When Mia Kamensky was in ninth grade, she had the opportunity to meet Holocaust survivors and hear their stories first-hand. The following summer, Mia was a student at Sotheby’s Institute of Art where she was asked to create a piece of art that would “make a change in the world.”
While brainstorming what to create, Mia immediately thought of the Holocaust survivors she had met.
“It scares me how there are people in the world who deny the existence of the Holocaust, and if there ever was a time to educate and advocate, the time is now because the survivors are an aging population.”
For the Sotheby’s assignment, Mia made an acrylic painting of a survivor named Ruth and wrote the Hebrew word “La-daat” – which means “to know” – beneath Ruth’s portrait.
Typically, when referring to the Holocaust, the Hebrew word “Leez-chor” or “to remember” is used. Mia wanted the essence of the piece to convey that it is essential to not just remember, but also know. She then attached a QR code to the piece so that viewers could scan the code with their cell phone and read Ruth’s story.
That Sotheby’s assignment deeply inspired Mia. She decided to commit her personal time to meeting with more survivors, drawing their portraits, writing up their personal stories and attaching a QR code to each piece.
Mia called this advocacy project 6MK (6 Million Known). The mission of 6MK is to spread awareness through art, writing, and history, so that one day, we will live in a world with less Holocaust denial, less hatred, more acceptance and greater compassion.