Cannonballs Create the Biggest Waves; A Solarpunk Story.

Have you ever experienced a deep longing that you didn’t even know you had? This is what I experienced when I first encountered “Solarpunk”.

As an aspiring science-fiction screenwriter and filmmaker, I’ve always been drawn to future visions of the world, and, unfortunately, most Hollywood renditions are bleak, dystopian, and hostile.

Stills from Hunger Games (2014), Blade Runner (1982), and Children of Men (2006).

I can’t say who is at fault. It could be the film market, the executive decision-makers, or a lack of imagination on the creatives part. While Star Trek stands as a shining example, it mostly revolves around other planets, other solar systems, and other civilizations. We don’t spend much time on earth.

Illustration by Rita Fei
Illustration by Rita Fei.

One night, as I searched the internet for inspiration, I stumbled upon this illustration. It took me a couple of seconds to take it all in — really take it all in. It included the hashtag #Solarpunk, a term I had never heard of but helped clear up some of the ideas behind this image. I instantly realized that I had never seen a future world depicted so bright, so green, and so hopeful.

Before I could put into words what I was feeling, a sudden rush of sadness came over me. The harsh reality of our current world juxtaposed with this harmonious vision of our future brought me to tears.

Made on imgflip.com

I could blame a lifetime of dystopian obsession in our entertainment, the emotional COVID-fatigue of the last 18 months, or just my increasing discontent with our current societal trajectory. Whatever it was, it felt like an amazing gift that was imminently broken into pieces in front of me.

Surprisingly, the sadness didn’t last too long. My mind already raced with different characters, scenarios, and stories that could exist in this new bright future world. A world where, essentially, we all get our shit together, individually and collectively.

As I mentally prepare to cannonball into the waters of Solarpunk, and soak in as much of it as possible, my heart gently whispers to me, “jump already”.

Illustration by Robert Fiszer.

It tells me to make this speculative fiction genre feel just as real as the dark dystopian worlds we’ve been feed for decades. Most importantly, it tells me to share as much as I can so that other writers, illustrators, photographers, fashion designers, architects, or just others with the same longing, can bring this sub-genre to the mainstream.

Next Episode: What the F encompasses Solarpunk?

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director. screenwriter. I write sci-fi, solarpunk and weird alien adventures with Latino leads.

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Karla J. Gallardo

Karla J. Gallardo

director. screenwriter. I write sci-fi, solarpunk and weird alien adventures with Latino leads.

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