Relational Anne: The Remediation and Participatory Adaptation of Holocaust Diaries in Digital Media

Presentation by Lital Henig at the conference "Connected Histories: Memories and Narratives of the Holocaust in Digital Space"

Digital culture has an important effect on the mediation and experience of Holocaust diaries.

Starting as a common phenomenon of autobiographic writing amongst European Jewry during the Holocaust (Goldberg, 2017), diaries turned into a central medium in the twentieth century’s Holocaust commemoration culture. Nowadays, Holocaust diaries are a part of a mediated memory culture that is characterized as convergence culture (Jenkins, 2006), and affected by a participatory, hybrid environment. In this research, I explore remediations of Holocaust diaries in digital media and investigate how digital culture impacts interactions with historical diaries. I do so by conducting a comparative multimodal analysis between two commemoration initiatives that remediate Holocaust diaries: the Instagram initiative Eva.stories (2019) and the Anne Frank House digital virtual tours of The Secret Annex (2019). I argue that while some remediations of Holocaust diaries stress co- creation, identification, and the constitution of social media memories (Henig and Ebbrecht- Hartmann, 2020), others present a different praxis: one that stresses the ongoing remediation and an ubiquitous creation of visual and textual relations as a form of user participation. Drawing on the research project, Visual History of The Holocaust, Rethinking Curation in the Digital Age (2018-2022)I analyze such praxis by applying the project’s model for relational image and text analysis, the taxonomy of relations. I argue that when Holocaust diaries meet digital culture, they become relational to the historical source as well as to the user, and to other – historical and contemporary – media objects. Users experience them as an ongoing- remediated media object, integrated into their own media lives. As such, Holocaust diaries become a crucial media object in contemporary Holocaust commemoration culture, especially for the understanding of narrative construction and personal participation in the exploration of a historical story.


Tuesday, 24.05.2022, 14:45
Tuesday, 24.05.2022, 15:15
(GMT+02:00) Vienna (Summertime)
Bruno Kreisky Forum, Armbrustergasse 15,
1190 Vienna