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.

Manava / The project weaving a brighter future for Cambodia’s rural women

By: Lily Hess - Posted on: December 6, 2018 | Cambodia

A Cambodian social enterprise is giving the ancient art of Khmer weaving a modern twist – and supporting rural women at the same time

Weavers at work creating baskets and other products

Kbach is the Khmer tradition of decoration. Patterns range from intricately designed lotuses and Chan flowers, to symbols of snail shells and fire. Its motifs can be found in traditional furniture, stone carving and pottery. The form that first caught the eye of Dutch social entrepreneur Ka-Lai Chan though, was the ancient art of weaving baskets.

Basket weaving is a common way for many Cambodian households to make money, and is usually done by women. Kro Bei Riel, a village near Siem Reap, is said to be the original village to do the specific kind of basket weaving that inspired Chan to launch her social enterprise Manava.

“I think it’s amazing what they [the basket weavers] are doing, how much time is spent on the precision. It’s such precise and fine work, and that drew my attention,” said Chan, the founder and designer of Manava, which means “human being” in Sanskrit. “I spend so much time with [the women weavers]. It’s nice to see how their lives are, and how they’re working hard to survive.”

Baraing Tho (L) and Ka-Lai Chan (R), founders of Manava

Chan arrived in Cambodia in 2016. After working in an NGO that teaches art and design to people with disabilities, she decided to remain in the country and found her own ethical business. She teamed up with Cambodian Baraing Tho and soon after the Manava project was born.

The goals of Manava are to provide the women of Kro Bei Riel village with a fair income and weaving training, all while using sustainable materials to create high-quality products. The business sells suitcases, bags, baskets, trays and bins inspired from 12th century pottery – and all made with the same natural materials. “It’s actually rattan and willow…These are growing in the forest, but we do sustainable harvesting,” said Chan. “We don’t cut everything. We leave enough to let it grow for the next season…The colours are naturally dyed. They are made from powders, which is from plants and flowers.”

She added, “our designs…we let ourselves [be] inspired from the art and history of Cambodia. So for example we have one basket which is called ‘fish tooth’ basket, and the pattern on there is inspired from symbols they use on temples…This is called kbach.”

Mrs Ya, one of Manava’s first weavers, with her children. Photo: Mitchell Nazar

Chan explained that Manava strives to sell very high-quality baskets, as opposed to the round bags from Bali that are commonly sold in Siem Reap for very cheap. She suspects the price is so low because the workers that produce them are not getting paid very well.

Manava is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000 by 8 December. Most of the money raised – 70% — will go towards training new weavers. The rest will go towards expanding the workshop, as well as allowing the women to take part in a life skills programme provided by the Women’s Resource Center. “Next year we want to provide life skills education, such as financial management, family planning, English, and many more [subjects],” said Chan.

“We’re a social enterprise, and because of that we cannot grow faster. Everything is going a bit slow. That is the biggest obstacle,” said Chan. “At the moment we are working with 15 women, and because this kind of weaving takes so much time, if we get an order…then everybody’s on it. We don’t have time, enough people to get other orders to do that.

“In the future…I would love to see Manava supporting 50 women, and that we are selling internationally, that we are working with ethical brands by providing them products…For the longer future, I [want to] see that Manava will be self-sustainable, which is [when] it will be run by Baraing and other Cambodia people.”