“Soliphilia” is the love of the totality of our place relationships, and a willingness to accept the political responsibility for protecting and conserving them at all scales. The concept has its origins in the French solidaire (interdependent) and the Latin solidus (solid or whole), and, the love of one’s fellow citizens and neighbors implied by the Greek (philia). Soliphilia is manifest in the interdependent solidarity, and the wholeness or unity needed between people, to overcome the alienation and disempowerment present in contemporary political decision-making about the environment.
Soliphilia introduces the notion of political commitment to the saving of loved places at all scales, from the local to the global. This ‘philia’ is a culturally and politically inspired addition to the other philias, which have been created to give positive biological and geographical conceptions of connectivity and place. While only in existence since created by me in 2009, this concept has already been discussed in feature articles on ecopsychology and politics that have global reach. It has even inspired a few artworks.
Soliphilia is now added to love of life and landscape, to give us the love of the whole, and the solidarity needed between humans to keep healthy and strong that which we all hold in common. The relevance of soliphilia lies in the hard work that people must do, all over the planet, to save those places that are under terraphthoric assault.
In order to negate all the ‘algias’ or forces that cause sickness and extinction, we require a positive love of place, expressed as a fully committed politics, and as a powerful ethos or way of life. Soliphilia goes beyond the left-right politics of the control and ownership of cancerous industrial growth. It avoids alienating those who see ‘solidarity’ as ideologically captured by the left or progressive politics. Soliphilia and sumbiocracy, together, provide a new foundation for governance that respects symbiosis. Soliphilia, ultimately leads to the Symbiocene.
[Image: Protest at Bulga NSW by community members and a dog]