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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.

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Health / How Indonesia’s fight against HIV and AIDS is undermined by LGBT ‘panic’

By: Tom O'Connell - Posted on: December 4, 2018 | Current Affairs

In May 2017, Jakarta cops raided the Atlantis gay gym and sauna, which was also a public health outreach centre, arresting 141 men, some of whom were prosecuted under Indonesia’s pornography law. Since 2016, officials in the Muslim-majority nation have wielded the four-letter “LGBT” as an epithet and warning as anti-gay persecution amped up. Southeast Asia Globe spoke with Aditya Wardhana of the Indonesia AIDS Coalition ahead of World AIDS Day, observed every 1 December since 1988 and dedicated to raising awareness of HIV and AIDS

gay sauna_Jakarta_Indonesia_detainees_press conferences_LBGT_Southeast Asia Globe 2018
Men hide their faces at a press conference in 2017 after being caught in a police raid on a gay sauna in Jakarta that netted 58 detainees

How does the Indonesia AIDS Coalition engage with the LGBT community and the issues it faces?
The Indonesia AIDS Coalition (IAC) has a vision of a country without stigma and discrimination, where rights of the key affected populations (KAPs) of HIV infection – such as LGBT persons, sex workers and those who inject drugs – are being recognised and fulfilled, especially the rights of access to health services. Our mission is to create a secure environment where KAPs can access health services. The LGBT community has been a significant member of KAP due to their sexual activities that are at high risk for HIV infection. We have many LGBT people on staff and we are close to the LGBT community and organisations. IAC’s three-year work plan includes programmes that support LGBT organisations by helping them organise and advocate for an LGBT-friendly environment.

The July 2018 Human Rights Report on anti-LGBT matters in Indonesia stated that “public health outreach to such populations has become far more difficult, making wider spread of the disease more likely.”
This issue has been raised in numerous national HIV response programmes, and although the number of new HIV infections is not significantly increased, the fact that outreaching is becoming more difficult is putting the country at a very high risk.

The report says Indonesian anti-LGBT rhetoric began in 2016 and included a mayor warning mothers that instant noodles and formula make babies gay. Why did this “moral” panic begin when it did, and how do you educate people about the dangers of this rhetoric?
LGBT issues have been here for a long time, but just recently became extremely visible. In addition to family pressures and bullying, LGBT in Indonesia now are facing persecution and criminalisation. I believe this was triggered by some power-hungry politicians who recognise the LGBT issue as a tool or easy target to increase their popularity, just as they use the religious issues. We have identified the power of media in spreading the rumours, so we are trying to use it to get the opposite result. We also keep doing advocacy works towards related stakeholders, all the while building a response mechanism to avert LGBT-related incidents.

Are HIV and AIDS organisations in Indonesia hindered in their efforts by this anti-LGBT movement? Do you have any allies in power?
Very much so. Many LGBT activists and organisations started to work underground because of threats. These took us a few steps back because a well-built community is not as strong without the LGBT organisations. We have partnerships with the government and other international partners, but most of them are fully supportive on health-related issues only, while human rights violations are more complicated for them to intervene in, mainly because they are bound by their own laws and regulations.

What advice would you give LGBT Indonesians and gay-friendly establishments in navigating this hateful environment? How can people protect themselves?
Be alert all the time, especially in conducting events and travelling. Keep in contact with a lawyer, and inform at least one friend before travelling anywhere. Be careful on social media and meeting strangers, especially social media acquaintances. Avoid holding or attending LGBT parties. Get educated on laws and regulations.

Aditya Wardhana_Jakarta_Indonesia_Indonesia AIDS Coalition_Southeast Asia Globe 2018Author: Aditya Wardhana

Aditya Wardhana is the executive director of the Indonesia AIDS Coalition


This article was published in the December 2018 edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. To subscribe to our newsletter, click here