paper 2 - 1 When one first enters the "African...

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When one first enters the “African Voices” exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, there is an immediate and significant change in the ambiance of the room. Crossing the threshold from the Ice Age sector into the “African Voices” section is comparable to crossing into an entirely new world. The bright, open-air feel of the Ice Age exhibition quickly evaporates and the guest is enveloped by a dim and cozy environment in the “African Voices” area. The floor plan of this exhibition is shaped like a racetrack oval with a direct path down the center. There are eight separate areas with specific themes around the racetrack and a timeline that travels down the center. The museum takes an informative and educational approach of displaying the information while maintaining an interactive entertainment factor that is enjoyable for most ages. The initial entrance area of the exhibit plainly explains what the curator intends the visitor to experience during the visit. The primary theme of the exhibit is the influence that African art has on the world that it has touched. The primary components of this influence are Africa’s people, culture, resources, and ideas. This influence reached the continents of North America, South America, Asia, and Europe as these components traveled around the world. The most striking portion of the exhibit upon entering is the Freedom Theater that is straight ahead from the entrance. This is a semi-enclosed, dark room with a handful of rows of benches. There is a big-screen, flat-panel television mounted on the wall and surround sound audio that fills the room. This cozy theater shows two films that portray African slavery, “Atlantic Slave Trade” and “Struggle for Freedom.” These films provide insight into the oppression and other issues that Africans experienced during the slavery era. After exiting the theater, the portion on Global Africa takes over. Another section on
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paper 2 - 1 When one first enters the "African...

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