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What if a boy in Western Africa documented the horrors of the slave trade on social media? 

This Black History Month, film studio Stelo Stories and the DuSable Museum of African-American History will attempt to depict just that with a vertical film called Equiano.Stories.

The film, premiering February 16, will capture the life of Olaudah Equiano, a young boy who was kidnapped and enslaved in 1756. The campaign also includes 400 individual Instagram stories, at the handle @Equiano.Stories, totaling 80 minutes of content that illustrate Equiano’s abrupt journey from carefree boy to slave. 

The campaign aims to connect Equiano’s story to modern youth. Equiano went on to become an influential figure in history after buying his freedom at age 20. He later published a bestselling memoir in 1789 that became a focal point for movements to stop the trading of enslaved people by England.

The campaign builds upon a concept Stelo Stories used in 2019 to document the horrors of the Holocaust by capturing a young girl named Eva’s journey through social media. The campaign captured 300 million views within 48 hours of its release.

“The goal of this film is to connect Equiano with his 21st century peers through Instagram and share a Black history story that starts with freedom, not enslavement,” said Adi Kovachi, co-founder at Stelo Stories in an email. 

The campaign includes an AI-powered, mixed-reality mobile experience that allows people to learn the steps to Nigerian dances shown in the clips through the Stelo Stories app.

Stelo will post shorter lessons on Instagram, along with film highlights. 

The campaign is supported by Zeno Group, MPRM Communications and IMGN. 

“Our collaboration with Stelo Stories on Equiano.Stories is important because it gives us a platform to remind the world that slavery is not our origin story as Black people,” said Perri Irmer, president and CEO at the DuSable Museum of African American History, in a statement. “Equiano’s story speaks most eloquently and in a way that we believe will create a paradigm shift in how our history is presented, consumed and understood.”

This story first appeared on campaignlive.com. 

This content was originally published here.

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