Young generations tell vivid historical stories hinh anh 1The Hoa Lo Prison relic site, an attraction in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The prejudice that young people have turned their backs on history has been around for a while. However, the huge interaction on the Facebook pages of Hoa Lo Prison relic site and of a 26-year-old video editor has proven a completely different fact, that is many young people do not turn away from history, but are naturally and effectively spreading their passion for and discovery of the core values from different periods in the nation's history among people of their generations.

From contents imbued with imprints of Gen Z…

Since the beginning of 2021, the Facebook page of the Hoa Lo Prison relic site – once the French Maison Centrale (meaning central prison), now a tourist attraction in downtown Hanoi – has regularly published posts that quickly went viral. Their contents cleverly blend the humour of the Generation Z (who born between the late 90s and early 2010s) and interesting verified historical facts. These have resulted in massive and enthusiastic interactions from young followers of the page.

Most recently, its two posts on an escape on Christmas Eve 1951 caused an interaction boom for their enticing images and stories.
Young generations tell vivid historical stories hinh anh 2A post on the 1951 Christmas prison escape that uses the popular ''Pikachu meme'' (A screenshot from the Facebook page of Hoa Lo Prison relic site)

In the first post, the story of a revolutionary death row inmate who won the prison guards' trust through ping-pong was humorously illustrated by the popular Surprised Pikachu meme, bring about nearly 6,000 interactions and more than 250 shares.

In the second, the inmates’ escape plan was demonstrated using Notion – a familiar tool to help people, particularly youth, plan and arrange work. A story from the past presented in a modern and funny way has greatly impressed the audience.
Young generations tell vivid historical stories hinh anh 3The escape plan is demonstrated using Notion (A screenshot from the Facebook page of Hoa Lo Prison relic site)

Catching up with the rising trend of broadcasting, the admin group of the page promptly launched the podcast channel "HoaLoPrisonRelic" on the Spotify platform. They also created the "HistoTea" group on Facebook, attracting more than 15,000 members to share about the nation's history.

The admin group of youths born in the 1990s said they do not want to be named as individuals but as a collective who help each other create contents for these viral posts.

From a professional perspective, Trinh Thanh Thuy, a teacher of history at the Tran Phu-Hoan Kiem High School in Hanoi, believes that the page’s combination of humorous images and historical stories is suitable and very effective for young people.

These variations do not affect the contents, ensuring the correct transmission of the issues to help young people understand and care more about history, she said.

… to colour films that tell about history

Video editor Vien Hong Quang, born in 1995, is another history lover who knows how to spread his affection creatively. History fans have known him through many colour-restored documentary videos that have been widely spread on social networks.
Young generations tell vivid historical stories hinh anh 4A screenshot of materials that Quang has collected in the "Common history" album on his Facebook page.

Inspired by old stories told by his father, Quang has rekindled his ideas to “refresh” historical documents about the late President Ho Chi Minh that are so familiar or movies about other little-known historical figures.

On his personal Facebook page, Quang regularly publishes historical and old documents he has found in an album named "Common history". Among them, there are footages and stories of losses during the war. For examples, there was an interview with a female military medic who went to work in the southern battlefield where she witnessed, and experienced the pain of war since she was 16 years old, and a documentary footage shot at a human body pit during the border war in 1979.

In a softer and more positive aspect, Quang has also gathered many interviews with politicians and historical figures, such as President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap, doctor Ton That Tung, and Hanoi's first chairman Tran Duy Hung.

Thanks to the knowledge of a technology engineer, Quang used Google's open source code to create a software that uses AI to add colours to black-and-white historical documents. He also used many other video editing software to improve image quality, and reduce noise and vibration.

From his videos, many people dispel the feeling of alienation and see the past with emotions and a feeling of unexpectedly closeness and authenticity./.