‘I want to video it, so people will respect me’: Nauiyu community, digital platforms and trauma

Gavin Morris, Rachel A. Groom, Emma Louise Schuberg, Sarah Dowden-Parker, Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Aaron McTaggart, Bronwyn Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Edge of Sacred project was conducted with the Nauiyu community in northern Australia and investigated trauma and traditional healing practices. Study participants from the community identified negative social changes and an escalation in anti-social behaviour, such as higher rates of bullying, violence, risky sexual behaviour and children accessing pornography, when mobile phones and social networking sites were used inappropriately. The research utilised Dadirri, a place-based, performative healing praxis that engaged community members in a truth-telling journey. Shared stories revealed social impacts derived from accessing mobile technologies and the ensuing cultural colonisation affected all aspects of Nauiyu community life. We present the findings of mobile phone use behaviours in this remote context and the performance of negative, traumatised and harmful identities that occupy social media and are enabled through social networking sites. Despite the corrosive effects of colonisation, the community unanimously believed that empowerment through truth-telling exists within and belongs to Nauiyu. The traditional holistic healing practice of Dadirri reframes identities, reclaiming Indigenous Lore.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-157
Number of pages19
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Early online dateOct 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


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