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LINES OF THOUGHT ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA

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Editorial

Our big fundraiser has officially begun

Plus: Inside Myanmar’s art protests, the feminist view of Vietnam’s new pro-family directives, the perils of negotiating with the Tatmadaw and a very intimate view of modern Cambodian history

May 15, 2021
Our big fundraiser has officially begun

We’re very happy to announce that, as of yesterday, we’ve officially launched our fundraiser! I’ve plugged the fundraiser on here before but now we’re going even further to make the case for giving to Globe. Check out the homepage for the fundraiser here and look out for reader testimonials throughout the next few weeks to learn more about what our publication means to the wider community of Southeast Asia. Has the Globe ever informed, enlightened or inspired you? If so, please consider donating to our cause!

This week, our coverage ranged through the region and time itself. 

We led off with a profile on some of Myanmar’s artists who have lent their talents to the cause of anti-coup protest by memorialising those who have stood up to junta rule. Globe reporter Kiana Duncan spoke to artists powering the comic series Heroes versus Villains to learn more about this drawing demonstration and the talents sharing stories of the movement, including of those people who have died for it.

Still in Myanmar, we asked the question: Is it possible to negotiate with the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw? The answer in this editorial is a resounding “No”, courtesy of Philipp Annawitt, who served as advisor to Myanmar’s parliament and government from 2015 to 2020 and helped support the country’s democratic transition. Very interesting perspective here on the stakes of deal-making after the coup, as well as how outside powers should respond.

Looking elsewhere in ASEAN, for all its economic momentum, Vietnam has a big problem — it’s aging fast, faster even than wealthy countries with the means to support an aged population. The Vietnamese government is now rolling out a programme to incentivise marriage and childbirth, but the plan is raising skepticism among feminist groups wary of what these kind of pro-natal policies demand of women. A very interesting read from Globe reporter Govi Snell in Ho Chi Minh City.

Finally, we return to Cambodia with an impressionist’s eye. Hearkening back to history, Soc Sinan shares her small act of defiance when the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh and forced its population into rural exile. As the city fell silent around her, Sinan stayed put in her apartment for as long as she could, listening to the faint sounds of an unfolding terror in the streets. This powerful piece of memoir is an excerpt from The Last Helicopter: Two lives in Indochina, a book by US journalist Jim Laurie, and published on the 46th anniversary of the fall of the city.

How can we come to terms with the past? For Cambodian-American author and artist Chath pierSath, that’s not a simple question. Longing for lost childhoods and lost relatives, snatched away by war and conflict; inequality in Cambodia and the great urban-rural divide. These are just some of the themes he explores in his latest collection of poetry. He shared some of his poems and illustrations with us in this stark and beautiful piece that shares so clearly a portrait of his homeland. Well-worth your time.

So with all these features of the week, what do we have left to look forward to? Well, hopefully quite a lot, but for one we have the imminent arrival of the second season of Anakut podcast! We’re running things a little differently this time around, thanks in large part to Covid-19, but let your ears rest assured that more high-quality podcasting is on its way. Watch this space for more details in the weeks to come!



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