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Spring 2021

Shifting Currents

A Note From the Editors

Whether gentle or fierce, the forces around us rarely remain stagnant. Those changes carry the power to carve out our futures. In the spring 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we turn our sights to shifting currents — in all their forms — and the stories they inspire. Coursing headfirst into the unfamiliar for our...

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Seen in this merging of satellite imagery taken in 1999 and 2000, the Sundarbans appears like an intricate tapestry. Here where the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers meet at the edge of the Bay of Bengal stands one of the world's largest remaining tract of mangrove forest — a natural wall protecting the coasts of India and Bangladesh and providing a rich habitat for endangered Bengal tigers, hundreds of bird species, and an array of sharks and rays. Recent research shows that a quarter of its trees exhibit signs of declining health. Photo: B.A.E. Inc./Alamy.
Photo: B.A.E. Inc./Alamy.
Seen in this merging of satellite imagery taken in 1999 and 2000, the Sundarbans appears like an intricate tapestry. Here where the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers meet at the edge of the Bay of Bengal stands one of the world's largest remaining tract of mangrove forest — a natural wall protecting the coasts of India and Bangladesh and providing a rich habitat for endangered Bengal tigers, hundreds of bird species, and an array of sharks and rays. Recent research shows that a quarter of its trees exhibit signs of declining health. Photo: B.A.E. Inc./Alamy.
Photo: B.A.E. Inc./Alamy.
Spring 2021

Shifting Currents

A Note from the Editors

Whether gentle or fierce, the forces around us rarely remain stagnant. Those changes carry the power to carve out our futures.

In the spring 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we turn our sights to shifting currents — in all their forms — and the stories they inspire.

Coursing headfirst into the unfamiliar for our Human and Nature feature, Morgan Tilton investigates the extremes of a changing climate, from the scientific breakthroughs that help us measure its impact to the incalculable effects on our identity. In exploring A River of Unknowns, Tilton ventures not just from the snow-coated mountains of Vancouver Island to the infamous waves of its coast — but into the tumultuous atmosphere above us all.

Colin Daileda also leads us into the clouds, though they are the murky clouds of silt in the waterways of the Bengal delta. In this ecosystem undergoing rapid transformation, researchers seek the Ganges shark, an enigma that has spent over a century Lost in the Shallows. This Time Travel feature tracks the evolution of land and water as well as a dichotomy of exploration styles.

Sometimes shifting currents arise in the very structures of our societies. Former military officer and historical painter Robert Permeti — the subject of Lottie GrossPortrait feature — experienced Albania’s swing from a brutal communist regime into a new era. Amidst an upheaval of power, pride, and art, Permeti lost masterpieces, gained freedom, and followed his homeland off the edge of convention and into The Abyss.

The precarious nature of prominence and power also makes an appearance in Moriah Costa’s Quest feature, Blue in Toulouse, in which Costa digs for a largely forgotten Renaissance-era story in southern France. Her research, experiences, and illustrations give color to the boom-and-bust narrative of woad and the boundless influence of its shifting shades.

And for Gemina Garland-Lewis, currents of change appear across the decades and around the world — from the American influence on Japanese whaling after WWII to the modern demand for whale meat in Norway. For this vegetarian who grew up dreaming of becoming a marine biologist, it’s the progression of her own outlook that leaps to the front of this stunning photo feature and Chasing Demons story. Happiness, grief, reverence, and overcoming cultural biases all take center stage as Garland-Lewis considers Whaling and the Paradox of Mercy.

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

Winter 2021

Tracing Lines

A Note From the Editors

Every divergence we encounter taps into our curiosity as well as our instincts. Which course we choose often reveals as much about ourselves as it does our surroundings. In the winter 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories of tracing lines. Whether seen or unseen, these avenues of understanding often lead us...

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Abalone shell. Photo: Alex Krowiak.
Photo: Alex Krowiak.
Abalone shell. Photo: Alex Krowiak.
Photo: Alex Krowiak.
Winter 2021

Tracing Lines

A Note from the Editors

Every divergence we encounter taps into our curiosity as well as our instincts. Which course we choose often reveals as much about ourselves as it does our surroundings.

