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  • Welcome to Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel’s WAR & PEACE issue. This collection, months in the making, deeply explores the themes of war and peace, with a special emphasis on travel storytelling that combines current events throughout the world with reflections on the past. The word war comes from the late Old English wurre, meaning a large-scale military conflict, the French guerre meaning dispute, and the German verwirren, meaning to bring into confusion. The word peace was first used in the 12th century to define the right of freedom from civil disorder, and it comes from the French pais, meaning reconciliation, silence, permission, and the Latin pacem/pax meaning freedom from war or conflict. These works explore all kinds of war, from military battles to drug wars to enforced participation in violence—and many layers of peace-seeking, from a culture’s recovery after devastation, to making peace with oneself as one observes a world seemingly on fire.

    Each issue of Panorama begins with a small collection about a single destination, and this time we have chosen voices from the Philippines, a place we don’t read much travel writing from. We recommend beginning with Sarge Lacuesta’s piece, The Unnamed and the Unspeakable, a glimpse of Filipino identity; then asking questions of safety in Och Gonzalez’s Bleeding Heart; joining Joel X. Toledo, as he voyages to elsewhere in his poem, Alpha; and finally, a deep dive into a gorgeous excerpt of Cinelle Barnes’ book, Monsoon Mansion.

    WAR & PEACE is full of emerging writers paired with all-star authors and image makers. We have chosen two in depth interviews: one with Paul Kenyon, a celebrated BBC journalist who has traveled across the African continent; and a second, with Yan Wang Preston, a British-Chinese photographer who carefully has documented the Yangtze River. Neighboring these in-depth conversations are two photo essays: Brave Hearts, by Amira Al-Sharif and The War is Still Alive by Fatemeh Behboudi, each challenging our perception of two war-torn countries, Yemen and Iran; the travel memoirs of two graduates of Voices of Our Nations travel writing program for writers of color, Sriram Shamasunder and Angela Lang; and a hybridized blend of imagination and reality in James Michael Dorsey’s An Imposition of Greatness, traveling to meet a Navajo code talker. Intermingled with these are more layers, from a word-map of Sarajevo—to a long walk across Switzerland; from a poem on the complex lyricism of Zanzibar—to an essay wondering at the peace of a Californian small town and the daily, far away from the war zones of the world—or maybe not.

    We invite you to savor this issue, and to travel the world with us from more than forty points of view, in WAR & PEACE: one world, not one narrative.

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    The Unnamed and the Unspeakable

    Sarge Lacuesta


    ‘Like most capital cities, Manila, for all its diversity and chaos, is certainly not the Philippines. It is neither any single place, either: class and politics have divided us and drawn and quartered us. Many of us, myself included, find ourselves no longer at home; those who can, take refuge in going away, for days or weeks at a time, and those who can’t, take refuge in the silent, inner joy of close friends and family, the only inhabitable things in a mostly uninhabitable city, accepting the worst and hoping for the best.’

    Sugarlandia, In A Bubble

    Timi Siytangco



    Joel M. Toledo


    Bleeding Heart

    Och Gonzalez


    Monsoon Mansion, Election Day

    Cinelle Barnes


    ‘“Stay down,” Mama said as she grabbed me by the collar, pressing my face down on the floor mat. The mat’s polyester purls scraped my cheek and the corner of my mouth, giving me a taste of my own blood. Mama let go of me, knowing I wouldn’t dare get up. She half opened the door, hunkered behind it, reached into her Hermès bag for her gun, and blindly fired at the masks and motorcycles four cars from us—her manicured hands flailing in the wind with a weapon about a fourth of her weight. She yelled her favorite word, “Pu?eta!”

    I crammed my body under the back seat and screamed, “Mama! Stop! Stop! Papa, help!” I couldn’t hear myself. The sound of silver on steel and steel on silver overpowered my cries.’


    Allan Justo Pastrana


    Wars, No Peace

    Noelle Q. de Jesus



    Hazel Aspera



    Photo Essay: Brave Hearts

    Amira Al-Sharif


    Images of Yemen

    Photo Essay: The War is Still Alive

    Fatemeh Behboudi


    Images of Iran


    An Imposition of Greatness

    James Michael Dorsey


    ‘The “Code Talker” restaurant was easy to find, nondescript as are so many of those places that shrink ones’ own life to insignificance. The walls were alive with photos, yellowed newspaper stories, medals won through heroic action, each like a Christian votive candle, each a warrior’s artifact, speaking loudly for those silenced long ago. In that silence I heard the voices of dead heroes whose spirits still linger to keep their stories alive.’

