Swimming Against the Tide: Everyday Struggles of Gender Justice Activists

In this explainer, we examine the existing challenges towards advancing gender justice in Southeast Asia. Based on conversations with regional feminist and gender justice activists, we find that deeply entrenched patriarchal values are evident from the persistence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Other significant obstacles include male domination and exclusionary practices against gender issues…

Structural and Systemic Factors Hindering Democracy in SEA: A Feminist Perspective

This Explainer investigates the structural and systemic factors hindering the practice of inclusive feminist and gender justice-informed democratic action in Southeast Asia. We identify common and critical challenges, including but not limited to ineffective law enforcement, the surveillance and curtailment of freedom of expression, and religious fundamentalism. Narrowing down our focus to three key factors…

Indonesians Speak: The Top 5 Most Important Issues Facing Indonesia in 2023

What do Indonesians think about the current state of Indonesia? What are the most critical issues facing the country? Across the board and by a relatively significant margin, the ranking of Stage 2 of The Citizens’ Agenda Indonesia signalled one important issue: Poverty and Precarity. Despite Indonesia’s rapid economic development, many people are still concerned…


Principles of Democracy: Free, Fair, Regular, and Representative Elections

Elections allow voters to pass judgement and express their will on the government. How elections are designed and how their results are determined are fundamental to any country’s democracy. Thus, it should be regularly and carefully debated through a democratic process, with the design updated as flaws become apparent.

The 22 Most Important Issues Facing Indonesia in 2023

In Stage 1 of The Citizens’ Agenda 2023, New Naratif asked Indonesians what they think are the most important issues facing Indonesia, and what they’d like political candidates to talk about in the next general election. Here’s what our readers said (and didn’t say).

Eroding Press Freedom: Media Crackdown in Cambodia

The move of Cambodia’s former prime minister, Hun Sen, to shut an independent media, Voice of Democracy (VOD), ahead of the 2023 general elections reflects the 2017 media crackdown playbook. Along with the intimidation and harassment against independent journalists, it erodes Cambodia’s press freedom and democracy.


Ripple Effect

My mother became a refugee in her own country during the Indonesian War of Independence. The experience reverberated through the rest of her life.


Engendering Media: Findings from Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei

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. This report focuses on the lived experiences of eleven female newsmakers from Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei to shed light on the practices, prohibitions, and pressures characterising their everyday work.



Quarantined Feelings: A Short Film

In this short film produced in collaboration with BEBESEA, Bradley Jason Pantajo tells us a story of a mother separated from her family and dealing with physical, psychological, and emotional isolation that OFWs and their families face.


/ with New Naratif: Finding Home Event Recap

Last year, New Naratif joined forces with Better Engagement Between East and Southeast Asia (BEBESEA) and invited members of communities in or from Southeast and East Asia to pitch their ideas for original creative works telling stories of migration across these regions. After reviewing close to 50 applications, we selected 7 compelling stories and developed…

A Tale of Queer Migration in Indonesia

This episode is based on their short comic trilogy called “The Rites of Passage: A Tale of Queer Migration” by Asmara S. Wigati. In this episode, Asmara and Bonni discusses the trilogy, Asmara’s journey, and how we can build better connections and collective care for queer people in Indonesia.

A Tale of Queer Migration – Homeward

In this very personal comic trilogy, visual artist and ethnographer Asmara S. Wigati takes us on their journey migrating across islands in Indonesia in search of a better life. This final episode ends the trilogy in a hopeful note of how queer people have always been at the heart of collective care.