Panorama of Time

A Note from the Editors

Moving through the physical world is far from the only path to understanding: Exploring each moment, both real and possible, expands our scope of a place. Stretching and flowing in all directions, time is a vantage point.

In the summer 2020 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories that survey a vast panorama of time.

The lens of an ever-shifting landscape provides perspective in our Time Travel photo feature, as Jacqueline Kehoe spans millennia and miles to delve into The First and Final Days of DenaliWeaving in wisdom from fellow Wisconsinite John Muir, she finds reason to rejoice in the life cycle of the wilderness.

Old Clocks may stop, but the forces of nature beat on, as writer Kelsey Camacho and photographer Dagmara Wojtanowicz remind us in our written feature. Their Portrait of Pyramiden and its abiding keeper peels back the layers of a Soviet ghost town — and our eternal yearnings for utopia — in Arctic Svalbard.

What’s lost in the passage of time takes Hidden Compass co-founder Sabine Bergmann on a Quest to tap into the wisdom of endangered voices. In remote villages from Cameroon to Peru to Thailand, Bergmann follows groundbreaking linguists who are Awakening the Canopy as they race to map — and revitalize — the tree of human languages, before too many branches slip away. Candace Rose Rardon brings the tree to life with original artwork.

For our Chasing Demons story, Sugato Mukherjee ventures into the Indonesian caldera of Kawah Ijen and discovers a foreboding place — a holdout for mining sulfur on the backs of men. Once the clouds of volcanic gases clear, he observes a possible way Out of the Smoky Abyss for the locals who rely on this dangerous place for their livelihood.

The outlook is similarly uncertain for ethereal sea butterflies. Conducting field research in Antarctica, Laine Gonzales encounters Pteropods in the Balance in our Human and Nature story. The journey sets her mission in motion to inspire the next generation of scientists to stem the tide of ocean acidification — and turn back the clock for plankton.

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 exploration.

Until the next voyage,

Katie Knorovsky, Managing Editor

Sabine Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-Founders