The Next Eclipse is an invitation to shift our perspective on southern Illinois. Rather than seeing it as a dying region waiting for outside interests to save it, we propose that what makes it special is rooted in its status of being economically overlooked. A better future for this region will be built not by the wealthy or their politicians, and certainly not by more polluting industries, but by everyday people organizing ourselves to build a unique way of living and sustaining the life, history, and struggle of this region.
The Next Eclipse is a challenge to build the capacity for regional autonomy in this time between the eclipses. By “autonomy,” we mean the possibility of a life outside the existing economic and political relations, the possibility of a dignified, free, and equal life here in southern Illinois.
The Next Eclipse, finally, is a short book that has been passed hand to hand in southern Illinois, its intended audience, and shared over a far broader range. It has inspired others to think about their own regions in new ways, and there are rumors of similar projects in different places.
We are currently collecting stories from people who have lived and struggled in Little Egypt. We are interested in stories about a wide variety of topics: subsistence farming, labor struggles, struggles against racism; about fights for the forest; about what you cherish most about life in southern Illiniois. If you would like to share your stories with us, please visit our contact page by clicking here.