Yolocaust: Artist Shahak Shapira Explains Why He Took It Down

Dear internet, last week I launched a project called YOLOCAUST that explored our commemorative culture by combining selfies from the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin with footage from Nazi extermination camps. The selfies were found on Facebook, Instagram, Tinder and Grindr. Comments, hashtags and “Likes” that were posted with the selfies are also included.

The page was visited by over 2.5 million people. The crazy thing is that the project actually reached all 12 people who’s selfies were presented. Almost all of them understood the message, apologized and decided to remove their selfies from their personal Facebook and Instagram profiles. Aside from that I also received tons of great feedback from Holocaust researchers, people who used to work at the memorial, folks who lost their family during the Holocaust, teachers who wanted to use the project for school lessons, and evil people who sent photos of their friends and family for me to Photoshop. You can see some of the feedback below.

But the most interesting response came from the young man on the first picture of the project, showing him jumping on the concrete slabs with the caption ‘Jumping on dead Jews @ Holocaust Memorial’. I think his email is the best way to conclude this project for now:

I am the guy that inspired you to make Yolocaust, so I’ve read at least. I am the ‘jumping on de…’ I cant even write it, kind of sick of looking at it. I didn’t mean to offend anyone. Now I just keep seeing my words in the headlines. I have seen what kind of impact those words have and it’s crazy and it’s not what I wanted (…) The photo was meant for my friends as a joke. I am known to make out of line jokes, stupid jokes, sarcastic jokes. And they get it. If you knew me you would too. But when it gets shared, and comes to strangers who have no idea who I am, they just see someone disrespecting something important to someone else or them. That was not my intention. And I am sorry. I truly am. With that in mind, I would like to be undouched.

P.S. Oh, and if you could explain to BBC, Haaretz and aaaaallll the other blogs, news stations etc. etc. that I fucked up, that’d be great.

Yolocaust: Artist Shahak Shapira explains why he took it down

Yolocaust: Artist Shahak Shapira explains why he took it down

Yolocaust: Artist Shahak Shapira explains why he took it down

Yolocaust: Artist Shahak Shapira explains why he took it down

Yolocaust: Artist Shahak Shapira explains why he took it down

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