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.

Big Brother is watching you / The exhibition aiming to tackle surveillance and censorship

By: Janelle Retka - Posted on: June 19, 2018 | Culture & Life

Surveillance and censorship are becoming part and parcel of daily life around the world, and yet many citizens seem content to turn a blind eye to it. A new exhibition at Wei-Ling Gallery in Kuala Lumpur called Seen is addressing that issue. Curator Line Dalile brings together ten leading international and Malaysian artists, hoping that through documentary, photography and conceptual practice, the artwork can open people’s eyes to the modern threats encroaching on our privacy

An image from inside the gallery shows a series of photographs of surveillance cameras

The exhibit is meant to be one of the first in Southeast Asia to focus on surveillance, censorship and invisibility. What is the significance of this and its timing for you as the curator?
In times when political uncertainty and suspicion are heightened, notions of freedom, privacy and democratic rights re-emerge as points of discussion among artists and activists. I think it was of paramount importance to curate an exhibition that navigates and mirrors current anxieties regarding the state of surveillance, especially with the recent Facebook data scandal that alerted citizens worldwide to how a breach of trust between products and consumers and, likewise, government and individuals, is not at all unlikely; perhaps it is even more common than previously thought.

The aim of the exhibition is to explore how a growing number of artists and activists have interrogated, questioned or criticised contemporary practices of surveillance. From the overtly political, through the cynical, to the playful, a range of approaches were employed by artists, some of which have ‘referred’ to surveillance in their works; others have ‘appropriated’ and ‘recontextualised’ images and technologies of surveillance. Many of the artists are exhibiting their works for the first time in Malaysia and in Southeast Asia. Their works deal with issues of social visibility and invisibility, and some specifically question contemporary visibility regimes and their impact on urban space.

What do you expect visitors to walk away with?
I think as citizens we have succumbed to an ambivalent state in which we are willing to forget and look past the risks of surveillance technologies. In a way, we have been conditioned to consume the benefits of surveillance without full awareness of the risks that follow. With personalised advertising and constant connectivity comes massive data breaches and consolidation of personal information in the hands of corporate interests. What I hope this exhibition can help do is combat this ‘amnesia’ and the common tendency to forget and exist passively. I hope visitors walk away with a renewed sense of awareness and a deeper understanding of how much we are being shaped by surveillance policies and technologies. I also want visitors to realise that they can become active participants in the discourse surrounding surveillance by opposing policies that violate their personal data, and instead support and call for policies that protect their rights to privacy.

Are there any pieces and/or artists that stand out, and why?
Obscurity” by Paolo Cirio is particularly interesting in its approach. It is a hybrid art and social justice project that deploys strategies orientated to problem-solving as a form of internet social-art practice. The project targets American mugshot websites that collect and expose photos of people who have been arrested, irrespective of their type of offence. The owners of these websites are often anonymous and profit from this by placing reputation management adverts [on the site] or by charging a removal fee.

To combat this alarming issue, Cirio cloned the mugshot websites, scrambled the data profiles of the listed individuals, and obfuscated their identities. The algorithm employed by Cirio also boosts the ranking of the cloned websites in order to interfere with the activity of the original ones, thereby sabotaging their function.

This work particularly stands out because it culminates in an internet artwork that has a social function and can impact a problematic group of people, affected communities and push for new laws that promote transparency.

Heather Dewey Hagborg is another artist who is interested in art as research and critical practice. “Stranger Visions” is a fascinating, if slightly disconcerting, interdisciplinary experimentation that examines the potential for a culture of biological surveillance. “Stranger Visions” is the result of a line of questioning and experimentation that culminates in 3D printed portraits based on DNA samples taken from objects found on the streets of Brooklyn. What the work alerts us to is how individuals can be ‘surveilled’ even if they are physically absent.

Other works exhibited make the visitors aware of their own bodily and psychological relation to the distortions of normative space caused by surveillance technologies.

For example, in “It’s not a viscous cycle, it’s downward spiral”, the visitor peeks through a gap in the wall where military drone and security camera footage of the Paris terrorist attack are being projected. The viewer is positioned as a surveillor, mimicking the movements of a Peeping Tom as he tries to tilt his head left and right in order to access the work and get a glimpse of the footage. Similarly, the reflective surface of H.H Lim’s “Target” allows the viewer to simultaneously view the work while also surveilling the space behind him.

What is next for you as a curator?
I see curating as a field where I can engage with social practise and activism. For me, every exhibition I curate has to respond, in one way or another, to various anxieties and preoccupations, or attempt to navigate questions that I have.

For this year, I hope to realise a few more exhibitions that follow a similar path, in that their themes and content navigate, interrogate and mirror current social and political uncertainties.

Seen will be showing from 3 May to 1 July 2018 at Wei-Ling Contemporary. For more information, see their website.