Never Forget: Multimodality and Postmemory in the Digital Museum of Martial Law
Title: Never Forget: Multimodality and Postmemory in the Digital Museum of Martial Law
Citation: Gabriel, China Marie Giuliani F. (2018). Never Forget: Multimodality and Postmemory in the Digital Museum of Martial Law. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman: College of Mass Communication.
Abstract: This study seeks to answer the question: can media memorialize political repression? Specifically, it examines how the Digital Museum of Martial Law in the Philippines constructs a popular postmemory of that particular period under the Marcos regime in an online setting. Guided by Hirsch's work on postmemory and Lemke's framework for multimodality, I employ a multimodal semiotic discourse analysis to determine how memory of martial law is constructed in three types of digital content housed in the museum, namely: a video poem, a short film, and an interactive timeline. I use the principle of compositionality by Kress and van Leeuwen to analyze the meanings of words and images present in each type of digital content and to come up with a comprehensive analysis of the online museum as an integrated text. First, I describe each type of digital content according to its linguistic and visual modes. My next step is to describe the chosen texts in relation to one another. After this, I interpret the potential meanings of the selected modes, both within each text and intertextually, according to their compositionality (e.g., information value, salience, framing). Finally, I synthesize these meanings in a universal critique of the Digital Museum of Martial Law. A humble contribution to local literature on memory studies, my study promotes multimodal discourse as a means of remembering political oppression in the Philippines during Marcos's martial law in the age of historical revisionism and postmemory.
Keywords: postmemory, martial law, multimodal, online, compositionality