Friday May 7th, 2021 – What if, during World War II, a ten-year-old Jewish girl didn’t have a diary, but a vlog camera? That’s the idea behind Fée’s Vlog, the new historical fiction series available on Ketnet.be and in the Ketnet app. Ketnet is the mediabrand of Flemish pubilc broadcaster VRT taylormade for children. Fée’s Vlog is inspired by a true story from Belgian history. The series was shot entirely on a smartphone, using a narrative style geared towards children.
The Jewish Fée (played by Julie Driesen) is 10 years old, is growing up with her parents and grandparents in Antwerp and lives close to her best friend. Her life takes a drastic turn when World War II breaks out and the persecution of Jews begins. Together with her family, Fée flees and goes into hiding. She records the continual threat of the war and the path her life takes carefully, step by step, with her vlog camera.
The series was inspired by the story of Félicie (Fée) Bloch-Gruszow, who was born in Antwerp in 1931 and died at the age of 86 in 2018. Fée Bloch told her life story six years ago in the Canvas series 12 in 40. Canvas is offering the series once again, online. That way, parents who watch Fée’s Vlog with their children can also rediscover the real story on Canvas.
Didier Bloch, Fée Bloch’s son: “Fée’s Vlog really touches me. Seeing the story that my mother told me for years come to life brings out many emotions in me. Feelings of sadness, but also gratefulness. Because my mother always wanted as many people as possible to hear her story and that of thousands of other children, to prevent the horrors of the past from happening again. With Fée’s Vlog, that wish is a little closer to coming true.”
With the new fiction series, Ketnet wants to make history tangible for children, and the youth network is investing in remembrance education. The past is often complex, and sometimes frightening and abstract for children. Because how can children imagine things that happened long before they were born? Fée’s Vlog doesn’t just teach kids facts and knowledge about World War II, it also evokes empathy, engagement and reflection among viewers, which is what remembrance education is all about.
Telidja Klaï, Developmental Psychologist for Ketnet: “Fée’s Vlog makes children stop and think about what happened in the past and what it must be like to be a child in a war. What’s more, Fée’s Vlog makes children think about new forms of polarization and exclusion. It is important to provide children with guidance on how they can contribute to the fight against exclusion, racism, discrimination, violence, radicalization, etc. We see this as a job for Ketnet.”
To complement Fée’s Vlog, Karrewiet (which brings daily news for children) is doing a story on the real Fée Bloch, as a fact check. In this way, the children’s news program gives young viewers extra child-friendly analysis of the events that take place in the series. The report is available on Ketnet.be and in the Ketnet app. Children can always turn to the Awel website with any unanswered questions they may have. And Karrewiet will be making another report which follows contemporary children watching the vlog and discussing its content.
Teachers, too, can immediately start working with the series. Kazerne Dossin provides a wide range of support for Fée’s Vlog, with elaborate learning modules for the fifth and sixth years of primary school, suitable for meeting the yearly learning goals. That way, primary school teachers, but also parents, can immediately incorporate the series into their learning modules in class, or use it at home, in order to teach children history in a comprehensible and accessible manner. The learning modules are available as of today at Ketnetvoorouders.be.
Anne-Sophie Van Vyve, Visitor and Education Coordinator for Kazerne Dossin: “In the learning modules, we opted for themes that correspond to what Fée went through. That way, there’s already a certain amount of recognition on the part of the kids. Linking each theme back to Fée’s Vlog keeps it manageable for the target group. Actually, we want to give children a taste of remembrance education this way, within a suitable context, with an eye for safety, and without wanting to harm them with the terrible events that took place back then. We are sowing seeds for the short and long term.”
Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts also encourages the project.
Ben Weyts, Flemish Minister of Education: “It is incredibly difficult to present the horrors of World War II in a child-friendly way, but students can always count on our teachers’ thorough knowledge of this subject. The high-quality offering from Ketnet and Kazerne Dossin provides excellent support and takes the learning process to a higher level. I am grateful to see that the public broadcaster is continuing to embrace its public mission to deal with the nice and less nice aspects of our past in a mature way.”
Fée’s Vlog is a ScheMa producties production for Ketnet.
Fée’s Vlog: starting saturday MAy 8th on Ketnet, Ketnet.be, in the Ketnet app, on YouTube and VRT NU
Related learning modules on Ketnetvoorouders.be.