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Chiara and Liliana, the future of memory

The most popular influencer of the moment met Liliana Segre, after the invitation to visit the Holocaust Memorial


To someone it might seem the beginning of some joke of bad taste, to many, including keyboard lions, surely the preview of a new collab very instagrammable, but, to some others, a particular news to be put under the magnifying glass: Yes, Senator Liliana Segre, 92 years old this year, who survived the concentration camps of Auschwitz, met the entrepreneur and influencer of 27.3 million followers, Chiara Ferragni. That’s right, just her: that of the Ferragnez, that of the luxury bathrobes for her small children, the fig leaf top, the winking eye on the chewing gum and the supermarket rented for her husband’s 29. Let’s stop here for now.

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Un post condiviso da la Repubblica (@larepubblica)

Rewinding the thread, Segre had recently expressed her desire to meet Chiara and all this would happen on June 9, with the promise to go in private to visit the Holocaust Memorial in Milan.
The words already put together in this way could only arouse the indignation and disapproval of many, attentive scrutineers and guarantors of a universal ethic, who found themselves compelled to put before our eyes an evidence: How is it possible that such a monumental event in our history could become yet another social catcher? How can you think to bring the name of an influencer to the topic Shoah, what title can this have? What right do you have to talk to our young people? Awareness should just be born in us, let alone put ourselves in the hands of people like you.

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Un post condiviso da Chiara Ferragni ✨ (@chiaraferragni)

And yet again, Liliana Segre took us. She observed reality and expressed an opinion. And we, once again, can add how his greatest fear carved on track 21 of Milan Central, Indifference, is still a boulder that weighs heavily on our consciences. "I would very much like to meet Chiara Ferragni and invite her to visit with me the Shoah Memorial in Milan" were the words of Liliana last month, in reference to Platform 21, located under the station of the Lombard capital: The place holds in fact a precise historical value, since from here departed the trains loaded with deportees bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau. "I saw that she has engaged with her husband on several issues of social importance, she is definitely a woman attentive to topics other than those that concern her work related to fashion". Because maybe yes, it would be to add to the previous list the countless fundraisers and charities that the very popular beauty influencer has added to his resume, between trendy shoes and shiny makeup.

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Un post condiviso da Daniele Cislaghi (@cisla_photo_travel)

From words to deeds. On Segre’s Instagram profile they sit next to each other and smile proudly two opposite generations, united at a crossroads; as the senator explains, "spending a lot of time with my grandchildren I realized that the world has changed. And since as well as being smart and with 27 million followers, Chiara Ferragni has already engaged with her husband Fedez in civil and social initiatives, I thought she was the right person to involve". So why? Is there really a risk of turning the Shoah into a five-second TikTok ballet? Let’s save ourselves the cheap pickings when it comes to the judgment and heart of Liliana Segre. Of someone who, beyond the lived experience that we can all quickly summarize, was faced with a multiplicity of scenarios and existential doubts: what has become of humanity? So what role should I assume, survivor? And what value can memory have, after so many years? How is it good to do it?

The truth is that we are all called to be human and this goes beyond historical eras and generational and societal differences. Tolerance, union and mutual respect all have a minimum common denominator: human progress.
The problem is that not everyone is ready to play this role, because it is easier to relax comfortably on the certainty that the story has passed and now locked inside the school books, the old documentaries or the trite words of some sentimentalist. We all remember it well, guys included.

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Un post condiviso da Memoriale della Shoah Milano (@memorialedellashoah)

But if we find ourselves making judgements as obscene as they are poisonous for such an act of solidarity, setting aside the objective for which it was made, this means that there is still a great deal of road to go. This is why Liliana does not back down and changes channels, because she knows that "we must accept the times in which we live. Today we read less and everyone has a mobile phone in their hands." And if Chiara can help open the ears and eyes of the youngest, let’s give her the space. Let them really carve it into their hearts, too. Because what matters is not who speaks, but what has to tell us, and this Liliana had already guessed.

It is no coincidence that one of Primo Levi’s last heartfelt appeals read: "denying that one can communicate is false: one can always. Refusing to communicate is guilt".

Image Kaja Sariwating on Unsplash