Harnessing the Power of AR to Promote Tolerance


Every year on 16 November, the world celebrates the International Day for Tolerance, a day dedicated to raising people’s awareness of the dangers that arise because of prejudice, inequality, anti-Semitism, or racism. To commemorate this year’s celebrations, the Anne Frank House harnessed the power of technology, using it to allow the audience to virtually explore the rooms and lives of five young people (Anne Frank included) who are facing discrimination daily.

Developed with the help of ad agency Innocean Berlin, the campaign draws inspiration from the bookcase that hid the entrance to the place where the young girl — alongside her family — took shelter for around two years as a way to escape from persecution by the Nazis. Under the tagline #DontHateEducate, “The Bookcase for Tolerance” AR app takes shape, a digital tool through which the non-profit organization hopes to educate people about the importance of contributing towards a world in which discrimination can’t manifest anymore.

The Anne Frank House came into existence in 1957 and works as a non-profit organization that runs a museum in the place where the girl hid between 1942 to 1944. As a strong believer of the importance of education in helping combat discrimination and prejudice, the Anne Frank House’s latest campaign preaches acceptance and tolerance, inviting the audience to listen to the stories of some young people who are subject to modern injustice.

The project shares modern stories of people whose lives are still impacted by different forms of discrimination. Narrating the life of Anne Frank as well, The Bookcase for Tolerance presents the stories of Kuei, Mees, Majd, and Dalit who, just like Anne, need to make their voices heard. A microsite that supports the initiative hosts their testimonials about discrimination and the importance of acceptance and tolerance in society.

While the short documentaries allow the public to discover the protagonists’ lives, the eponymous app — made with the help of Media.Monks, which used photogrammetry to develop it — helps the audience discover more about the young people by interacting with their personal objects. The digital tool gives users the opportunity to virtually step inside the protagonists’ rooms and explore the objects around while listening to the thoughts of each occupant. Traveling to the rooms is possible only through the bookcase, which stores five folders on one of its shelves.

The files capture the experiences of the young people who are discriminated against because of their religion, ethnicity, culture, or gender. While Room 1 is dedicated to Anne Frank, the next four rooms focus on the lives of Kuei, a young Black woman who faces discrimination because of her skin color; Mees — a trans person who is not accepted for who he is; Majd who is a Syrian refugee living in the Netherlands and who is subject to prejudice frequently; and Dalit who confronts with anti-Semitism.

“‘Let me be myself,’ Anne Frank wrote in her diary on 11 April 1944. On that same day, she added: ‘One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come when we’ll be people again and not just Jews!’ The bookcase, which hides the entrance to the Secret Annex where Anne Frank spent over two years in hiding, reminds us of the damage that prejudice and discrimination can do. Many young people today are dealing with these same issues. The Bookcase for Tolerance tells their stories. We want to use the impact of their personal testimonies to challenge and counter intolerance and discrimination,” says Ronald Leopold, Executive Director, Anne Frank House.

The Bookcase for Tolerance app presents Anne Frank’s room in AR for the first time. With the videos and stories created in English, anyone can try the experience for themselves and discover the importance of living in harmony with each other. The app is free to download for both iOS and Android.


Client: Anne Frank House

Agency: INNOCEAN Berlin

App Development: Media.Monks

Music Composition: MassiveMusic

PR Activation: Hagens

Teaser Film Director: Johan Kramer

Films Director: Ted Alkemade

Photography: Yvette de Wit

Photography Folders: Sven Schrader