    Crossing the Curtain

    David X. Lewis



    Gregory Von Dare


    Going East and West

    Antony Johae

    United Kingdom


    Lisbon, Portugal

    Phillip Wenturine


    Cupertino, California

    Devi Laskar


    S?o Paulo, Brazil?

    MW de Jesus




    A Stranger at Home: An Essay on Noo Saro-Wiwa’s Looking for Transwonderland

    Tolu Daniel


    ‘As a writer who writes about Nigeria, I have never been able to own a piece of the country, I have departed from the country in my mind, seeking greener pastures elsewhere, but my body remains. I assume this is what Saro-Wiwa is referring to in her prologue as she ushers us into her complicated relationship with Nigeria. “My father’s murder severed all personal links to Nigeria,” she says, and it got me to question myself, how might my relationship with Nigeria have been if by some reason I were in her shoes.’

    An Interview with Paul Kenyon

    Richard Ali


    ‘I did find greatness in a quiet young man from Ghana, an Imam from near the coast. This was his story: after two days at sea in a leaky wooden boat, along with fifty or so others, he had only a tiny pot of spicy fish sauce to eat. He had nearly emptied the pot when he saw a weary Nigerian staring hungrily at him. He gave the man the last of his food, despite being dizzy with hunger himself. There were only five lifejackets on board. The Nigerian was sitting on top of them. Later that night, the boat began to sink.’


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    Big Bodies

    Ismail Bala



    Artists in the Honeycomb

    Sabrina Ghaus


    A Trip to Zanzibar

    Anjiya Sulaiman


    Euclid Avenue in Spring

    Heather Hallberg Yanda




    Yan Wang Preston: Interview and Images

    Matthew Webb


    ‘In Mother River, Preston introduces us to a contemporary photography battleground, that of representation, objectivity, wonder, and gaze. She traveled the length of the Yangtze, taking photographs at precise 100km intervals, thus passing over the photogenic sites that appear between her frames. She has taken herself somewhat out of the archetypal photographer’s role to capture decisive moments and instead presents her own view.’




    The Eagle and the Phoenix

    Jennifer Carr


    Nobody Works on Mayday: War & Peace in Sarajevo

    Marina Alagi?-Bowder

    Bosnia and Herzegovina


    In Memoriam

    Gordon Murray


    ‘I grew up in 80s and 90s with the legacy of a dying crofting and fishing community. Local industry and retail was in a decline that had lasted through the past three decades and became a major factor in the Brexit debate. The root of that decline extends back through history through the two World Wars. 100 years and three or four generations later, our Island is still rocking from the loss of the Iolaire. The loss of 205 men from the tight-knit community of Lewis had an economic and emotional impact that continues to be felt in the fabric of this island.’

    The Complacency of Place

    Paula Read


    Walking the Via Jacobi in Switzerland

    Inis: Water Meadow

    Kerry Beth Neville


    Exploring Ireland’s Inis Oírr


    Alone in Porto

    Alia Soliman


    ‘Before I started traveling on my own, I periodically experienced a strange sense of loss. I found the early years of wifehood and motherhood to be overwhelming. I would often stare at my reflection, wondering who I was beyond being part of a collective, trying to negotiate a place between self-love and family-love. Guilt and desire warred inside me, fighting for a middle ground. In 2017, Lauren Elkin published her book titled Flaneuse: Women Walk the City. At one point in Elkin’s book, the flaneuse is described as “someone who has slipped the bounds of responsibility.” While Elkin continues her lengthy exploration of the cultural significance of the flaneuse, I am arrested at the words, “The flaneuse does exist, whenever we have deviated from the paths laid out for us, lighting out for our own territories.’

    The Postcard

    Eva Lou



    Lori Arden


    The Catalan Lottery Ticket

    Peter Wortsman


    There’s No Place

    Jonathon Engels


    It’s okay to find peace—and ‘home’.


    Molly Fisk


    The privilege of peace.


    New Mexico Relics, 2015

    Elizabeth Enslin


    Traveling towards the past in the present.

    The Count

    Shirley Huey


    Traveling to visit the incarcerated.

    Friendship Park

    Kaitlin Barker Davis


    The Red Hand of Ulster?

    Elyse Kallen


    Common Ground

    Anna Souter