Sheets of newspaper cover a portion of the floor of our house in Manila, and on top of those thin pieces of paper sits a white candle, a box of matches, a metal spoon, and a metal basin filled with water. The doors are locked. We’re huddled around the basin, and the room plunges into silence. Rest assured, this is not some scene from a B-rated supernatural horror movie. This is just what happens whenever anyone in my family gets sick. We call an albularyo—Tagalog for witch doctor or folk healer—to come and conduct either tawas or hilot depending on the degree of illness. All my life, I’ve never really understood nor tried to understand why my mom rarely sends us for check-ups, opting instead for tawas, hilot, and the occasional pharmaceutical drugs we self-medicate ourselves with. That is, until I took an Introduction to Anthropology course, where I encountered the term “structural violence” and the whole world of medical anthropology.
The Familiar Strange · Ep #72 Weaponized Photography & Sex Work: Camille Waring on Online Intimacy & Lens Based Violence Before we dive into today’s episode we’d just like to add a content warning for this episode for sexual assault. This week, Familiar Stranger Carolyn sits down with Camille Waring from the University of Westminster. Camille … Continue reading Ep #72 Weaponised Photography & Sex Work: Camille Waring on Online Intimacy & Lens Based Violence
Being of South-East Asian background growing up in Australia, these types of comments are not something unfamiliar to me. I have grappled with race and culture many times and I expect that battle to continue long into the future. It’s not the comparisons that bother me. It’s not about the person I’m being compared to. It’s the fact that I’m even being compared. That I’m not me, but rather I am reduced to how I look or who I resemble. I don’t get to define myself anymore. That’s the part that bothers me. After all, it happens to everyone, right? It is the casual nature of these comments which makes it so problematic. It has become so normalised and so easy to dismiss that I don’t feel like I have a choice to even bring it up.
While backpackers extensively contribute to the national economy as tourists and workers, they are only here on a short-term basis. Being temporary non-citizens there is less emotional investment into backpackers’ wellbeing and security. It is important to evaluate whether national policy overlooks (or even supports) the ongoing pattern of violence against backpackers because their presence benefits the national economy.