Under Pressure by Commando Jugendstil and Tales from the EV Studio
With the handover checklists completed and all the documents signed, Loopy finds himself sitting at his desk in the old cowork where everything started in the early 2010s, staring at his e-ink screen through a daze of exhaustion.
“You look like you’ve been run over by a lorry, chief, no offence,” comments Bice Chen with her strong Tuscan accent. A restoration specialist, she is one of his earliest apprentices, and now is basically like a second in command to him for all things artistic and organisational within the Commando.
“I feel like that too,” Loopy admits, forcing a grin on his face.
A patchy beard has appeared on his jaw from lack of shaving, his hair is in complete disarray and the dark circles under his eyes are almost the colour of tarmac over an even-more-faded-than-usual Mediterranean tan. He looks ghastly and grey.
“Maybe you should take a holiday. Chill for a bit, you know?” Bice suggests, even as she leafs through a well-thumbed copy of a restoration science textbook in search of insights for the next job. Now that the earliest transitioned buildings from the 2010s and early 2020s are over the 20 years mark, her skills are ever more in demand.
“I know what a holiday is, Bice,” Loopy points out, letting some sarcasm seep into his tone.
“Oh really? Our schedule would like to object,” she retorts, pointing to the large planner stuck to the wall opposite their desks.
Each day is marked with coloured spots to indicate who is working or scheduled to be working. His bright orange dots form a solid block since January. It’s June now and as it turns out he’s not taken a break at all, except a few weekends at the end of winter.
“You’re working like it’s the 2010s, chief. That isn’t healthy at all…”Tweet
Commando Jugendstil is a small collective of Italian solarpunk creators who aim to conjugate green technology and art to make cities a better place to live in and build creative communities. So far they have written short stories for Mamut Magazine no. 6 (Eco-logos), the independent UK publisher Bear With Me Books, and the anthologies Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers and Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters by WorldWeaver Press, essays for Reckoning Mag vol.4 and their Creativity and Coronavirus series, and designed artwork for Mamut Magazine no. 6 (Eco-logos), Optopia Zine vol. 1 and Ecología Política no. 57 (Las artes y la ecología política), among other things. Their members are invested in climate justice activism and collaborate with their local action groups. They are also working on an EU grant they won last year to use solarpunk speculative design to help communities plan and enact their sustainable futures – solarpunk is a verb for them.
Tales from the EV is also a small collective of storytellers. They started out with archanepunk and alternate history, but fell in love with solarpunk while helping the Commando write Midsummer Night’s Heist. Their collaboration has been going strong ever since. Members of TftEV are involved in climate justice activism with Earth Strike UK and the Green New Deal for Europe campaign.