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

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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.

Alex Face / ‘Street art is a tool that small people can use to say what they want to say’

By: Robin Spiess - Posted on: July 30, 2018 | Culture & Life

Bangkok has seen an explosion of artwork on its streets in recent years, becoming well known in the region and across the globe as a supporter of street artists whose murals can be spotted on buildings across the city. Patcharapol Tangruen, an influential and prominent Thai street artist better known as Alex Face, discusses the Bangkok art scene and the slow evolution of street art in the city

One of Alex Face’s art pieces featuring his signature baby with an animal costume

In your view, how has street art in Bangkok changed and grown in the past few years?
There are various kinds of styles that have popped up on the streets of Bangkok in the past few years. 15 years ago, I started painting walls – but back then, “graffiti” was the only word that Thai people used to describe all outdoor paintings.

Now, the Bangkok art scene has become really fun, because it’s growing. There are always new faces popping up in some corner of town, and they’ve slowly made their move on Bangkok’s walls, creating murals in alleyways and on the city’s buildings.

Thai street artists come from a variety of different backgrounds: they’re graphic designers, illustrators, cartoonists, graffiti writers and the like. Bangkok’s street art scene is, then, just as diverse as Bangkok’s street food. There’s noodles, curry, somtam and so many other types of food you can eat on the street – all those kiosks set up next to each other, hosting tiny food festivals every single night – and it’s the same with Bangkok’s street art.

How would you characterise your artwork, and how do you think it complements the Bangkok cityscape?
I have developed a character through my artwork – a small child in an animal suit – that I think is easy for people to understand and appreciate. I started out as a street artist by looking for open space to paint on a wall in some corner of town, and searched abandoned flats, houses and gas stations for places to create my artwork.

It’s important to me that the murals I choose to paint on each wall are part of and surrounded by the story of the community and the people. I always search for a relevant message for my character to represent, and always try to spot the oldest walls – the walls that everyone in the community has to walk past every day – for my work. It’s also important, of course, that the walls I choose are the perfect size for the piece I’ve sketched out in my black book.

What makes Bangkok such an attractive place for street artists?
The city of Bangkok is growing, just like its street art scene. The city is always changing, and has developed into a metropolis in recent years. As a result, old and new ways of life are constantly appearing in tandem on the same street corners – meaning there are so many places and stories for street artists to embrace and explore.

Most of all, I think what sets Bangkok apart for street artists is that Thai people are quite friendly. They make us feel good while we paint on the street. It’s a very welcoming environment.

Why do you think street art is important?
For me, street art is like a tool that small people can use to say what they want to say. It’s a form of art that becomes enmeshed in the lives of the people and the fabric of the city. It’s not like going to see art in a museum and then going back home; you have to walk past it every day, and it has the power to change the darkest corners of the city into something else altogether.  Day by day you see an empty wall being painted by someone, and then day by day you see it fading away. It both belongs and does not belong to the place where you live.