“For now, perhaps more than ever before, the past is relevant to the future.”

In the introduction to his book “Worlds in Shadow” from 2022 Australian Geographer Patrick Nunn writes:

“The stories from Haida Gwaii and Aboriginal Australia neatly illustrate the three main sources of information from which we can today discover details about once-inhabited, now-underwater lands: science, memory and myth. Each can be complementary, meaning that when they are read correctly they may yield information that is unique. But, of course, if we are biased, even subconsciously, and demean or dismiss things like memory and myth because we do not know how to interrogate them, then we are likely to end up with an incomplete picture of the past. The purpose of this book is to try to rectify the situation, to demonstrate that each of these three information sources is potentially valid, something that gives a roundness to the past, a multidimensionality to history that personalises it and makes it more relevant to us today.

For now, perhaps more than ever before, the past is relevant to the future. In a world where we are confronted by global change that is as contemptuous of human endeavour and individual aspiration as it is dismissive of political borders and agendas, understanding how our ancestors were affected by comparable changes and how they overcame these is at once a lesson in coping as well as a beacon of hope.”