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  • Writer's pictureZachary Blair

Unbelievably Real, Believably Egregious: Museums are Coalescing to Legitimize Mass Murder Exploits

Updated: May 14, 2022

Some brief observations:

Yesterday, the City of Orlando with the Visit Orlando Tourism Council announced that the city's new marketing slogan would be, "Unbelievably Real."

According to Visit Orlando's press release, the new marketing campaign will combine "what is both fantastical and authentic about our unique destination to tell a holistic story” with the goal of highlighting "the region in a new way that tells a complete Orlando story."

With the promise of providing both holistic and complete stories of Orlando to promote area tourism, the local tourism board does not leave room for the voices of anyone else.

Local "leaders" are catching on the importance of controlling the narrative and silencing dissent, so much so that while Orlando unveiled their new marketing campaign, the OnePULSE Foundation also announced an academic-style conference with multiple sessions led by museum curators overtly entitled, "controlling the narrative."

The "International Culture of Remembrance Symposium," speaks into existence a "remembrance culture" that they incoherently claim is also "an inclusive discourse that examines who speaks for whom and about what." A notion that contradicts multiples sessions on "controlling the narrative."

The symposium is scheduled for June 10-11, 2022—two days before the 6-year mark of the mass shooting at Pulse, the gay nightclub where 49 people were murdered and over 50 others were injured in the mass shooting that occurred on June 12, 2016.

The event includes speakers from a variety of memorial-museum nonprofits and NGOs, including onePULSE Foundation, Cultural Vistas,Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Asociación Pasaje Begoña (Spain), Oklahoma City National Memorial, Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement, Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct (South Africa), Healing Through Remembering (Northern Ireland), the University of Hamburg, and Aspen Institute.

Barbara Poma, owner of the Pulse Nightclub and founder of the OnePULSE Foundation became a member of the Visit Orlando Board in 2022.

Since the shooting and after backing out of a deal with the City of Orlando to sell the Pulse nightclub property to the City for a public memorial, Poma formed the OnePULSE Foundation whose revised mission is to build a memorial-museum complex using more property purchased by the foundation using a $10M grant from tourism tax dollars approved by the Orange County Tourism Development Council.

Both Visit Orlando and the OnePULSE Foundation are explicitly in the market of knowledge production. They are bringing in museum representatives from around the world to legitimize their efforts to profit off mass murder—people who are likely unaware of local resistance to the OnePULSE Foundation's memorial-museum plans and the struggles of Pulse victims against the nonprofit and its founder.

The vultures are circling above Orlando.



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