May 2024 Update

On the day before it closed, I went to NYC to see the Super Nova Music Festival exhibit, on Wall Street, with my friend, Susan Feathers. This same exhibit had been mounted in Tel Aviv for 10 heartbreaking weeks.

Considered ‘the best of all the festivals’, the Super Nova Music Festival was unique in a number of ways: 1-It had well-known ecological priorities (all material used at the festival was recyclable, and participants always cleaned up after themselves, even carrying their garbage out with them, at the end. 2-The dancing! The dancing was legendary! People danced all night, joyously, with abandon, and after an hour or two of sleep, made sure to wake up in the dawn, to dance as the sun came up in the early morning.

Festival joy, seconds before Hamas attack

The heartbreaking Nova Music Festival exhibit begins with the excitement and electricity of the music and exuberant dancing and kids celebrating peace and love, being young and being together. The happiness of the early videos is all the more heartbreaking because we know what followed.

And what followed is both graphically displayed and vividly described—in video monitor after video monitor, throughout the exhibit, as we roam through a jangle of tent sites, sleeping bags, in disarray, left (presumably) as they were found after the attack.

The exhibit begins with the images on the body cams worn by the terrorists—too close and too terrifying to describe. Mercifully, none of the actual gang rapes, children burned alive or host of other bloody murders are shown on these monitors (the videos have been carefully edited to avoid these kind of scenes, but not to hide the jubilation of the murderers as they find Israelis in the kibbutzim, seconds before their murders begin).

Festival tent with hammock and personal items. Please notice the cell phone—we were allowed to pick it up and see what its owner saw.

Then we have the campsites, sleeping bags, books still open to the page, complete with the festival attendees’ cell phones, which we are invited to pick up—now we see a glimpse of what they saw. And then we hear the stories from survivors of the attack—where they were, who had come to the festival with them, who is dead now—in details that are horrifying, extraordinary and beyond belief, details that will never quite be forgotten.

Burned out car interior

This note was placed in one of the burned car interiors.

We see the burnt out cars. I’m sure you’ve seen the well-known ‘car graveyard’, where kids were trying to escape Hamas on the single dirt road that led into and out of the festival—this graveyard of cars is all that remains of the people who once drove in those cars, trying to escape.

At the exhibit we see burned cars, with interiors that are black, sooty, and scream ‘Death’!

Finally, at the very end, there is the Lost and Found. In normal times—at schools and other institutions—the Lost and Found has a few forgotten items. Here, at the Nova exhibit, there are SO MANY personal items, so very many items left behind, after their owners were kidnapped or murdered. Handwritten journals. Makeup bags, with lipstick. Books. Silky scarves. Eyeglasses. Shirts. Jackets. And Shoes—so very many shoes!

So many items remained

Massive number of shoes in the Lost and Found

The horror is not over… yet.

There are still many hostages, held in captivity in those deep, dark tunnels.

The young women, who were gang raped on October 7th, and then continue to be raped by their captors in the tunnels, are nearing their due dates. Every week or two, we learn of more hostages who are dead, many of them killed on October 7th, but their bodies discovered only now.

One of the more stunning —and resilient —parts of the exhibit is at the very end: In bright neon lights, it reads: WE WILL DANCE AGAIN.

And they will.

And we will.

And so will Israel (and Gaza) someday dance again.

Posted in From Ann | No Comments »

« Previous Entries