The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Diamond Island filmmaker Davy Chou on youth and modernity

By: Holly Robertson - Posted on: May 23, 2016 | Cambodia

French-Cambodian filmmaker Davy Chou’s first full-length feature, Diamond Island just won the screenwriter’s award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival

Tell us about your latest film. What inspired you to make it?
I feel that Diamond Island, which is an island next to Phnom Penh where billions are spent to build the most modern area of the country, symbolises many aspects of the current transformation of Cambodia. But what fascinated me the most and made me want to make this film is the impassioned and cruel relationship between the Cambodian youth and the myth of modernity in action in the country. The starting point was the connection between Diamond Island and, on the one hand, the people building it and, on the other hand, those who meet up there when night falls.

Davy Chou
Award winning: French-Cambodian filmmaker Davy Chou

How did the filmmaking process differ to shooting [2011 documentary film] Golden Slumbers?
What I learnt is that a feature gives you less room for improvisation, as the schedule is much more strict, with tons of constraints each day. But then the challenge is how to still find space for creativity, improvisation and adaptation, despite this.

Why did you choose to tell the story of Diamond Island through a fictionalised lens rather than making another documentary?
As an audience [member] and as a filmmaker, I’m very attracted by the power of fiction. Not just to tell a story, because documentaries do tell stories, but mainly how to create characters, trajectories, dilemmas. Also, I wasn’t interested in making a film about a subject. I don’t think Diamond Island is ‘talking’ about workers in Cambodia. It tells the story of characters, in their individualities and personal journeys.

Why did you decide not to use professional actors?
I had to, in a way, as it’s hard to find good professional actors in Cambodia. I chose my main cast mainly based on my intuition that they would be able to reveal themselves as actors. We went step by step, and they first learnt to look at each other, to move their bodies, express their emotions. For me it was fascinating because I could see them growing and gaining confidence in themselves, and their personalities also influenced my writing: I changed the characters, first because what the actors revealed to me was sometimes much more interesting that what I had imagined, and second because it was easier for the actors to play something close to themselves.

You had to work quite hard to get Diamond Island ready in time for screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Was it worth the effort?
The editing was sometimes painful, because we didn’t have a break since the shooting, so I was really tired and sometimes felt I was lacking distance from the film. But we kept working, going from one version to another, and one day the film appeared to us. Of course, as a French-Cambodian filmmaker, it makes much sense for me to show the film at Cannes, and I’m proud to show some images of modern Cambodia at the most prestigious festival in the world.

What advice would you give to aspiring Cambodian filmmakers?
It’s not too hard today to find a camera, to learn how to use it and to shoot a film, so my advice wouldn’t be much on practice but more on the thinking behind a film: it takes a lot of time to understand the art of cinema, and I always push aspiring filmmakers to try to be more curious, to discover new genres of film, to develop their tastes and sensitivity, in order to enlarge their vision of what cinema is capable of. Lastly, I would advise them to try not to write a story because they feel it will please the audience, but to write it because it’s personal, they feel connected with it and because there is a deep reason why they want to tell it.