2023 Ethos of Exploration

In Tété’s Footsteps, a Documentary Premiere + Filmmaker Q&A (in person!)

Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. PT
Free (Suggested Donation: $25)
Allies-only cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. PT

Click here to RSVP!

Note: Hidden Compass Allies receive perks, including free access to all events, the opportunity to select Pathfinder Prize winners, exclusive dispatches from expeditions, and invitations to VIP get-togethers. Learn more about Hidden Compass: The Alliance, and become an Ally.

We’re proud to present “In Tété’s Footsteps,” the world-wide premiere of the short documentary film by the winners of our first-ever Pathfinder Prize — a $15,000 grant to fund a modern expedition into the unknown. Earlier this year, expedition leader Lola Akinmade Åkerström, visual storyteller Noo Saro-Wiwa, and videographer Erik Jaråker journeyed to Greenland on a cultural expedition. They followed in the footsteps of Togo-born explorer Tété-Michel Kpomassie, exploring the question: Who gets to tell the story of a place?

In the 1960s, Kpomassie set off on a decade-long journey from his home in West Africa to the Arctic, becoming the first African we know of to explore Greenland. He chronicled his journey in his book, An African in Greenland. Nigerian-born storytellers, Åkerström and Saro-Wiwa, whose careers were inspired by Kpomassie’s work, teamed up with Swedish videographer Jaråker to follow in Kpomassie’s footsteps. On Wednesday, December 6, at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland, California, join the Hidden Compass’s co-founders, Sivani Babu and Sabine K. Bergmann, for the in-person premiere of the short documentary, “In Tété’s Footsteps,” followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. (A recording will be available to those who cannot attend in person.)

Three smiling people — two women and one man, on the back of a sled in a snowy landscape.

Our 2023 Pathfinders, Erik Jaråker, Noo Saro-Wiwa, and Lola Akinmade Åkerström on expedition in Greenland. Photo: Team Tété.

Throughout their journey, the Pathfinders have been in contact with the explorer who inspired their expedition. Kpomassie, now in his 80s, resides in France and gave the team his blessing in advance of their departure.

I’m honored by your initiative.

— Tété-Michel Kpomassie

Photo courtesy of Tété-Michel Kpomassie

Explorer Tété-Michel Kpomassie. The Togo-born author was the first African we know of to explore Greenland. Photo: Tété-Michel Kpomassie.

Following the Q&A with our 2023 Pathfinders, we will announce the winners of the second annual Pathfinder Prize! In the weeks leading up to the Ethos of Exploration event, Allies — members of Hidden Compass: The Alliance — will watch the two 2024 Pathfinder finalist teams pitch their projects, and will vote for the winning expedition.

Before the public event, Allies are invited to join the Hidden Compass co-founders for a VIP cocktail reception.

Learn more about Hidden Compass: The Alliance, and become an Ally to receive these benefits and many more — and become a defender of science, history, journalism, and hope.

RSVP is required. Join the guest list!

Two women and man smile at the camera.

Team Tété takes a selfie in Sisimiut. Photo: Team Tété.


Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning writer, international best-selling author, and photographer, who served as the expedition’s leader and cinematic art director.

Noo Saro-Wiwa is an award-winning author and journalist, who served as one of the expedition’s visual storytellers.

Erik Jaråker is a globe-trotting videographer, who served as the expedition’s videographer and drone pilot.

Sivani Babu is the co-founder and CEO of Hidden Compass. She is also an award-winning journalist, photographer, and editor.

Sabine K. Bergmann is the co-founder and COO of Hidden Compass. She is also an award-winning journalist and editor.

Who gets to tell the story of a place? That’s the question our Pathfinders set out to answer this year. See what they discovered on December 6. Photo: Team Tété.


Ethos of Exploration 2023