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Spring 2022

Honoring the Vanished

A Note From the Editors

We follow in their footsteps. Pass along their memories. Salute their accomplishments.  Their legacies stem from their dreams of the impossible. Our commitment is to honor them as best we can.  In the spring 2022 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories honoring the vanished — whether ancestors, armies, strangers, or friends. We...

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Spring 2022

Honoring the Vanished

A Note from the Editors

We follow in their footsteps. Pass along their memories. Salute their accomplishments. 

Their legacies stem from their dreams of the impossible. Our commitment is to honor them as best we can. 

In the spring 2022 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories honoring the vanished — whether ancestors, armies, strangers, or friends.

We begin amidst the cornfields of northwestern Alabama, where journalist Rebecca Deurlein discovers a hand-built monument to a Yuchi woman who, violently displaced along the Trail of Tears, was intended to disappear. This poignant Time Travel story shows a different path, not only for the heroic Te-lah-nay but for those who, drawn to preserve her memory, find that Only the Stones Remain.

Historic figures also leave their mark — in the form of wagon ruts — in our Human and Nature feature. Called to learn about 1800s-era emigrants headed West, journalist Shoshi Parks makes her way along the Oregon Trail in reverse. But as she sets out to learn about the hardships of the past, she finds that Enduring the Promised Land is also a challenge of our future.

For writer Melinda Misuraca, the Quest to track down a captivating young woman from a 1930s photo album leads her to the Portuguese island of Porto Santo. Featuring contemporary photographs and historical restorations by Misuraca’s husband, photographer Russell Porcas, the Photo Feature Finding Valentina takes us back a century. A host of questions await us there, including whether we’ll find who we’re looking for. Or, if we do, at what benefit — and what cost.

Sometimes, those we seek to honor remain nameless. For many of the individuals photographed by conflict reporter Wesley Morgan in our second Photo Feature and Chasing Demons story, we may never know their names — or their fate. In Portraits of a Vanished Army, Morgan presents images from his reporting trips to Afghanistan between 2009 and 2017 — and challenges a simplified narrative of the Afghan National Army’s collapse.

Finally, in a journey of grief and memory along Alaska’s Inside Passage, journalist Amanda Castleman pays homage to her late brother-by-choice, the renowned and ridiculous travel writer Edward Readicker-Henderson. This bittersweet Portrait explores the memorial necessity of an 11-day, 1,600-mile journey to stage a Viking-style funeral — and ultimately to go Beyond the Lid of the World.

Until the next voyage,

 

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

Jeremy Berlin, Editorial Director

Winter 2022

Layered Exposures

A Note From the Editors

What does home mean to the displaced? How can the lens of history bring our present into focus? Every encounter and experience we face holds the power to shift our vision, reorienting us to bask in the radiance of insight. In the winter 2022 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you layered exposures — stories...

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Photo: Les Films du Tambour/Album/Alamy.
Photo: Les Films du Tambour/Album/Alamy.
Winter 2022

Layered Exposures

A Note from the Editors

What does home mean to the displaced? How can the lens of history bring our present into focus? Every encounter and experience we face holds the power to shift our vision, reorienting us to bask in the radiance of insight.

In the winter 2022 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you layered exposures — stories that cast new light on familiar narratives.

Our journey begins in Musella, Georgia, where documentarian Eric Dusenbery happens upon the backdrop for a series of Depression-era portraits by iconic photographer Dorothea Lange. Equipped with a large format camera — and aided by uncommon reserves of patience — he sets off on a Time Travel project to capture modern agrarian life “Through the Lens of Our Forebears.”

Worlds away, but also guided by the unparalleled power of images, writer and filmmaker Paul Fischer sends a beam of light into the darkness of Gaza City. His Chasing Demons feature, “Gazawood Dreams,” follows a pair of prolific twins, known as Tarzan and Arab, who are obsessed with the transportive promise of the movies — a fixation that ultimately proves prescient.

