I've grown accustomed over the years to dreading going back. To knowing that the places I first explored in the early days of my career will be horrible sullied reflections of my rosiest memories, that I will end up feeling crushed, and demotivated as a result. What I saw of the Asmat was a beacon of light. It was a sign of quite how dramatically environments bounce back if given a chance.
We urgently need documentary films about events that took place in the 1940s, 50s and 60s globally and locally, now because of the threat to living memory. Soon we will only be able to document new information from the sons and daughters of the era. And if I can't even recall my actions or find my notebook from three years ago, what hope do we have on a national or international scale of remembering the past?
As this article is published, Nasiah, along with many others, are still drifting in the boat house. They have no idea for how long they should stay there. What is certain is that they have now lost not only the places they usually call home, but also long-held memories and the future to which they have been looking forward.
Mental health issues are definitely not first world problems because the benefits, stability and access to services of the first world are irrelevant to mental health. Obviously those with greater wealth can access better medication, private counselling and a range of treatments for mental health illness, but, the car you drive, the house you live in or amount of cash in your bank account is immaterial when you are trapped in your own mind by the pain and turmoil of mental health illness.