Losing Our Sense of Place: Lecture

By Glenn Albrecht
Posted on 10 October 2011
Filed under Culture, Natural Environment

This is introducing yet another new type of StW post; namely, a pointer to a lecture recorded during an event (usually here at UWA). Those post are identified by the new icon at the top right:

The first post in this series is by Professor Glenn Albrecht of Murdoch University, who recently visited UWA and talked on “Losing Our Endemic Sense of Place: Solastalgia in South West Western Australia.”

The Abstract for his talk is shown below and the lecture audio and video is at the above ink.


We are living in a period of ecocultural disintegration. The complexity and diversity of culture and ecology (ecocultural diversity) is being removed and/or homogenised by powerful forces all tied to modernity, global development and now, climate change. In some respects we are now all in the position of Indigenous peoples who have a lived experience of the desolation of their endemic sense of place and culture. But now, as global ecosystems and the climate change, the whole earth as ‘home’ becomes alien to us. Despite the scale and power of these transformations to our home at all scales, we generally lack the concepts to understand the negative and positive dimensions of our situation. This presentation will examine what I call  ‘psychoterratic states’ with particular emphasis on the concept of solastalgia, developed by me to explain the lived experience of negative environmental change to a loved home environment. In this case, the loved home environment is Perth and its location within South West, Western Australia. I will conclude with some thoughts about positive concepts that oppose solastalgia that might bring about genuine sustainability and human happiness ... even in Perth.

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