Self-confessed ‘outsiders’ Side Effect are tackling hate speech – one subversive song at a time. Weekend caught up with the outspoken indie rockers to talk Ma Ba Tha, K-pop and what happens when you “f*** with the government”.
I’m most certainly not a virtuous person, but I still feel a deep sense of shame and embarrassment when Western tourists come to Southeast Asia and treat it as their personal playground. I also take a great satisfaction in seeing people cross the threshold of tolerated behaviour that they didn’t realise existed and having to suffer the punishment of public humiliation as a result. Chances are, you probably do too.
The well-dressed father of two earns good money. He speaks English and works for an international NGO that combats HIV/AIDS. He used to be a sex worker, a man who has sex with other men, and then became a government informer, reporting back to the police on other sex workers who were then arrested. He resorted to drink and drugs because of his shame and isolation. And now he wants to talk about it.
The garment industry is the linchpin of Cambodia’s economy, and the single biggest employer of women. Some 500 factories hire almost 500,000 female workers, many of them young and from the countryside, where, away from their homes and support networks, they struggle to access healthcare information and services, including abortion.
David Bockino first visited Myanmar in 2005 on a one-hour, carefully coordinated “tourist” tour of Tachileik in Shan State. He describes unremarkable photo ops and run-down buildings, quoting travel writer Paul Theroux in saying that “nothing happens in Burma, but then nothing is expected to happen”.