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.

Visual art / Photographer makes waves with Strawpocalypse project

By: Thomas Brent - Posted on: January 29, 2019 | Culture & Life

Concept photographer Benjamin Von Wong’s latest creation sees the Canadian artist shine a light on the damaging nature of straws, in his new project the Strawpocalypse, which represents “the parting of the plastic sea”


The photographer and a team of volunteers banded together to create an incredible structure using 168,000 recycled straws. They did the final photo shoot in the middle of Estella Place shopping centre in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. The result is some stunning photographs that the creator hopes will raise awareness of the single-use plastic problem in Vietnam and around the world. Southeast Asia Globe speaks with Von Wong about the making of the installation and his thoughts on the environment and plastic waste.

What was it in particular about this project that inspired you to get involved?
I’m always looking for opportunities to create. It’s less about the cause – I care about a lot of things – [and] more about… whether or not I can help. If I have the ingredients necessary to create something epic, I’m generally more than happy to tackle it.

How do you see the role of art in raising awareness of global issues like waste and single-use plastics?
Art has the power to touch people on an emotional level that statistics and facts just don’t have. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to quantify that impact – but the feedback I’ve received has encouraged me to keep going.

Tell me about your time in Ho Chi Minh City. How apparent is its plastic problem?
Single-use plastic is a part of people’s everyday lives here – a straw inside of a plastic cup with a plastic lid in a plastic bag is one of the most common things you’ll see. There seems to still be the misconception here that if you throw something out, it’ll just “go away”. This isn’t a Vietnamese problem though – in many ways it’s a foreign technology that [foreigners] never bothered designing a proper end-of-life strategy for.

Your project caught the attention of Starbucks – how important is it that big companies get involved in projects like this?
I believe that it’s super important to work together with corporations that are genuinely trying their best to do the right thing. They have the power to move the needle with really small policy changes, and I want to show that people genuinely care about these issues and support the guys trying to do the right thing. I think this kind of positive encouragement can have a domino effect on smaller companies and corporations.

What has been the most challenging part of this project?
Hard to say, honestly. Every chapter is hard: from concept to pitch, pitch to execution, execution to press… and now the challenge of getting press just continues. I don’t think it ever really stops!

Benjamin Von Wong takes a picture in the middle of the Strawpocalypse installation at Estella Place, Ho Chi Minh City Photo: Von Wong

You have done projects in Vietnam and Cambodia and a TEDx Talk in Malaysia. What attracts you to Southeast Asia? Do you think that art has a role to play in this region?
I just keep getting the opportunity to create here! I personally love the culture of hard-working, humble individuals, and there’s just this spirit of being able to do anything without all the red tape that you would typically need in a North American country.

In many ways, I also think there’s a hunger for this type of content that’s larger than life and that stands out. I hope that I have the opportunity to come back more often!

It seems like you always wear the same clothes. I envy how simple your mornings must be when selecting your outfit. Do you ever wear anything else?
I have a couple pyjamas and extra layers of sweaters I travel with, but for the most part… yep – I wear the same thing every day. Better for the environment and less decision making needed!

What is your message to those who regularly use single-use plastic straws?
I think that it’s important to remember that the straw people use for just minutes will last longer than their lifetime, into their children and grandchildren’s lifetime. And while it may just seem like a small thing, all of that adds up into a really big problem. It’s not just about the straw; it’s about using the straw as a reminder to be more conscious of our consumption habits.

For more information on the project go to the Strawpocalypse website and to learn more about how the project can make a difference check out this video.