Mod C Essay

899 WordsJun 9, 20134 Pages
Representations are not merely objective truth, but encompass conscious selectivity and emphasis which shape and define the meaning we derive from a text. The importance of the Smithsonian's Bearing Witness to History site as both a historical and American representation causes a divergence in its purpose, between its obligation for factual accuracy and intrinsic support of specific cultural values. Deepa Mehta's film Earth (1996) demonstrates the manipulation of texts to shape the meaning we derive from the past, influenced by our memory of the past, distorted by personal context. Despite delving into different historical events, each text demonstrates the complementary relationship of historical truth and memory, a constructed dynamic…show more content…
The Smithsonian Museum is a selective representation that allow an intuitive recollection of history oriented by our personal experience, whilst challenging the inflexible traditional museum through its ability to be altered and manipulated by our personal memory and reminiscence. Continuous uploading and addition of new content in conjunction with constantly altering graphics ensures that the website is viewed differently by every responder, allowing our memory of the 9/11 to steer our interpretation of the text. The provision of a 'Tell your story' link, directing responder's to "help document this historic event", places equal academic validity in the function of memory as that of an artefact, and in doing so, essentially intertwines the roles of history and memory as being complementary in the documentation of fact. Supporting this distinct representation of 9/11, the title of the website 'Bearing Witness to History' allows the individual testimonies of its responders to enhance this representation of a unified response to the attack. This is supported by curator William Yeingst who
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