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Immersive. Mind-expanding. Nourishing. Hidden Compass is a women-founded media company ending the era of junk food media by uniting audiences — like you — with the humans, causes, and possibilities behind award-winning stories and groundbreaking expeditions. 

Our business model isn’t driven by clickbait and selling user data, but instead inspires patrons of journalism and forges an Alliance to pave the way to a new future — one where exploration takes us to the frontiers of understanding. Are you in?

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Every Hidden Compass story is published alongside a fundraising campaign. 50% of proceeds support Hidden Compass, and 50% go directly to each storyteller — on top of their pay. Every dollar brings us closer to a future that recognizes and honors the partnership between journalists, publications, and you. Look how much we’ve raised so far!

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Explore the Latest Issue

Autumn 2022

Unveiled Lives

A Note From the Editors

What do we do when the people and places we’re trying to understand are shrouded? How do we pierce the veils of history or chemistry, art or psychology in order to glimpse the lives they conceal? The autumn 2022 issue of Hidden Compass is devoted to answering those questions. Five storytellers from all over…

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Autumn 2022

Unveiled Lives

A Note from the Editors

What do we do when the people and places we’re trying to understand are shrouded? How do we pierce the veils of history or chemistry, art or psychology in order to glimpse the lives they conceal?

The autumn 2022 issue of Hidden Compass is devoted to answering those questions. Five storytellers from all over the globe bring us five different takes on this issue’s theme, Unveiled Lives.

We start, aptly, at The Beginning of the Beginning, in a sculpture garden in Kenya. While seeking traces of her Ameru ancestry and her people’s full origin story of Mbwaa, journalist Peace Mundia reckons with the aftermath of colonialism. As this issue’s Portrait story makes clear, loss and its accompanying sadness can be echoes of the past that still reverberate and inform the present. 

Then, in this issue’s Quest story, the unintended — and remarkable — consequences that can follow a life-shaking event are celebrated. Into the Shimmering Void offers an exquisite pair of narrative experiences: those of James Holman, a blind, world-traveling explorer of the 19th century, and those of storyteller Maud Rowell, a blind, world-traveling explorer of the 21st century. Along the way, the story and its original artwork, by blind artist Keith Salmon, challenge our notions of who should be celebrated and admired. 

Recognition is also at the heart of our Human & Nature photo feature, which takes us deep into Nepal. In the village of Dhye, in the remote Himalaya, writer and photographer Tulsi Rauniyar introduces us to the “corner people,” whose centuries-old way of life is imperiled. The Lonely Kingdom contemplates the difficult choices these individuals are making — even as the end draws nigh. 

Next, we venture into Antarctic waters for a Chasing Demons story centered on old traumas and new beginnings. Mayday at the Bottom of the World, by journalist Jane Ellen Stevens, is a powerful, poignant, and gripping adventure story about the RSV Aurora Australis, a distressed ship cut off from the world. But it is also a brave, stirring memoir that emerges in catastrophe’s wake. 

Finally, we immerse ourselves in a sweeping series of unveiled lives. In our Time Travel story, The Three Lives of Warsaw’s Neon, Poland’s capital is aglow as journalist Emily Manthei illuminates the city’s history of “neonization” — and a century of art and commerce, form and function, war and peace. 

As always, we extend our deepest gratitude to our readers, who share our vision of powerful storytelling, and to our contributors, who bring us stories from the frontiers of modern exploration.

Until the next voyage,

Jeremy Berlin, Editorial Director

Sabine K. Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-founders

Read Past Stories

Meet Your Heroes

This Issue’s Featured Journalists and Storytellers
Buckaroo Portrait, Photo by: Kim F. Stone

Find your story.

Choose a Theme to Explore
Journey alongside characters in pursuit of elusive truths. Travel through extreme landscapes, to the far reaches of the planet, and into the unknown.
Get to know extraordinary characters from around the world — individuals, cultures, places, creatures, and even objects.
Investigate the relationship between humankind and the planet. Come face-to-face with Nature as an unpredictable danger, a wise teacher, and a precarious organism.
Delve into the dark and difficult aspects of a place, even when the darkness exists only in the narrator. Investigative pieces, historical exposés, and tales of narrators immersed in danger.
Inhabit the past, present, and future of a place. Unearth layers of ancient legends and traditions; probe the transient nature of the current moment; and venture out into prediction, peril, and possibility.

Photo: Dr. Gilad Fiskus

Photo: Sivani Babu

Photo: Kim F. Stone

Photo: Sivani Babu

Photo: Sugato Mukherjee

Photo: Geraint Rowland

Find your story.

Choose a Theme to Explore

Photo: Sivani Babu

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Quest

Journey alongside characters in pursuit of elusive truths. Travel through extreme landscapes, to the far reaches of the planet, and into the unknown.

Photo: Sivani Babu

Buckaroo Portrait, Photo by: Kim F. Stone

Get to know extraordinary characters from around the world — individuals, cultures, places, creatures, and even objects.

Photo: Kim F. Stone

Investigate the relationship between humankind and the planet. Come face-to-face with Nature as an unpredictable danger, a wise teacher, and a precarious organism.

Photo: Sivani Babu

Delve into the dark and difficult aspects of a place, even when the darkness exists only in the narrator. Investigative pieces, historical exposés, and tales of narrators immersed in danger.

Photo: Sugato Mukherjee

Inhabit the past, present, and future of a place. Unearth layers of ancient legends and traditions; probe the transient nature of the current moment; and venture out into prediction, peril, and possibility.

Photo: Geraint Rowland