A Note from the Editors
Larger than life forces are at work all around us, and they could change everything in a single moment — or a lifetime, or trillions of lifetimes.
In the winter 2024 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you five stories of Turning Tides. Some tides turn quickly, some slowly — but all have the power to alter our terrain.
Beyond the marquee of a grand vaudeville theater in Astoria, Oregon, “The Vaudevillian Ghosts of Liberty” beckon. Entertainers of old grace the stage, revealing a world of ghosts and glamor, insult and entertainment, bigotry and inclusivity. In this Chasing Demons feature, journalist Melissa Hart ventures into the shifting waters of show business and wrestles with the legacies of those who came before her.
Glimpses of the past also feature in journalist Robin Catalano’s Quest story, illustrated by Henry Sharpe. The piece follows a leading paleontologist off a New Brunswick cliff and into ancient worlds. But the very forces that reveal these hundreds of millions of years of history may also erase them forever — prompting fossil hunters to engage in a high-stakes “Race Against Tide.”
Amid Sea Rangers, scientists, and underwater spectacles, journalist Jayme Moye introduces us to a 600,000-year-old ecosystem. Our Human and Nature feature showcases the Reef Cooperative, a pioneering collaboration that seeks to correct our relationship with Earth’s largest living structure, “The Magnificent Mother of Sea Country.”
In the Aryan Valley of India’s Indus river, ancient villages hold onto their past, and a different battle for preservation is unfolding. The Brokpa culture has deep roots that reach across continents. But as photojournalist Sugato Mukherjee finds in his Time Travel feature, “How Pure Was the Valley,” all is not what it seems.
Along the beach seine fishing communities of Sri Lanka, change is in the air — and the water, the economy, the culture, and the religious landscape. From the shores of Negombo Lagoon to the surprisingly unconventional nature of tradition itself, photojournalist Kang-Chun Cheng’s photo feature is a Portrait of “A Sea Change in Sri Lanka.”
For the readers and storytellers who are turning tides around the world,
Sabine K. Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-founders