Welcome to Panorama: The Journal of Travel, Place, and Nature’s SPACE issue. From the very small to the enormity of our imaginations, essays grow from the furtive earth-bed of mushroom forests to the stars. Granville Carroll’s afro-futuristic cover artwork “Becoming” places us in space. John Angerson provides the obligatory rocket-propelled photos. Matilde Gattoni reminds us that one’s freedom to explore space can suddenly be taken away. The connection with space doesn’t stop there. Melissa Tuckman’s aptly titled poem “Space Junk” connects space debris to modern living. A new section on New Nature Writing probes the world beyond our urban confines. In the second outing for Decolonising Travel, there are excruciating, painful stories, sexual imaginings in the steam room, and personal reflections on historical ties to oppression; all whilst giving writers who have come through VONA/Faith Adiele’s writing programme space to share their work. We finish the issue with a stroll through London — the most ethnically diverse world capital — through the lens of Books Editor Nicolas D. Sampson.
My movie is a page. Then someone opens a blind and we briefly return to where we are: 60,000 meters over Europe. The condensation-trails of other planes are vertebrae, rapidly decaying. Shadows of clouds, hidden instruments, inside one of which is me. I recognise Lake Balaton—the village with its fishing-pier, the goulash-stalls, the fat couples up to their knees a mile from shore. The snacks they give out are small pretzels in the shape of aircraft. Some of them come out of the packet already broken. The long glide begins, into something no longer quite the future, like those indistinguishable leafless rectangles we’d seen on the flight out. But now there is rape’s indisputable yellow, the straw-greys of the spent, the reaped. Smoke rises from fields of sunflower. The flowers look down, the trees roar with light. The airport tumbles towards us.