Turning Fake News on its Head: Stalin Lives Again to Reveal Deep Truth

Holodomor National Awareness Tour launches new campaign

Graeme Harriss, Brian Smith, Holodomor National Awareness Tour.

Cutting-edge “deepfake” technology has commonly been associated with the distortion of the truth and promotion of lies using manipulated video. In a compelling twist, the Holodomor National Awareness Tour (HNAT) launched #Deeptruth, using deepfake technology to reveal the truth of former Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin’s role in ordering the forced starvation of untold millions of Ukrainians, and the subsequent cover-up of this atrocity.

Despite its widespread adoption, the word used to describe the genocide is unknown to many, which is why the ultimate goal of the campaign is to have the word “Holodomor” (derived from Ukrainian words meaning “to inflict death by hunger”) added to English-language dictionaries, as it was to Ukrainian dictionaries after the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Visitors to the “Deeptruth” website (deeptruth.ca) will be invited to sign an online petition to have the word “Holodomor” included in future editions of the Oxford and Merriam-Webster dictionaries, as well as Dictionary.com.

“Canada, the United States, Ukraine and 14 other countries recognize the Holodomor as an act of genocide and honour the victims in an annual day of remembrance on the fourth Saturday in November,” said Bob Onyschuk, Chair of Holodomor National Awareness Tour. “Yet, most people are still largely unaware of the basic facts of one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century. Having Holodomor added to the dictionary is more than symbolic; it’s an important recognition of this Deep Truth.”

The campaign features a 75-second video produced by Toronto-based ad agency Mixtape (MXTP.ca) in collaboration with Paul “The Fakening” Shales (fakening.com), a world-leading pioneer of deepfake technology whose vignettes involving politicians, business leaders and entertainers regularly go viral.

With access to rare colour film footage of Stalin, Shales used Artificial Intelligence to map the Soviet dictator’s features onto the face of a modern-day actor and bring Stalin back to life. In the video, Stalin declares himself the true originator of “fake news” for having covered up the magnitude of the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine and concealed from the world the engineered murder of millions of innocent men, women and children.

About the Holodomor National Awareness Tour

The Holodomor National Awareness Tour (holodomortour.ca) is a project of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and its three partners, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (at the University of Alberta), and the Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre in Toronto, supported by the governments of Canada, Ontario and Manitoba. Its goal is to raise awareness of the Holodomor, to promote Canadian values of human rights, civility and democracy and help build a diverse & tolerant society. Its signature program is the Holodomor Mobile Classroom (HMC), 42-foot expandable recreational vehicle converted into a state-of-the-art, digital, multimedia interactive classroom on wheels. Since it began touring in 2016, the HMC has engaged more than 40,000 students and educators and 25,000 members of the public from coast to coast and educated them about the Holodomor and its relevance to the world.