Image: John Peter Askew
Welcome to Panorama: The Journal of Travel, Place, and Nature’s DAWN issue. This bright, awakening, and challenging composition comprises a multitude of world views, places, and experiences. We explore new beginnings, transitions, dawnings, and realisations. New landscapes are explored. New places ventured. New experiences, in familiar environs, are retold. New is often seen as positive, yet change is often more complex, and we look at this too. With our return comes an expanded scope. Whilst retaining a core travel emphasis, we have added ‘place’ and ‘nature.’ Essays in Panorama have always been place-based but this increased focus on the natural world opens up new avenues to explore. With this in mind, we have added a new Ecology & Conservation Editor, Julia Knights, who uses this first issue to speak with world-leading botanist Ghillean Prance. The result is an enlightening and frightening conversation about the Amazon rainforest.
A new section devoted to Art Moving Image includes the world premiere of Rosanna Greaves’ work Rise—which depicts rising sea levels through flooding in Venice, as boutique shops prepare for the days trading ahead. Jane Frances Dunlop has constructed her own language system—select important things—along vectors including actions, attributes, feelings, and things. Nartana Premachandra has dissected the Oxford definition of ‘dawn,’ and returns to us four stories set at four different times and locations. Dato Magradze’s epic poem Fertile Land, appearing in English and Georgian, is complemented by several other multilanguage works. We introduce three Daglis (works of flash or poetry) to the lineup thanks to Stefani J. Alvarez and Alton Melvar M. Dapanas.
Faith Adiele returns with an optimistic clarion call for travellers and travel writers of colour. Samuel Autman’s video essay takes us deep South into Grady, Arkansas. We share an excerpt from Lola Akinmade Åkerström’s novel In Every Mirror She’s Black, in which she articulates what it means to be a Black woman navigating society today. Whilst decolonisation and the conversation around looted artefacts continue apace, Tivara Tanudjaja looks for her homeland Indonesia in the museums of Amsterdam, and retells the very different impressions each institution leaves. Helen Moore’s reimagining equally challenges. Alistair Robinson writes about the Fire in the Mind that courses through John Peter Askew’s photographs, and his long-term projects in Russia which seem to be in a different world to the current war. The Information Front provides a counterbalance to this, with unflinching coverage from Ukraine. As truths and mistruths play a constant in our lives, Katie Ives’ Imaginary Peaks takes us in a different direction, with a fascinating introduction to the ‘world of maps, cartography, and the visions, adventures, and sometimes wild imaginations that accompany the practice.’
A constant thoughtful echo abounds in Och Gonzalez’s flash text Spirit Animal. Intense group dynamics play out in Luke Dumas’ La Familia. Outdoor works sail in from Barbados and Iceland. Amongst the 43 pieces in this relaunch issue, there are odes to travel, memoirs, poetry that dances, and flash works that enliven. Behind the scenes, more than 120 people have been involved in bringing Panorama back to life. Congratulations to you all! In addition to the authors, artists, and photographers listed alongside their essays and work below—some of which are also editors—I would publicly like to thank: Marie Baleo; Murzban Shroff; Kerry Neville; Joelle Renstrom; Vimi Bajaj; Molly Murray; Anne Louise Avery; Richard Ali; Devi Laskar; David Ishaya Osu; Leslie Hsu Oh; and Troy Onyango. Without whom none of this would have been possible. It has been some time since we published the last issue WAR & PEACE. COVID had a huge impact on our team, their families, and the people around them, and we gave time and space before thinking about publishing again, if we indeed would publish again. Amy Gigi Alexander, former Editor-in-Chief, has since moved on from Panorama. We thank her for building this beautiful community, and publication, and wish her well in all future endeavours. This issue serves as a relaunch—thank you for being patient with us through this time.
Much more is in store for you all in the coming weeks and months ahead. Meanwhile, it has been a privilege to bring this all together, and give you DAWN.
— Matthew Webb, Director, Panorama
ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION
The Amazon Rainforest: In Conversation with Ghillean Prance
‘Deforestation in the south and east of Amazonia is already causing the climate to become drier. Rainforest in any tropical area is sustained by high rainfall over much of the year. When the climate becomes drier and more seasonal it gives rise to savanna vegetation. Most scientists feel that we are nearing the tipping point when deforestation will be enough to cause this savanization. If that were to happen there would be a huge loss of biological species and a large increase in atmospheric carbon. We must do all we can to avoid going over the tipping point, and I fear we are getting very close to it.’
ART MOVING IMAGE
‘It might seem astonishing to modern readers that a group of climbers could pass off a fake range as a real one as late as the 1960s. From their own reading of mountain literature, however, the Riesenstein hoaxers would have known just how easy it would be. The history of exploration has long been—and still is—formed partly by myths, errors, and fabrications. Illusory places continue to be un-discovered even during our present millennium. In 2012, scientists aboard the Australian ship RV Southern Surveyor sailed into a remote part of the South Paciﬁc northwest of New Caledonia. When they noticed that several authoritative sources, including Google Earth, indicated a landform ahead of them, they were surprised. Their hydrographic charts and depth soundings showed nothing there.’
‘Whenever the freight trains comes through Grady, Arkansas, where my maternal family originates, the windows, tables and kitchen tops shake as the locomotive makes it way. The noise could be so deafening conversations television shows are interrupted by the rat-a-tat-tat of the engines. More than once the train woke me while I was sleeping at Aunt Freddie Mae’s house.’
‘When my sister Chung and I were small children, we spent the summers from 1974 until 1983 running around barefoot on Grady’s red dirt roads playing with dozens of our first cousins. Going down South meant riding 412 miles from St. Louis to Grady to where Mama grew up. ‘
‘The date is the 27th of January, 2015, nineteen years after my accident, which happened when I was sixteen years old. I was sledging in the snow in my hometown, a small place called Darwen in the north of England, with a population of around 30,0000 people. I hit a tree whilst travelling backwards. I broke my back in multiple places, shattered every rib and punctured both of my lungs. Unlucky, you might think. Lucky to be alive was the reality. ‘
‘There is a kiosk on Lido island. You pass it when you step off the ferry from Venice and walk down the main road, which crosses this narrow piece of land protecting the laguna from the open sea. Every year, I’ve bought a postcard from one of the kiosk’s rotating stands, to send to my grandfather. He knew I came to Venice for more than a decade to cover the film festival for German newspapers. But he didn’t care for movies.’
On the Dagli: A Translator’s Note
Alton Melvar M. Dapanas
‘The dagli … is a short prose piece which may be flash fiction or flash nonfiction or prose poem, or all, or none of them.’