Earth Exchange in the Hunter Valley

Glenn Albrecht
Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
2010

Story Info

GEE2

Story & Experience

NOTE: Radical Joy for Hard Times is honored that Australian philosopher-author-activist Glenn Albrecht, who coined the term “solastalgia“, has been participating in our Global Earth Exchanges since the very beginning. Glenn’s creation of a word for “the pain one feels when the place where one lives and that one loves is under assault” has given credence to a form of grief and anxiety that many have felt but few took seriously. Here is Glenn’s story about his first Global Earth Exchange—also RadJoy’s first Global Earth Exchange—which he did with his wife Jill in an area of Australia that has been devastated by open-cut coal mining.

My report on what I was able to day today at 1.00pm in the Hunter Valley:

Earth Exchange in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia.

Location, Lemington Lookout, overlooking Hunter Valley coal mines and power stations.

The location was chosen as it has a commanding view of the desolation of the Hunter Valley by open cut coal mining. My wife Jill and I selected white stones in the immediate area to build an Earth Dove. The Earth Dove had an olive branch placed in its beak as a peace offering to the earth. The olive branch was taken from the garden of a person in the Hunter Valley whose life has been badly affected by open-cut coal mining. She has had to move from her ancestral home to a new location to avoid mining, but now it too is under threat from an expanding coal mine.

GlennEE3

We also “smoked” the bird and the area as the Indigenous people would do to “cleanse” an area of bad spirits and things that cause pathology. The smoke generates a new beginning and the return of human and ecosystem health.

Jill and I spoke of the symbolism of the Earth Dove and the soliphilia needed in the Hunter Valley to overcome the solastalgia caused by mining and burning coal.

Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Image Credit:

  • GlennEE3: Glenn Albrecht
  • GEE2: Glenn Albrecht

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2019-09-10T17:52:37-07:00
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