Brave New World? Commemorating the Holocaust in the Digital Age. 7th Bergen-Belsen International Summer School

Brave New World? Commemorating the Holocaust in the Digital Age. 7th Bergen-Belsen International Summer School

Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen
Vom - Bis
02.08.2020 - 07.08.2020
Tessa Bouwman

(Historical) education is increasingly taking place on digital platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, where mostly young people are targeted with explanatory videos and social media campaigns recounting the stories of historical figures. More and more cultural and historical institutions are digitizing their collections, making them accessible for educational and research purposes, both in the analogue and the digital world. For the first time, this year we will offer an exclusively online format.

Considering digitalization is present in nearly every aspect of our lives, Bergen-Belsen Memorial is aware of the importance of digital tools and digital transformation when it comes to remembering and teaching about the atrocities committed under the Nazi regime. During this year’s Bergen-Belsen International Summer School, which will take place from 2-6 August 2020, we will discuss the chances and possible pitfalls of an increasingly digitized society for the work of (Holocaust) memorials and other actors of memory.

We aim to gather young academics in their master- or PhD studies and/or young professionals at the beginning of their careers with an affinity for Holocaust-, Genocide- and Memory Studies and political and historical education. We encourage applications from people working in the creative industry. Participants are expected to develop their own ideas and express themselves in different ways. Activities include writing short texts, photo- and videography and social media. We expect you to take part in the format’s evaluation.


Participants will be offered tools and sessions to explore Bergen-Belsen Memorial remotely and are encouraged to reflect on their experiences being digital visitors of the site. After focusing on the history of Bergen-Belsen and getting to know the Memorial, we will collect and discuss the participants’ findings and contextualize them by dealing with different aspects of digital heritage. The sessions will relate both to Bergen-Belsen Memorial and other memory sites and cultural institutions.


The working language of the Bergen-Belsen International Summer School is English. The participants’ language skills must be sufficient to enable them to understand the preparatory texts, follow the sessions and actively participate in the discussions. Sessions will be hosted in CEST (UTC +2). We will try to find times that are suitable across all time zones, but a certain flexibility is required. We will be using an online messaging platform, a project management tool and a video conference tool (tba). Participation requires internet accessibility and a workspace with suitable hardware (at least Windows 7/Mac OS X 10.10). Additional use of mobile devices is encouraged.

To apply for this year’s Summer School, we ask you to submit a video statement (max. 90 seconds) in which you tell us about yourselves, your expectations of the programme’s topic and what you could contribute. No creative limits are set on how you present your statement, but it should be in English. You can submit your application by filling out the application form and adding a link to your video. You will find this form and additional information on our website.


Tessa Bouwman



Tessa Bouwman

29303 Lohheide
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