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Cultural Diversity in the Media - Essay Example

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Cultural Diversity in the Media

This paper will take on two parts. The first part will reflect on the portrayal of Jews themselves in media representations of them in relation to the Holocaust, focusing on the wounds wracked by that painful chapter in world history and their responses towards it. It will essentially use history to understand emotion and identity. The second part will take on a more contemporary approach and will look at how Israel is being portrayed in the media today, under the current context of the Middle East Conflict between Israel and Palestine. It will essentially argue that not only is history per se important, but it is also important what kind of history, and there is a need to be critical of how history is framed and deployed. History as tool to understand emotion and identity in media Media representations of Jews particularly during the holocaust have always shown the Jews as filled with so much pain and tragedy. And indeed, it is difficult to understand this if one is not imbued with a historical context. To give an example, we turn to the movie “Forgiving Doctor Mengele”, which was released in 2006. ...
There are four main narratives, which are also the crucial and more dramatic points of the piece: Miriam’s death and the start of Eva’s journey; the interview with Dr. Hans Munch, a former Nazi doctor; a meeting in the West Bank with Palestinian teachers; and the destruction of the museum she built in memory of her sister by neo-Nazi hate-criminals. The documentary gives us situated knowledge, a personal experience of the Holocaust and forgiveness, although its links to larger historical and social facts are diffused and fragmented. It can be said, however, that ‘Forgiving Dr. Mengele’ is a classic Holocaust documentary film, in the sense that is meant to instruct through evidence; it poses truth[s] as a moral imperative1. But what is the media representations embedded in the film? And how does history help us understand these? A core idea being forwarded – by way of providing an example of embedded representations -- is the notion of ‘forgiveness’, its complexity and multiple dimensions. Indeed, it is noticeable how difficult is to portray what exactly is forgiveness in general, and what is the exact meaning of forgiveness for Eva, as in the debate at the Jewish center in Chicago, where she is "grilled" on the meaning of forgiveness and her right to do so, in the wake of those that continue suffering through the trauma of the acts. There is no way that we can understand the poignant meanings of this scene without having an idea of this painful history that the Jews had suffered. Representing history through film or any other media is always fraught with issues. First of all, it is the question of the limits of the language what Hanna Arendt2 calls the ...Show more

Summary

What role may a better understanding of history play in understanding media representations of diversity? History as Tool in Assessing Media Representations of Jews Understanding history, in particular reflecting on the lessons that it has taught us, is invaluable in making sense of the representations of diversity that media present to us…
Author : njohnson
Cultural Diversity in the Media essay example
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