potential, activate our superpowers through imagination and ingenuity, and harness our collective intelligence to shift the trajectory of our planet.

Solarpunk can be seen as a dynamic grassroots movement of writers, artists, environmentalists, engineers, creatives, scientists, systems-change leaders, activists, Earth protectors, and lovers of nature. A decentralized yet inter-connected mycelial web of stewards of the planet. Evolving together as the world moves through this planetary transition.

Solarpunk actively resists definitions so there can be space for exploration and creativity as we build a brighter, healthier future in community and through collaboration.

“Solarpunk is better characterized as a kaleidoscopic manifesto, an argument in story and image, the song of a community both inchoate and coalescing, simultaneously committed and finding its feet… Here’s to the light”

~Rhys Williams

The origins of solarpunk are fascinating! Its first mentions trace back to 2008 when the post titled “From Steampunk to Solarpunk” proposed a new literary genre inspired by the science fiction genre called Steampunk.

Solarpunk became more widely recognized in 2014 thanks to a Tumbler post by Miss Olivia Louise, the artist who suggested new aesthetic ideas to make solarpunk a plausible near-future sci-fi genre blended with art. Miss Olivia Louise proposed:

“Natural colors!
Art Nouveau!
Handcrafted wares!
Tailors and dressmakers!
Streetcars!
Airships!
Stained glass window solar panels!!!
Education in tech and food growing!
Less corporate capitalism, and more small businesses!
Solar rooftops and roadways!
Communal greenhouses on top of apartments!
Electric cars with old-fashioned looks!
No-cars-allowed walkways lined with independent shops!
Renewable energy-powered Art Nouveau-styled tech life!”

Miss Olivia’s post went viral and solarpunk quickly grew into a luscious fusion of literature, art, and activism. The Solarpunk Manifesto published in 2019 is a creative re-adaptation of ideas about solarpunk written by many people.

According to Jay Springett, a long-time steward of the movement, Solarpunk aims to cancel the apocalypse:

“Refuse rebooted and reheated stories and visions of the future that pervade our media culture.

And Talk loudly about the ones you DO want to see. What they look like, how they make you feel.

Write stories, Make Art,  and music about them. Because we can’t manifest what we don’t share.”

~Jay Springett

Solarpunk is not about denial or blind optimism. We are highly aware of the urgent, global challenges we face, but solarpunk is about hope in action. It is about refusing to give up and taking matters into our own hands to actively create the future we do want. That’s the “punk” in solarpunk.

Refuse Dystopia @Joan_de_art

Solarpunk’s values are rooted in ecological responsibility, sustainability, practicality, ingenuity, independence, regeneration, diversity, active hope, self-governance, social justice, community care, collaborative social ideas, and so much more!

According to Andrewism, who has integrated some of these values in visual form through his solarpunk videos on YouTube, solarpunk is concerned with ecological well-being and human well-being and it is dedicated to going beyond the limitations of capitalism and the current rift between humanity and nature. Andrewism has shared about Solarpunk Solutions and has addressed some critiques of the solarpunk movement.

The Systems Change Club on Clubhouse is a great resource to follow if you are more of an auditory learner. Join one of the regular solarpunk rooms to learn and contribute as we explore ways to reach aspirational, realistic futures via systems change.

There is a comprehensive Solarpunk Reference Guide and more resources by Solarpunk Station. The community also has a Solarpunk Magazine and a Solarpunk Zine.

This is not an attempt to define solarpunk. It is just a brief introduction to get you started and get your creative juices flowing if you are interested in entering the showcase.

There are incredible solarpunk art pieces all over the internet depicting environments, nature, and architecture. But, equally, we need to tell a collective story of the people creating that future. Would you join us?

Showcase Details

June Update: We have removed some submission specifications to make it easier to enter and the deadline to submit artwork has been extended to September 25th, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST. This is World Dream Day, a day to activate ideas and declare new possibilities. Join us to declare a future of infinite possibilities!

What is the role of family in that brighter, regenerative, beautiful world we all know is possible?

We know it is possible because we have seen it in our hearts. It exists somewhere in the realm of potential. We just need to align with that possibility to anchor it into this reality. The purpose of the showcase is to share a collaborative vision of the vital role families play in building that future.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a visual representation of a character, entire family, or family member involved in building a solarpunk future.

We seek entries from diverse voices. Neurodivergent, indigenous, LGBTQIA +, and BIPOC voices are highly encouraged to participate!

