For the past few years, there has been a rapid growth of palm and industry plantations in the Bangka Belitung Islands that threatens the culture and tradition of the native Jerieng Tribe. These indigenous people have been tirelessly fighting to keep their land and preserve their way of life.
On Media Freedom and Digital Security
Bonnibel Rambatan talks to Damar Juniarto, Executive Director of SAFEnet, about digital rights and digital security, the increasing judicial harassment of expression in the digital space in Southeast Asia, how various countries try to emulate China’s Great Firewall to conduct surveillance and censorship of its people, and how can the people of Southeast Asia fight back the digital authoritarian practices.
Engendering Media Freedom: Re-conceptualising Newsmaking in Southeast Asia
Given the increasingly hostile climate for media workers in Southeast Asia, New Naratif’s Media Freedom Insights publications set out to better understand their lived experiences. Building on our past findings, we aim to platform the gendered experiences of newsmakers from across the region in order to understand the media ecosystem.
In this surreal piece on environmental decay, imageries of monsters, economic collapse, gross ecological excesses, guilty pleasures, and hints of internalised queerphobia all coalesce into a blend of poetic cosmic horror. While not explicitly portraying identifiable elements of queerness and ecology, Yi Feng’s piece manages to capture the ambient strangeness of queer ecology in its atmosphere.
Queer Ecology: Eight Works of Flash Fiction on the Intersectionality of SOGIESC and Ecological Justice
Nearing the end of 2022, we asked fiction writers to tell us: In what ways do the struggles for queerness and ecology intersect and influence one another? We received close to two dozen submissions, from which we have selected eight pieces to develop. In no particular order, here they are.
Himas portrays yet another beautiful story of love, loss, and longing. While her previous entry presents a world of potential liberation in the midst of impossible challenges, this current story tells of the soul-crushing loss and loneliness that queer people of lesser resources face from hate crime and environmental exploitation on a regular basis.
The Lesser Known Part of the Timun Mas Tale
With two stories where one frames the other, Bageur presents yet another exploration of queer ecology within indigenous cultures with his unique retelling of the Indonesian folktale of Timun Mas. This in itself is beautiful, but the frame story of a gay dad telling this story to his son—and especially the context thereof—is a true stroke of genius.
A Little Duck’s Longing
It’s not only humans that can feel loss and longing from an unexpected and untimely death. Jing Ying’s work explores the emotional impact of human death on nonhuman animals, subverting the tired ecological trope that nature would be better off without humans. In this beautiful work, a little duck is saddened by the death of a human kin, the reasons of which are left to the reader’s interpretation.
Taman Rainbow is My Home
A deeply personal narrative written with the vibes of a diary entry, Vio’s story emanates warmth in its nostalgia as well as resilience in its outlook. A truly beautiful piece you wouldn’t want to miss.
Survival of the Fittest
Written in the form of a stage play script, Ara’s work managed to convey the essence of queer ecology as originally theorised by Timothy Morton. In the words of their cockroach character, “Gay penguins, lesbian squirrels, bisexual dolphins, sex-changing fishes… all sorts of things are out there. Nature doesn’t have a label for all these things.” Who could say no to a cockroach philosopher?