The Safe Studio in war time, Israel 2023

The Safe Studio in war time, Israel 2023

In response to the horrific Pogrom events of October 7, 2023, the Creative Arts Therapies Association of Israel (YAHAT) has responded by setting up safe studio spaces across the country.

Sadly, we are trauma experts – but we have never experienced such a time.

Holocaust memories are alive…                       

A model of a safe studio is activated by hundreds of volunteers in almost 40 spaces, such as hotels, camping sites, and community centers all over the country.

   

  Tamar Navon – Sdot Yam   [also main image above]                                                        Illit Danai – Hotel in Raanana

The Safe studios are organized by art therapists familiar with trauma. They collect materials and hold the space for art processes. It assists the evacuated civilians from the South of the country evacuated from the border of Gaza. Also, many northern citizens were evacuated as Hizbullah might be planning attacks from Lebanon and Syria.

 

     

Gali Atiya – A  kibutz in the north 

Gali Aliya

The creative arts have a valuable role in enhancing resilience and connecting to personal and community resources at times of crisis. The safe Studio space is a community-based model developed by YAHAT volunteers who worked with Ukrainian refugees in Israel and is based on an established open studio model of working in art therapy. The focus is on engagement in the art-making process and exploration of materials.

The safe studio spaces were established as an emergency response and are currently focused in evacuation areas and places where survivors of the massacres reside. It is operated by volunteering art therapists. 

Sadly, it has become increasingly clear that while we began these studios as crisis relief and as a preventative measure, the role of the studio is now necessarily changing to include more long-term support and psychological work. As a result of the devastation unfolding and the brutality of the events, we foresee the need for these studios to carry on for at least another half a year.

Ilana Lach the Head of Yahat

We are a month into this war and notice how these spaces are so meaningful to all who use them.

Roni, art therapist:

I’ve evacuated myself, so it’s not easy, and there’s concern for my home and community. The fact that I coordinate Safe Studio and am very busy managing and contributing gives me a lot of strength and helps me. Certainly more than sitting at home waiting for life to return to normal. I feel that the studio is two-way: I give and receive equally. My professional responsibility is also to take care of myself.

I grew up in Rosh Hanikra, through many Katyusha bombs and wars, and I have resilience. Therefore, I feel that I can understand what the evacuees are going through from a good place of empathy and sensitivity.

We are looking for the immediate return of civilians who were kidnapped: babies, toddlers, women, elders, and men. We hope Gaza will be freed from Hamas as it is a terrorist organization that took the Gaza people as hostages as well. We hope to live peacefully alongside the people of Gaza.

nona orbach, the good enough studio, children creating,  The Good Enough studio, Nona Orbach

 

Studio rituals as therapy for art therapists

 

 



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