The thing about lunar punk is there doesn’t seem to be a coherent idea of what it means. Solarpunk is fairly fuzzy round the edges as a concept, but it has a fairly recognisable core; hopeful utopian visions of the future that strongly feature eco-friendly technologies and ecologically integrated societies, bright colours, and a diverse set of people and cultural ideals.
Lunarpunk however, has yet to develop its own distinct identity as a subset or sibling of solarpunk. I think the main reason lunarpunk has been so vague is whilst people instinctualy know its meant to be a reflection of solarpunk, no one is sure which parts of solarpunk it should be a reflection or contrast of.
The aesthetic look seems to be the easiest to decide upon. Generally examples of lunarpunk tend to have a darker pallet, erring for rich purples and blues. I’ve seen a few people say that to them, lunarpunk is combining the solarpunk ethos with a goth aesthetic. It’s towns lit at night with natural bioluminescent sources. It’s clothing inspired by moths and ravens. I’ve seen a good summation of the dress style would be hippy and witchy mixed together.
In a back and forth on social media, I’ve had someone comment that my article on mushrooms is quite lunarpunk, as mushrooms are inherently lunarpunk as plants are solarpunk. This makes a sort of sense, they are a form of nature that thrives in darkness and shade, they share the curved and winding shapes of plants, yet they seem even more bazaar and alien.
For my own personal take on lunarpunk, I really favour the idea that it deals with the occult and ecological spirituality. Making it both a reflection of, and companion to, Solarpunk’s focus on ecological technology. We live in a world that is focused primarily on the material. With a world where material needs are far better met, and the time humans need to spend working is massively reduced, pursuit of more mental and spiritual goals would become more accessible.
Giving more cultural time to more spiritual viewpoints would, I feel, be beneficial to society at large. Now when I say spiritual, I don’t mean religious. I don’t think we should give an organised priest class automatic power and defiance. I think true spirituality is a deeply personal journey to connect to something bigger. In my personal case this is not to a god(s) or entity(s), but a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of nature and the awesome forces and flows it represents.
In a society where the Dominant viewpoint centers harmony and re-integration with nature I feel a More pagan mindset would re-assert itself. Moving away from large structured institutions like organised religions to a more personal relationship to nature.
New ideas around the place ritual and structured rights of passage in our society could take root. In the better worlds dreamed up in solarpunk style futures life would be less dominated by excessive work and needless consumption, this provides furtive ground to explore bigger, more philosophical questions and self-actualisation.
Solarpunks IIINNNN SPAAACE
A new theme that seems to be emerging from the collective discussion around lunarpunk is that it can focus on solarpunk themes in an off-world setting. Space travel and colonies organised around alternative methods like anarchism, coops, social ecology and technologies to match. Tales based around the trials of growing crops on a space station or the difficulty of integrating into a world’s ecosystem when humans would be, by definition, an invasive species, provide furtile ground for great speculative fiction. This also brings up some wonderful ideas around how to make space travel ecologically sustainable. The amount of resources we use to brute force ourselves out of our atmosphere use insane amounts of resources, both in construction and in fuel. If we are to have space travel in an ecologically friendly world, we are going to have to come up with some radically different models of achieving it.
If there is any Ideas around what lunarpunk is or should be I haven’t covered here I would love to hear about them.