“Promised Land: Religious Ideology and Solarpunk Science Fiction”

Rob Cameron writes for The New Modality on the potentials of re-enchanting the optimistic Solarpunk and Afrofuturist genres:

There is no greater or more fundamental technology than culture. It, and the ark of ideologies that arise from it, are more than just peer pressure from dead people. Culture is software. And more often than not, that includes a spiritual platform.

Octavia Butler’s novel is indeed a kind of parable, a creation tale of a new cult ideology that supports science. Solarpunk has, by accident of adaptation, evolved into a community with synonymous language to the Book of Life and syncretic, or amalgamating, instincts. So although Octavia Butler didn’t consider herself an Afrofuturist, and Olamina’s goal was to take humanity to other planets rather than try and save this one, there are lessons here that solarpunk can easily repurpose. Which is kind of its thing.

Imagining ways to create new from old, inducing change and being changed, interacting more mindfully with the environment and other people — this is the solarpunk mission. But to transform others, it would help if solarpunk becomes more open to self-transformation from unexpected places like spiritual traditions, which it has traditionally rejected. 

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