In the winter 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories of tracing lines. Whether seen or unseen, these avenues of understanding often lead us back to our origins — yet hold the power to propel us forward.

Diane Selkirk follows Tracks to the Past on a Quest to reconcile the abundance of Canada’s northern landscape with the historic denial of Indigenous cultures. As she confronts a difficult legacy of repressed traditions and forced assimilation, she also grapples with her own family’s long-lost First Nations heritage — and looks toward a future rooted in remembering.

Russell Frank’s Portrait of artisanal mapmaking sends him wayfaring along the trails of the Pennsylvania wilderness in pursuit of veracity, on and off the page. Accompanied by the whimsical illustrations of Maggie Scotilla, Field-Truthing a Dream navigates the disparate worlds of Samuel de Champlain and modern cartography while plotting out the thrill of possibility.

In this issue’s photo feature, Alex Krowiak reveals a bastion of biodiversity known as “the Galápagos of North America.” Some tens of millions of years in the making, the Human & Nature story of these Deception Islands remains unfinished — and reminds us that environmental restoration is but one route to redemption.

In The Alchemy That Binds, Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee toasts the fermented resilience of Georgian wine-making traditions. Chasing Demons both political and personal, she unseals insights on humanity’s drive to imbibe through the ages — as well as her complicated relationship with her father’s drinking.

Spanning millennia and continents, Richard Pallardy’s Time Travel feature delves into the genomic taxonomy of an ancient wild dog that still prowls the mists of the New Guinea highlands. Though this creature eluded scientists for decades, recent discoveries add new clues to the interconnectedness of the animal kingdom. Put another way? No Dog is an Island

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 2020

Under the Surface

A Note From the Editors

At every turn, truth and wonder await us in the depths. Each entry point, whether strategic or unexpected, is an invitation to explore. Pushing past the veneers on top — and peeling back the layers below — uncovers strata of possibility. In the autumn 2020 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories that delve under...

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Painting of rangeomorphs An imagined diver’s light illuminates a sea of rangeomorphs on the floor of the primordial ocean. Painting by Henry Sharpe.
Painting: Henry Sharpe
Painting of rangeomorphs An imagined diver’s light illuminates a sea of rangeomorphs on the floor of the primordial ocean. Painting by Henry Sharpe.
Painting: Henry Sharpe
Autumn 2020

Under the Surface

A Note from the Editors

At every turn, truth and wonder await us in the depths. Each entry point, whether strategic or unexpected, is an invitation to explore. Pushing past the veneers on top — and peeling back the layers below — uncovers strata of possibility.

In the autumn 2020 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories that delve under the surface.

In this issue’s photo feature, Lola Akinmade Åkerström finds herself Draped in Reverence as she respectfully navigates the line between cultural appreciation and appropriation. Her Portrait of global connection lifts the veil on a tapestry of cultures, from the Sámi of Sweden to the Yoruba of Nigeria.

Janna Brancolini plunges into the Mediterranean and through millennia of intrigue on a Quest to bring the origins of underwater archaeology into the light. Honor and the Sea follows in the wake of a tenacious woman who made waves excavating an ancient shipwreck off the coast of Sicily.

Out of Desolation, onetime Navy sailor Lance Garland discovered an unlikely guide through the wilderness. Our Time Travel feature follows the dual paths of Jack Kerouac — and 13 years of the author’s own twisting journey — to a new outlook on identity.

The Medusa of Time lures Daniel Hudon to the edge of Newfoundland, where he scans a primordial stone expanse imprinted with strange relics of a distant era. As he walks on ground once buried beneath an ancient sea — brought to life in illustrations by Henry Sharpe — Hudon ponders how the Human and Nature dynamic fits into life through the eons.

Finally, in our Chasing Demons feature, Jenna Scatena examines her role in The Age of Conquest — an era of travel defined by listicles and selfies, consumption and over-tourism. In this moment of global pause, she illuminates a brighter way forward.

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

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