Home, Against All Odds
A Note from the Editors
Home, against all odds — this is the theme for our autumn 2019 issue of Hidden Compass, which showcases the hopes and challenges of what it means to be home, and takes us to the moon and back!
In our written feature, a Detroit native, Blake Kownacki, returns home to a city suffering from brutal economic collapse. In Vacant Lot Vineyards, Barbara Barieller chronicles Kownacki’s Quest to help the city — and its agricultural roots — revive.
Then, Erhan Kahveci brings us to Northern Ukraine, to a Soviet model city Frozen in Time following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion. In this evocative photo feature and Chasing Demons story, Kahveci’s present-day photos are paired with historical images to show how the presence of a people who fled can still be felt decades later.
Our Time Travel piece, co-written by Hidden Compass co-founders Sabine Bergmann and Sivani Babu, takes us back half a century. During this Age of Audacity, humans strapped three men to a rocket and sent them to the moon. But what was happening back home on planet Earth was just as remarkable — and holds the key to a new era.
Home can be comforting but also challenging, as Robert Annis discovers while biking with the Cuban Masters Cycling Club. In this Portrait of Cuban bike racing culture, Annis reveals the complicated relationship Cuban riders have with their country, and the challenges it throws them in A Race to the Top.
Finally, in our Human and Nature story, Guardians of an Ancient Species, Yasaswini Sampathkumar shows us how a creature that roamed with the dinosaurs is creating generations of conservationists 100 million years later.
As always, we extend our deepest gratitude to our readers, who share our vision of powerful storytelling, and to our contributors, who send us stories worth sharing.
Yours in wanderlust,
Sabine Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-Founders
Liz Shemaria, Hidden Compass Editor-at-Large
Sonya Pevzner, Assistant Editor