REMEMBER US, FOR WE WERE THE CHILDREN WHOSE DREAMS AND LIVES WERE STOLEN AWAY. BARBARA SONEK
I watched the ZooKeeper’s Wife last night. In this touching story, one of the holocaust victims is represented and then remembered by a Butterfly pin that she gives to the ZooKeeper’s Wife as she is leaving her to escape. Butterflies are a powerful symbol of transformation, delicate and beautiful but fragile and short lived.
The Butterfly Project opening today at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh uses that same image. Inspired by the poem “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by Pavel Friedmann, a young Czech living in the Terezin Concentration Camp, the Project is a tribute to the lives of the young people lost in the Holocaust. Over 300 children painted individual butterflies learning about the children lost and invisioning a future using the lessons learned from the Holocaust to create a free, tolerant world.
My artist job was to integrate the butterflies into a meaningful, warm-hearted exhibit. I used red ribbons to attach the butterflies to the quilts. Red ribbons ward off the evil eye, fooling the evil, who is attracted to the red and away from the butterfly. I placed the butterflies in a beautiful landscaped environment and I offer them the blessing we bestow on our children every Shabbat.
The Butterfly Project Pittsburgh Exhibit is on view through December: Mondays,Wednesdays,and Fridays 10:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. Let me know what you think!