MERN Forum Presentation id=658
MERN Forum # 42
Session: 2B
Author: Denis Hlynka
Affiliation: University of Manitoba
Title : Inquiry through documentary: The case of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Assiniboine Park Zoo
Description : Museums, galleries and zoos strive to be contemporary by promoting an inquiry mode. One strategy employed by such institutions is to use the short documentary presentation format. This paper will examine how two Winnipeg-based institutions, the national Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the local Assiniboine Park Zoo incorporate such documentaries into their respective displays. Both institutions have different goals in the use of the documentary format to enhance their exhibits. Both choose to showcase professionally commissioned media as a part of the total experience. This exploratory presentation sets the stage for future research and asks: Do these documentaries as used in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Assiniboine Park Zoo enhance the inquiry mode? Do such documentaries open a critical discussion or close down a potential discussion? Do documentaries provide a significant “wow factor” that enhances the learner experience? This paper argues that the power of the documentary mode is seldom used to its full potential, but is typically denigrated to providing a technical tour-de-force rather than an emotional experience. In so doing, a potential inquiry focus is lost.
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