Determination in the face of occupation and violence also lays the foundation for Joshua Zukas’s intimate Portrait of Hue, Vietnam, a city often defined by the legacy of its imperial days — and the devastation it endured during the Tet Offensive of 1968. Peeling back several tumultuous decades of postcolonial Vietnam, “A House of Many Hues” zeroes in on one family, split into factions — and its matriarch’s conviction to hold on to her home amid seemingly insurmountable odds.

Stolen heritage, recovered artifacts, and sacred rituals from antiquity — an improbable amalgam of forces meld together in “The Crucible of Patrimony.” Meenakshi J’s Quest to understand the multifaceted secrets embedded in Chola bronze idols, still cast by hand in her native Tamil Nadu, extends from village foundries and temples in southern India to prestigious galleries in Manhattan to networks of thieves and vigilantes around the globe.

Finally, sometimes we all need a jolt of uncertainty to get our bearings — and to light up our worlds with wonder. On a darkened beach in California, the phenomenon known as a red tide triggers waves of perception, dopamine, and, ultimately, “Flickering Imprints” of cognition. Guided by lab work on learning, writer and scientist Dr. Rachel Blaser takes us from microscopic algae to neural networks on a luminous circuit through the Human & Nature interplay.

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 K. Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-Founders

Autumn 2021

Riddles of Devotion

A Note From the Editors

Every journey begins with a puzzle. Some quandaries captivate the mind, coaxing us into labyrinths of introspection. Other inquiries launch far-reaching missions. What compels us forward can prove as perplexing as the terrain we encounter. In the autumn 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you riddles of devotion — stories that delve into...

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Painting by Scott Denholm.
Painting by Scott Denholm.
Painting by Scott Denholm.
Painting by Scott Denholm.
Autumn 2021

Riddles of Devotion

A Note from the Editors

Every journey begins with a puzzle. Some quandaries captivate the mind, coaxing us into labyrinths of introspection. Other inquiries launch far-reaching missions. What compels us forward can prove as perplexing as the terrain we encounter.

In the autumn 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you riddles of devotion — stories that delve into curiosity and seek to decipher meaning.

The River Has No Hair — koan, or cautionary tale? That’s the enigma at the heart of J.R. Patterson’s Time Travel exploits along Brazil’s snaking São Francisco River. In pursuit of 19th-century explorer Richard Francis Burton’s legacy, Patterson probes the waterway’s past and present while navigating perceptions and reality, obstructions and guidance.

Thousands of miles to the north, Lauren Napier faces fenced-off histories in her Quest to access the truth of Camp Naco and the Buffalo Soldiers stationed there during the Mexican Revolution. From this crumbling adobe outpost, she traces sometimes overlapping Lines of Duty along the desert roads of Arizona and the fertile byways of Virginia, encountering variations on enslavement and the promise of presence.

Also searching for understanding, semi-professional dancer Megan Taylor Morrison follows her passion for Lindy Hop and jazz dance to the West African country of Guinea, where lessons in doundounba, the dance of the strong man, await. Her Portrait of Africa’s first national dance company, Les Ballets Africains, moves to the beat of the djembe drum and balafon, revealing a call and response pulsing with cultural resilience and adaptation. From the stage to the streets, she depicts a tireless tradition of Roots in Motion.

Balancing risk and impulse, Cherene Sherrard carries The Weight of Paradise into the surf. Her Chasing Demons feature rides a wave of racially informed limitations and historic precedent, buoyed by the spirit of Mami Wata and the literary voices of Jesmyn Ward and Toni Morrison. The peril and possibility of boundless freedom saturates the accompanying paintings by Scott Denholm.

In his Human & Nature photo feature, Olivier Guiberteau documents his shifting perception of shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of forest-bathing. After more than a year of edification — both inadvertent and intentional, anecdotal and academic — he arrives at A Clearing in the Forest.

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 K. Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-Founders

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