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.

Films / ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and other must-watch movies from Southeast Asia

Posted on: August 21, 2018 | Culture & Life

With Crazy Rich Asians topping the box office, Southeast Asia Globe has put together a list of four must-watch movies from Southeast Asia.

Crazy Rich Asians_EPA_Southeast Asia Globe 2018
Cast of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA Photo: Eugene Garcia/EPA-EFE

The last few years have seen a surge not only in beautiful story-telling out of Southeast Asia but also an attention to detail with cinematography and soundtracks. Here, along with Crazy Rich Asians, are some staff picks from Southeast Asia Globe.

1. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians didn’t just live up to the hype – it surpassed it.

The plot is typical of many romantic comedies: Rich boy meets girl from a poor background, they fall in love, boy’s family disapproves… and therein begins a tussle between love and familial approval.

What has made this movie so appealing is its all-Asian cast. It took only 25 years for Hollywood to cast a predominantly Asian film – the last time was 1993’s The Joy Luck Club – and this resonated with not just Asian-American but all second-generation Asians worldwide.

Many of the film’s actors have talked in interviews about going to castings only to be given the role of the maid, sex worker or nerd – stereotypes that Hollywood has created for Asian actors on screen.

The movie, which sticks mostly to the book, had a glowing opening weekend haul of $25 million, making it that weekend’s top-grossing opener on US screens.

2. Bad Genius (2017)

Think Ocean’s 11 meets 21, but better. With a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Bad Genius became Thailand’s highest-grossing film of 2017 – and Thailand’s most internationally successful film of all time.

In her debut acting role, Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying plays Lynn, the socially awkward math genius and protagonist who comes from a middle-class background and befriends the wealthy students in her new school.

The movie revolves around a group of students who hatch a lucrative plot to help paying clients cheat on a university admissions exam. With Lynn’s talent at the centre, they begin to devise unique methods of cheating, one of which is a code involving classical piano pieces.

The goal for the students is the Standard Test for International Colleges (STIG), a standardised exam that decides the fate of students. The trailer highlights the battle cry “We get to choose the universities. The universities don’t get to choose us!” – a running theme throughout. While Bad Genius also depicts the difference in social backgrounds between the students, some have suggested it was written to appease government censorship in Thailand.

3. Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017)

In the first act, we are introduced to our eponymous protagonist, a widow living in a small village on the island of Sumba, Indonesia. Markus, a gang leader, tells her he plans to rob and rape her. Markus keeps his promise, and Marlina is forced to feed Markus’s gang when they enter her home. With no escape route, Marlina poisons the food. While the gang members are slowly dying, Markus rapes Marlina only to be decapitated by her – all in the first act.

The next three acts follow Marlina as she sets off on a journey through the deserted beauty of Sumba with Markus’s decapitated head by her side.

With traces of Tarantino and old Western movies and a touch of the surreal, the film also has an essence of feminism that isn’t nuanced or heavy-handed.

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts is the third feature film by Mouly Surya. It’s based on the true story of a Sumbanese woman who decapitated the man who raped and robbed her, then took his head to a police station. “I see this film as a celebration,” Surya told Vice in 2017. “With the current issues in the world, with all the sexual assault allegations, it makes us think back. When I read how these women fight back, it reminded me of Marlina.”

4. Diamond Island (2016)

Davy Chou’s 2016 drama Diamond Island is one of the gems of modern Cambodian cinema. The stunning cinematography – from the daily life on a construction site to Phnom Penh’s late-night city lights – captures the country of today.

The film follows young Bora, played by Sobon Nuon, as he slaves away on an expensive new construction project on Phnom Penh’s man-made Diamond Island, all the while dreaming of another life that seems so close and yet so far.

This film feels very, very real, and that has a lot to do with Nuon’s genuinely brilliant performance – not bad considering Chou more or less plucked him from obscurity to star in the film.

5. Yellow Flowers on The Green Grass (2015)

Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass is directed by Victor Vu, one of Vietnam’s most successful filmmakers, and is based on the award-winning and best-selling novel I See Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass by Nguyen Nhat Anh.

Yellow Flowers is a visual feast for the eyes. The cinematography and music are highlights of the film, set in rural 1980s Vietnam.

The coming-of-age movie follows two brothers, Thieu and Tuong, as they explore the complexities of their relationship. The young boys share a close bond and many adventures together, but that begins to change when Man, a young girl from their village, becomes an ever-present figure. The brothers start competing for her attention and affection, only for things to take a turn.

Love and friendship are the major themes, and the three children give wonderful performances.