Scheda Articolo

Spectacularising Trauma: The experientialist visitor of Memory Museums

di Patrizia Violi

in Versus n. 119, Traces of Terror, Signs of Trauma, pp.51-70

Abstract (italiano)

The article describes different enunciatory strategies through
which contemporary memory museums aim to involve
visitors and construct the act of visiting as a particular form of
experience marked by strong emotional involvement. This new
museographic trend appears to be characterized by a highly
interactive, testimonial and iconic turn that transforms new
museums in performative spaces. Thus, museums and sites
devoted to traumatic memories often seek to re-enact the past
trauma becoming places of vicarious witness and secondary
trauma. Spectacularisation of trauma designed to evoke empathy
with the victims, often turns out to be a tool to simulate forms of
embodied identification that leaves visitors with a kind of “hunger
for history”, creating a feeling it would be more desirable to have
less experience and more understanding.