World War II ended more than 70 years ago, but the horrors of the Holocaust (or Shoah, in Hebrew) have not receded from historical memory. Yet for some reason, there’s a disconnect when it comes to social media culture. Many people casually visit Holocaust memorial sites and take selfies or sexy pics, all the while knowing that death is all around them.
That’s where Israeli-German writer and satirist Shahak Shapira’s project comes in. Shapira, 28, sick of seeing people post images to Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, and Grindr of them hanging out and having a fun time on the Holocaust Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, took the matter into his own hands. In his chilling project “YOLOCAUST,” a bleak reference to the acronym “YOLO,” or “you only live once,” he calls out the normalization of the Holocaust through these carefree selfie images at memorial sites. To do this, he simply manipulated the original selfies at the memorial to include actual photos of Nazi crimes, which range from piles of dead bodies to pictures of starving people jailed in concentration camp bunks.
The seamless Photoshopping job was what really made this project click. Upon visiting Yolocaust.de, which launched mid-January, you’d find various people’s selfies at the Holocaust memorial. However, if you moved your mouse over them, the once-joyful images transformed into the Photoshopped ones of Nazi death camps.
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