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with New Naratif

Collective action begins with a community

Upcoming Events

Engage in collective action for positive change

/ba∙ca/ with New Naratif is a reading group series that invites members to come together to discuss selected stories published by New Naratif. Discussions are led by New Naratif team members and feature guest speakers and contributors. They typically revolve around recent social or political issues within Southeast Asia. 

/ba∙ca/ with New Naratif is a space for our community to have safe and constructive conversations about complex issues. It will be conducted in English, but we don’t rule out the possibility of opening discussions in other languages according to the context or interest in the issues being discussed.

Occasionally, members will be sent polls to vote on readings for the group via the members-only newsletter. If you’re a member but you don’t receive the weekly members-only newsletter, please write to us at memberships[at]newnaratif[dot]com.

/ba∙ca/ with New Naratif aims to bring our community together to discuss complicated issues and take collective action.

Stay updated on the upcoming /ba∙ca/ with New Naratif!

We will announce our next /ba.ca/ in January. To be the first to know, sign up for our Weekly Naratif newsletter.

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Get connected and enlightened

Each session is 60 – 90 minutes long and members are encouraged to read the assigned articles and/or stories beforehand. This reading group will be hosted in a smaller capacity as we want our community to get to know each other and participate fully.

Contributors of the pieces being discussed will also be present at the session, which gives participants the opportunity to talk to them directly and ask questions.

The session will be recorded and edited into a podcast of the same name, available exclusively for New Naratif members.  

Past /ba∙ca/: The Philippines’ Exploitation of Overseas Filipino Workers

While the “export” of Filipino workers provides immediate benefits to families of migrant workers, in the long term it also causes serious problems for the workers, their families, and national development. But labour export continues to be actively promoted by the Philippine state because it provides short-term benefits to the Philippine economy, and more importantly, it boosts the profits of foreign and local elite interests.

7 December 2022 | 8 p.m. GMT+8

We’ll explore the structural issues that drive these exports with the author of this month’s explainer, Teo S. Marasigan, and the chairperson of Migrante-International, Joanna Concepcion.

The reading list for the last /ba∙ca/:

The Philippines’ Dangerous Dependence on the Exploitation of its People

While it started labour export as a stop-gap measure, the Philippine government now aggressively exports Filipinos. Labour migration has helped address the short-term needs of migrant families and the economy, and has benefitted migrant-receiving countries, local elites and the government, but also poses serious long-term problems to migrants, Filipinos, and the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to read before coming to a session?

Yes, you are encouraged to read the assigned reading before coming to a session and prepare questions for discussion.

When is the next /ba∙ca/ with New Naratif?

We’ll announce the next /ba.ca/ in January. Stay tuned by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

What have members read in past meetings?

#1 — Malaysia’s Current Political Climate

Reading: Winner-Takes-All: The Structural Risk to Malaysian Democracy by Ooi Kok Hin

#2 — Pro-democracy: Organising & Protesting in Myanmar & Thailand


  1. “Let It End in Our Generation”: How the Thailand Protests Came to Be by Prachatai  
  2. Myanmar Activist: We Want Our Own Script by Jacob Goldberg

#3 — Activism in Singapore


  1. Podcast: Political Agenda — Protest, Activism, and Social Change
  2. Video: The Show with PJ Thum — Episode 5 — How the PAP Government Abuses “Rule of Law” to Control Singapore
  3. Research: The Use of Humiliation as a Political Tool by Thum Ping Tjin

#4 — Environmental Migration in Kalimantan

Reading: Kalimantan’s Warning: The Intertwined Dynamics of Environmental Degradation and Internal Migration by Lengga Pradipta