“Within the space of a few kilometres, millions of lives tangle themselves together, from doorway to driveway to subway to sleep”
There is something almost unreal about cities. Within the space of a few kilometres, millions of lives tangle themselves together like some great silk skein, stretching from doorway to driveway to subway to sleep. Leaning together on the train, countless commuters stare unseeing into space, determined not to meet one another's eyes. Footpaths vanish beneath the weight of hawkers and buskers and prophets and thieves screaming to be heard over the roar of 10,000 metal throats. Blackedout Bentleys crawl through crowded streets past office blocks and open sewers. Beggars hunch in the shadow of skyscrapers.
This month, cities are our thing: where they are going, how we will live in them and, perhaps most importantly, what needs to happen to cope with the region's incredible levels of urbanisation. This coincides with our annual Cambodian property special, which will be distributed alongside the Globe and looks into how the
capital of Phnom Penh can be developed with its inhabitants in mind, hears about the benefits of forward-thinking office design and finds out what is in store for the country's beach town of Sihanoukville.
Elsewhere this month we look into the social impact of revenge porn, a craze that has been sweeping Indonesia and can play havoc with victims' lives due to the country's increasingly conservative attitudes and its baffling pornography law (page 50). We also investigate the impact that social media has had on the illegal trade in wildlife – long a scourge of Southeast Asia, but now bolstered by a combination of new online means of doing business and the unwitting participation of social media users (page 56). Finally, we profile Latiff Mohidin, one of the region's greatest artists, who has just become the first Southeast Asian to be featured at the famed Pompidou Centre's In-Focus Gallery in Paris (page 72).