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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.

Interview: Kulikar Sotho

By: Southeast Asia Globe editorial - Posted on: October 9, 2014 | Cambodia

Film director Kulikar Sotho tells Southeast Asia Globe about her new movie The Last Reel, which stars renowned Cambodian actress Dy Saveth and is set for its world premiere at this month’s Tokyo International Film Festival

Can you tell us a little about The Last Reel?

One of today’s generation, Sophoun is young, confused and frustrated at being under the control of her traditionally-minded family. When she finds out that an arranged marriage has been set up by her father, she runs away and seeks refuge in an abandoned cinema. There she discovers an old film which to her surprise starred her young, beautiful mother. This comes as a great shock but amazing at the same time, as she’s grown up knowing her mother as sick and an unhappy wife. However, the film was not finished as the country fell into civil war. With help from an old projectionist, she decides to complete the film to give to her mother, to remind her of the happy life she once had.

Kulikar Soto
Kulikar Soto

The film focuses on a broken society that is caused by trauma and the legacy of war, followed by poverty. The trauma is too dark, too deep and too painful to touch. This dark side has overshadowed their lives, through no fault of their own, and the trauma has shaped the behaviour of the older generation, which in turn has had a big impact on the new generation growing up.

One of the film’s themes is connecting the pre-Khmer Rouge generation with today’s generation, what are the social and historical messages behind it?

There’s a big gap between the generations because of a lack of communication. The older generation are closed, conservative and pride themselves on their traditional beliefs. For the younger generation, their role model has been technology, they are more free-spirited, to the point they often forget about tradition, their culture and identity. They need guidance and support from their elders, they need to know what has gone before, both good and bad, in order to make sense of the present. They need to understand what has shaped their parents’ attitudes. Both have a responsibility to communicate with one another to bridge the gap.

What is your target audience for the film?

The film is aimed at those of Sophoun’s age and for all Cambodians – it’s a story across generations, it’s for the family, for parents and children, brothers and sisters. We are also targeting the international audience as well, as the film has a universal subject matter and theme. The film’s production values are also of an international standard. 

Can you explain why The Last Reel premiered in Toyko and not in Cambodia?

The Last Reel is having its World Premiere in Tokyo this month and we will hold the Cambodian Premiere later on, in December. We were selected by Tokyo for the World Premiere and the condition of that selection is that the film can only be shown for the first time at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

How much of a personal importance is there for you in this film?

It’s very personal at a very deep level. The film has elements for every Cambodian, whose parents went through the genocide and the effect it had on them. I am one of those. I grew up with an extraordinary mother who is my role model in life. Her strength, determination and unlimited love has shaped my sister and I into who we are today. The trauma she endured as a result of the civil war, I witnessed it all, I grew up with it and the breakdown in communication between us, which was her way to protect me, which I didn’t understand then, but I do now. 

Dy Saveth was a star of the golden era of Cambodian film, what has been your experience of working with her? And why did you choose Dy Saveth in particular to play the role?

Dy Saveth (centre) in a scene from The Last Reel

It was a great pleasure to work with Dy Saveth, she’s very experienced and has a deep emotional range within her. As we shot the scenes, we talked it through and she was able to put herself in the moment. She could do this as part of her own life is in the film’s storyline. We spent a lot of time during the preparation period, breaking down each scene into the complex emotional layers of each character. She represents the golden age of Cambodian cinema and is a great actress to work with. 

Do you think that Cambodian cinema will be able to recapture the glory of its golden era?

Yes and I think it will probably get even better. Cinema today is much broader, more open-minded, there are no restrictions, and more stories to tell. The Missing Picture by Rithy Panh, the godfather of modern Cambodian film, has given us our identity back and I am hoping that The Last Reel will add to the legacy.

Can you tell us a little about how you got into the film industry?

I worked on Tomb Raider in 2001 and was responsible for making it happen here in Cambodia. I worked across all the departments of the film, enjoyed it immensely and the steep learning curve I had to go through. I was in deep at all levels and I was intrigued at how everything was transformed into the finished film. Following that, I worked on a lot of documentaries, mostly about the Khmer Rouge, including one called Inside Evil with a very good British director [Andrew Williams], who helped me explore my own questions about the Khmer Rouge. It was at that time that I felt that I wanted to tell my story, our story, that it should be told by someone who had gone through it and experienced it; to be able to tell not just the story itself, but the intimate details and emotional truth that can only be provided if you’ve lived through it. When the script was presented to me, I thought it was a perfect Cambodian story that should be told by a Cambodian.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on a new script with a modern story that recalls a glorious time in ancient Khmer history with production earmarked for next year.


For more information on The Last Reel click here

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“Tropfest winners: Sothea Ines” – After grabbing the top slot at Tropfest South East Asia with her short film “Rice”, Cambodian film maker Sothea Ines talks exclusively about her desire to tell stories