By Megan Tan on 10 June, 2021
An easy way to discover hidden gems and heartfelt stories about Southeast Asia is through independent magazines. This list features eight indie magazines championing Southeast Asian cultures and history through intimate storytelling, compelling visuals, and creative collaboration.
Mulazine is a multi-disciplinary artist collective as well as an independent publication that uses their digital platform for creative expression. This Malaysian magazine aims to share written and visual arts relating to retrospective and current affairs. “Mula” is Malay for “start” and it aspires to shed light on taboo topics, thus sparking more discussions online and in the outside world.
“Saya” means “me” or “I,” which is what saya. magazine explores: Contributors share works relating to their thoughts and selfhood, social sciences, and what it means to be human. The first issue is a tribute to the name of the publication as the stories and art explore the theme of “Identity.” Purchase your copy here or explore other editorial works on their website.
Musotrees is a periodically printed independent magazine for those interested in travelling and exploring new places. Featuring beautiful photography and interviews with names such as LA-based Malaysian singer Yuna, these journeys and stories extend all across the world. Follow their Instagram page for daily inspiration for your future travels when it’s time to embark on that much-awaited getaway.
A Singaporean independent print publication, the name “AKAR” translates to “roots.” True to its definition, the magazine dives deeper into Southeast Asian cultures, traditions, and lived experiences, to amplify stories that broaden one’s perspective. With an overarching topic for each volume, the first and second focuses on Foundations — explorations at home — and Motion — what it means to move and be moved, respectively.
Documenting personal yet mundane stories, Meantime is an annually published independent magazine that explores Singapore’s past in stories lost to time. Since its creation in 2019, the magazine has covered Love Stories and Ghost Stories and is focusing on funny stories in their upcoming issue. Each printed issue is unique, whether it be hand torn paper or with an unexpected item between the pages.
Mynah is a compilation of authentic and real stories about Singapore, looking into the forgotten chapters of subcultures and local history. They dive into hawker cuisine, for instance, or publish profiles on “bomohs” or shamans. In this magazine, you will find interviews with prolific people along with researched pieces about underreported and untold Singaporean tales.
The oldest magazine on our list, art4d is a Thai magazine founded in 1995 by designers, for designers. Made for professionals and followers of the creative industries, art4d’s digital website encompasses topics from architecture to art, featuring interviews with designers and write-ups on memorable spaces. This is a space for design ideas to be shared and exchanged. They even sell monthly prints, currently up to their 275th issue!
An indie magazine based in the Philippines, GRID is a lifestyle and travel publication covering stories about Filipino culture. The magazine has become an award-winning travel media since its establishment in 2014 and is now available in the form of print, digital, video and audio. They have a Guides section full of tips from how to be your own bartender to a pristine plant parent — especially useful for today’s times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan is Dia’s intern and a Fashion Marketing & Management student in Malaysia. She has worked on projects with brands such as Fugeelah, and is interning for fashion influencers based in the UK. Apart from fashion, Megan is interested in business and psychology, and enjoys creating art and reading novels. She will be furthering her education at London College of Fashion in September 2021.