Working transparently, museums must now move beyond mere representations of evidence to demonstrate explicitly how knowledge is developed, shared, or revisited. Making evident the gaps or omissions in our knowledge, identifying marginal or absent voices, helps audiences to explore with confidence and promotes engagement through nuance, perspective, and diversity. Authoritativeness has not enhanced cultural institutions, but authenticity has. Leveraging – and sharing – authenticity, museums must speak from multiple points of view, encouraging stakeholder and audience participation, even while bolstering scholarship. In assisting audiences to better understand how the past informs the present, how patterns and similarities can be observed in the seeming diversity and idiosyncrasies of history, museums can transcend institutionalism or parochialism to demystify a shared humanity in a singular world.
This is not something I think you can, you can’t train for it. I don’t know that anybody can teach you how to do well in a dark moment. The point is, I think you have to realize that we all have it within us to overcome those dark moments. You have to dig deep to find it, but I think it’s in every one of us. I’ve seen it in young men, young ladies who overcome terrible tragedies and keep going and they are the last people, maybe, you would have expected to rise to the occasion, but they do because I’m convinced it’s been put inside all of us and you just have to look hard for it.
Every pond, stream and river was polluted with decomposing bodies. Shimada Toshio, a private second class, recounted his ‘baptism of blood’ on reaching the 226th Regiment in China later. A Chinese prisoner had been tied by his hands and ankles to a pole on each side of him. Nearly 50 new recruits were lined up to bayonet him. Toshio wrote: ‘My emotion must have been paralysed. I felt no mercy on him. He eventually started asking us, “Come on. Hurry up!” We couldn’t stick the right spot. So he said, “Hurry up!” which meant that he wanted to die quickly.’ Shimada claimed that it was difficult because the bayonet stuck in him ‘like [in] tofu’.