Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
It is significant to examine the situation of history and war-commemorating museums on the Veterans Day. This article from The Wall Street Journal introduced the newly redesigned Imperial War Museum to coincide with the centenary of the World War I.
I had a flash back when imagining what the IWM would be like that many memories related to the war history, the similar museum in China and the stories told by survivors of war came to me so vividly. Regardless of the “political correct”, as mentioned in the article, “The task of the museum is to present a record of everyone’s experiences during that war—civilian and military—and to commemorate the sacrifices of all sections of society, not to take sides or glorify it”, I strongly appreciate museums to tell the story as it was, and just leave the visitors to imagine conflict. This is a good point on the role that historical museums should play. In my country many of them represent the country’s most nightmarish memory just by exhibiting several pieces of shells, guns, relics of deaths in the war, and some videos. They ignore the art of telling stories. The gist of commemorative museums is telling the truth in a plain but impressive way. I would say the re-creation of the claustrophobic trench in this exhibition must impress me in some way. Well done, IWM.