Ateneo starts martial law ‘online museum’ to counter revisionism
From stories on “Imeldification” and cronyism, to lesson plans for math teachers with equations calculating the stolen wealth of the Marcoses.
These are some of the “exhibits” in an interactive website launched by a team from the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) on Saturday. Known as the MartialLawMuseum (martiallawmuseum.ph), the online project aims to collect and preserve narratives from the martial law period and rouse younger generations into preventing a repeat of the past.
Fernando Aldaba, dean of the AdMU School of Social Sciences, called the online museum a “community response” against the blatant revisionism of facts about martial law which was imposed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1972.
The website presents three calls to action: mag-aral (study), magturo (educate) and manindigan (take a stand). It takes students, educators and the public through a tour of the different periods of the Marcos presidency — before, during and after martial law.
Discussions include the promises of the “New Society” with quotes from Marcos’ speeches and a list of what former First Lady Imelda Marcos left behind in Malacañang after the family fled the country. There are also stories of people who fought against the dictatorship.
Colorful and interactive visuals present a sharp contrast to the grim facts under the Marcos years, from the thousands killed to the plummeting economic conditions.
Modules for teachers are also available to serve as a guide when incorporating the lessons from martial law in math, statistics and visual art classes, among others.
Project director Arjan Aguirre who leads the 20-man team said the initiative was spurred by the hasty burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in November 2016.
In her speech during the launch, history professor Maria Serena Diokno, daughter of human rights advocate and martial law victim Sen. Jose “Pepe” Diokno, said the museum demonstrates that there are Filipinos who “will not remain silent either about the past or about the creeping authoritarianism of the present.”
“It is in fact this present that we live in that compels us to remember our past. What you have established is not a mere pocket of memory but an entire boundless chamber of remembrance that educates, empowers and offers hope,” she added.
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