The showcase is open to all children, young people, and adults. If you care about the future of our planet and all living forms, you are invited to participate.

How to Enter:

1- After becoming familiar with the idea of solarpunk, spend some time brainstorming and imagining what a solarpunk family looks like.

  • What is each family member doing?
  • How are they interacting with nature?
  • How are they interacting with other people?
  • How are they interacting with technology?
  • How are they contributing to a life-affirming society?
  • How are they taking care of themselves?
  • How are they taking care of the planet?
  • How are they developing their inner abilities?
  • How are they channeling their energy?
  • How are they promoting sustainability and regeneration?
  • How are they demonstrating inclusivity, empathy, and respect for biodiversity, neurodiversity, and all forms of human diversity?
  • How are they creating solutions to build a solarpunk future?
  • How are they in harmony with other systems?
  • What steps are they taking to be a positive force for change in society?

You can choose to focus on one, any, or all of these questions.

2- Send your final artwork to solarpunkgeneration@gmail.com with the subject line “Solarpunk Families Art Submission” to enter. Submissions should include:

  • Original art, not published elsewhere.
  • Full name, age, and contact information.
  • Title of your piece.
  • Links to social media handles. You are encouraged to share your progress using the social media hashtags #solarpunkfamilies and #solarpunkgeneration. We will be sharing social media entries, posts, and stories with appropriate credit throughout the duration of the showcase.
  • An original high-resolution image.
  • The format can be any visual medium: digital, ink, paint, 3D, etc.
  • For children and youth under 18, please have parents complete the Parental Consent Form.

Prizes:

  • One winner will receive $500 in cash.
  • 1,000 trees planted on their behalf through TreeSisters.
  • One recycled paper sketchbook, professional drawing sketch set, and art supply bundle.
  • One winner will have a special featured podcast episode dedicated to their journey.
  • Special mentions for future projects and campaigns.
  • We are actively seeking more funding and donations to add to the prize pool so that more winners can be selected.

Do not wait until the last minute to submit your artwork. There might be some surprises for those submitting artwork early!

If you have ideas about creative prizes or would like to donate to the prize pool, please reach out to solarpunkgeneration@gmail.com.

Judging Criteria:

Submissions will be juried by an incredible panel of judges with overlapping expertise in a variety of visual and literary arts. So far J.D Harlock, Andrewism, Hal Hefner, and Solarpunk Magazine have graciously offered their help with judging. The judging panel will evaluate the artwork considering solarpunk aesthetics, alignment with solarpunk values, and the overall composition using the elements and principles of art.

Terms of Publicity:

Entrants retain copyright of all entered materials and are free to use said materials for personal promotion, but they grant Solarpunk Generation and the showcase sponsors rights to reproduce the work  (i.e., use in social media outlets) provided full and correct credit for the artist clearly appears within the said materials.

Disqualification

We are grounded in values of social justice, empathy, and respect for all living beings. Therefore, any image or word that is deemed to contain content that is considered inflammatory or inappropriate will be disqualified; this includes material that is racist, misogynous, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic, ableist, eco-fascist or that promotes any oppressive dynamics. Interpretation of what is and is not appropriate material is at the judges’ discretion.

Sponsors:

If you or your organization would like to collaborate, support, help amplify the mission, or donate anything (skills, art, prizes, or feedback), please reach out!

Please help spread the word about this project so more people can join!

Questions, concerns, feedback? solarpunkgeneration@gmail.com.

Art Featured on this Post:

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Jessica Perlstein
Refuse Dystopia by Joan_De_Art

Remember, Solarpunk can happen. Now

And we are just getting started…

About Day

Day Sanchez is a bilingual school psychologist, education specialist, and Emotional Intelligence (EQ) facilitator dedicated to supporting the optimal cognitive, creative, spiritual, and social-emotional development of gifted, twice-exceptional (2e), and highly sensitive children and youth. She has over a decade of experience working with gifted and neurodivergent children in public and private schools, nonprofits, and online worldwide.

She creates programs and resources to support children, youth, and families experiencing eco-anxiety and other eco-emotions. Solarpunk Generation was born to help bring the Solarpunk movement to families and the neurodiverse community to create a positive shift in the collective narrative and build a new way forward. Day is on a mission to inspire all children and young visionaries to embody their highest potential, contribute their gifts to the world, and help us accelerate humanity’s evolution.

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