Look and Listen

Solastalgia (2020)

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė

Commissioned by the festival "Muzikos Ruduo" 2020

Quite often I find ideas hidden within a  word that I've never encountered before. Solastalgia is a recently coined term that immediately evoked my imagination with its meaning as well as the sound of the words itself.

Solastalgia has its origins in the concepts of "solace" and "desolation". The meaning of solace is connected to the alleviation of distress or the provision of comfort or consolation in the face of distressing events. Desolation is related to abandonment and loneliness. The suffix -algia has connotations of pain or suffering. hence, solastalgia is a form of "homesickness" like that experienced with traditionally defined nostalgia, except that the victim has not left their home or home environment. Solastalgia, simply put, is "the homesickness you have when you are still at home". The term is related to the anguish caused by environmental changes and global warming. it acquired some new meanings throughout the time of the global pandemic where we all have been experience a lack of solace and longing for life itself as we've known it.

The concept of nostalgia is one of the essential components that has been threaded through my work and solastalgia conveys yet another gradation, another layer of it.