Within history there is scope for challenging the disputable facts that we have been presented with. The Smithsonian website was designed to show the American perspective and what the Americans think happened on the day of September 11. The images and objects are considered to be the indisputable facts, whereas the personal stories are written by individual people that have memories of the events that took place on that day. These memories can be very biased depending on the individual self, religion or culture.
This bias recount of an individual’s memory of the event is published and considered to be factual history. Memory can affect history and change the way it is perceived by other people which is distortion of the truth. An example of this is “when the public institution of the Australian War Memorial tries to outline its perspectives they incorporate political baggage”. This is because the government shows what it wants to the public, this is “the message they want to promote”.
The documentary “Loose Change” by Dylan Avery has a complete opposite view of what the Smithsonian website wants to promote. They gather evidence from many different sources and put it together to show their own perspective of the event of September 11. Due to it being directed and made by an individual, it will contain some elements of bias because of the different views and beliefs that the director has. The evidence collected can contain indisputable and disputable facts. This can cause a distortion of the truth and create a new perspective.
Some of the facts will be from individual memory which will also contain bias. Therefore memory again affects the recount of history and causes distortion. The Smithsonian website promotes its views by using visual and language techniques. The visual techniques used include symbolism in the images such as the torn American flag which symbolises that the Americans were under attack and went through so much pain, this image reinforces their perspective of what there recount of the events are.
Another technique used is placement of images such as the placing of the twin towers on fire on the front page of the website which makes the reader feel empathy for the American people. The language techniques used on the Smithsonian website includes emotive and persuasive language to appeal to the viewer of this website. Emotive language is used throughout the website, an example of this is “hijacked a jet and used it as weapons against the United States” and “most shocking days in American history”.
These visual and literary techniques help reinforce their view on the events and appeal to the reader and viewer of this website. The documentary “loose change” also uses visual and language techniques to present and reinforce its view and perspective of the event. An example of a visual technique used in this documentary is manipulation in which they manipulate the facts and the memory recollections of the event to support their theory of what happened on September 11. These techniques help reinforce their image and appeal to the viewer.
Another technique used is omission in which they omit some of the evidence and story recounts to make sure than viewers think they are completely correct. This documentary is biased and its authenticity is questioned as to whether the facts presented are disputable or not. The Smithsonian website’s authenticity and legitimacy must be questioned; this is due to the” tell your story” section of the website. This section allows people to contribute their own stories of their own memory of the events that occurred on September 11.
This causes the truth to be distorted and the authenticity of the website is challenged due to these disputable facts which are published on the website. These different stories which are published create many different perspectives of one past event that has already occurred which is not possible because there can only be one way in which it happened. Therefore an individuals’ memory affects the history and causes distortion of the truth because an individuals’ memory will be biased.
The documentary “Loose Change” is just another perspective of the event which includes individual memory which means it will also contain bias as Dylan Avery’s perspective is presented to us using the documentary which means the evidence and views shown might not be totally authentic. Memory has affected a past historical event because of individual self and personal beliefs. This is why the authenticity and legitimacy of this text is questioned, it presents a good argument against the view of the American government but the facts it presents could be affected by bias and memory and be manipulated by the director to suit his beliefs.
Even though both of these texts show totally opposite perspectives they have their differences and similarities. The similarity between these two texts is that they both document the same past event and they both talk about the fact that the twin towers were destroyed and that there was someone behind the attacks, however the differences between them is that the Smithsonian website shows their view which says that terrorists were the ones who hijacked the jet and crashed it into the twin towers, while the documentary claims that it was the American government who planned the attack themselves for personal benefit reasons.
Both views have good arguments to prove their point however both contain great elements of bias. In conclusion history is just the compilation of events however when these events are compiled and put into storage for future generations they are written by individual people which will incorporate their own bias views into the history that is stored. When future generations look at past events in history they should look at all different perspectives and then make their own judgements according to their beliefs so that they aren’t brainwashed into believing a biased recount of an event.