Cities with significant Jewish communities, such as Buenos Aires, Paris, and New York, are witnessing a concerted effort to raise public awareness about the plight of nearly 200 hostages held captive by the Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, since October 7. In Paris, home to Europe’s largest Jewish community, posters displaying the names and faces of the hostages have appeared on the streets, aiming to spotlight the reality faced by those who have been captive for over two weeks.
In Buenos Aires, which houses Latin America’s largest Jewish community, a screen has been set up in front of the iconic Teatro Colón, displaying the message “Don’t Look Away” alongside images of the captives.
The initiative to fill public spaces with the faces of the hostages originated from a campaign by Israeli artists temporarily residing in New York, explained Aurélie Assouline, a Parisian district XVII deputy and co-founder of the October 7 Collective.
This spontaneous grassroots movement is driven by the desire to sensitize the public and humanize the victims. The objective is not to pit Israel against Palestine but to emphasize that there are hostages, individuals who could be anyone’s family members. The campaign, deemed apolitical, seeks to rally support for the safe return of the captives, regardless of their nationality.
Amid the ongoing conflict and loss of lives, this effort serves as a reminder of the human toll endured by individuals on both sides, reinforcing the urgency for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.