I'm once again loving an online course from FutureLearn. This time it is 'Behind the Scenes of the 21st Century Museum.' The parallels between the 'theatre' and 'community' value of the modern museum and vibrant websites are tangible: both want to attract, retain, educate and please a wide variety of visitors. Though websites don't have closing hours.
At the end of Week 3 and fascinating roundup of the week, including the myriad of comments, led to a discussion about the worth of a museum creating an emotional response: such as 'pity' or 'anger.'
I now wonder if the experiences I shared created the feeling of pity, but anger is what was required. These were images of the mutilated faces of combatants from the First World War in the 'In Flanders Fields' Museum, Ypres and a 'collection' of children's shoes in the Holocaust exhibition at the IWM, London. Ange might turn me into a pacifist ... or a politician. To want to do something, somehow, about the continual violence inflicted upon anyone: children, mothers, combatants ... Anger then would have required the 'presence' of, to use a term from storytelling, both the protagonist AND the antagonist. So, in the first case we'd need images of the weapons that caused such mutilations: shrapnel shells and machine gun bullets; while with the Holocaust exhibits we'd need to see Auschwitz guards/soldiers. i.e. there has to be somewhere to direct our anger, and then direct it further up the 'chain of command' to the leaders that caused these conflicts.