Abstract

Abstract:

This essay examines the narratives told through key touristic elements of Cape Town's Robben Island Museum and District Six Museum, such as guided tours and the preservation and/or recreation of space. Specifically, my argument is concerned with the kinds of ethical relationships that might emerge between a visitor/audience and the stories told within these museums. Focusing the curatorial goals of the museum in memorializing a specific history, and the kinds of stories visitors expect, I provide a phenomenological reading of these museums to argue that they lay a foundation for an ethical encounter, though the more fluid narrative of District Six Museum is ultimately more successful. Using Avishai Margalit's The Ethics of Memory and Emmanuel Levinas's face to face encounter, I analyze how these museums invite visitors to join what Margalit calls a "community of caring."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1542-4286
Print ISSN
0093-3139
Pages
pp. 558-590
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-12
Open Access
No
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