What if a 13-year-old girl in the Holocaust had Instagram? Evas.stories was launched as a personal Instagram blog on May 9, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, yet was a carefully crafted feature film presented in clips of Instagram stories. Eva.stories is based on a true story from Eva Heyman, a 13-year-old Hungarian girl who kept a journal through the Holocaust in the year 1944.
In an idea imagined by father daughter duo Mati and Maya Kochavi, Eva.stories was born with the intention to connect the next generation of youth to the Holocaust. As the number of Holocaust survivors dwindle and knowledge of their stories does too, it’s crucial to find ways to reach the younger generation of people. About 66% of millennials surveyed in America do not know what Auschwitz is, according to a recent study.
Instagram stories are normally 15 second stories which remain for 24 hours; however, the team used the highlight function to ensure the stories are saved. The project garnered over 120 million views in 24 hours, and went from 400 thousand follows on launch day to over 1.5 million only a few days later. The project was watched by mostly 13 to 30-year olds, and also received media attention by celebrities like Gal Gadot, Sarah Silverman and even the Israeli Prime Minister.
Eva.stories started a controversial conversation, as many spoke up with the belief that hash-tagging the Holocaust cheapens the stories. Perhaps what matters is simply experimenting with various mediums in order to ensure that the stories of the past stay alive for the future. In a world which is moving forward at rapid pace, and a younger generation who requires education yet remains trapped behind the screen, then the project offers the platform needed to support the remembrance of the Holocaust.