Hanoch Piven
Art after Wartime
posted: July 17, 2007
In Israel more soldiers or ex-soldiers are requesting help for emotional problems due to a war related episode. A special army unit headed by Dr Ofir Levy treats and helps anybody who is experiencing PTSD and approaches them for help. What was before unheard within the Israeli society is now becoming a bit more acceptable and people are more open about it.
Last week, I spent a whole day in that unit and alongside my friends, the Art Therapists Orna, Yehudit, Shani and If’at and a group of professionals from the unit, we held a Drawing with Objects workshop.  32 guys ages 24 to 81 participated in the day, many claiming not to have done art since kindergarden.

It was a day full of creativity, fun, pain, tears, laughs and long monologues,
All my respect and love to the caring team of professionals in that unit and more important to the participants, thoughtful men (and young guys) who are hard at work trying to reconstruct their lives in that crazy place the Middle East is.
Here are a few representative images which are a small sample of all the interesting work made there.
(I'd like also to thank Lundbeck-Israel
for their generous help in putting that day together.)
Zina Saunders July 17, 2007
You are doing a beautiful thing with your art, Hanoch. You not only create wonderful images that engage the eye and brain, but also heal the heart. And your line about guys doing art for the first time since kindergarten...how exciting it must be to initiate that rejuvenation.
Cathie Bleck July 17, 2007
Your work with the soldiers and more are really touching. What you are facilitating in the act of working as a group creatively must serve to heal on so many levels. I admire you so much and thanks for sharing!
one of the soldier July 18, 2007
I am one of the predicated soldier in the art shop that Mr. hanoch piven delivered. I was afraid at first to come to the shop and I guess that it wasn’t easy on anyone , but at the end I was very happy that I came. my heart was felt with joy after the shop, that finally I was able to express my self in different way - thru art !!! My art creation , that is by the way is the first One on the blog – the Spiderman. One of issued that I tried to show that we are not hero's ! even not Spiderman ! and we all need help in one way or anther in our life and we should not be a shame to ask for it !!! Thank you hanoch from all my heart.
Hanoch Piven July 18, 2007
Yeah Mr 'One of the soldiers' I thought your Spiderman captured so much of the feeling that was present that day. It conveys the idea of looking at those who supposely are 'superheroes' with fresh eyes and perhaps then seeing them in a more human and real way. Isn't this what art should do: help us look at the world from a fresh angle. thank you so much for commenting here and I hope you do more of these!
Brian Stauffer July 18, 2007
Hanoch, you and other involved illustrators (like Zina Saunders) set a powerful example when you step outside the comfort zone of your work to touch the reality of the stories we illustrate each day. It takes courage and abundant curiosity. Thanks for the inspiration.
Steve Brodner July 18, 2007
This is brilliant and beautiful. The best use of art is connecting with humanity. Hanoch you do it in a way that is revolutionary and deeply moving. Finally a Spiderman I like.
Josh Silver July 18, 2007
Oh brother. Let's all shed a collective tear for the poor poor soldiers. Me, I'll be saving it for their innocent victims.
Hanoch Piven July 18, 2007
Josh thanks for the comment. I get what you are implying but, its not about politics and not even about the conflict. It is about the human beings. On both sides. These guys are people living in a country that requires them to go to the army. People who live in a certain society usually abide by the rules the society has, thus men in Israel go to the army. (The people I worked with were in wars in 1967, 1973, 1981 and last years one - there was even a guy from the 1948 war as well) They are as much victims as anybody else of the failure of the leaders on both sides to do the right thing, and in general of the lack of visionary leaders on both sides of the conflict.
Benzi Zemel July 19, 2007
dear hanoch what goes out of the heart goes into the heart. to give of yourself, your heart and soul and I absorbed it all continue your good work. thank you very much
Hanoch Piven July 20, 2007
Benzi thanks for the comment. It was fun to watch you so involved in your piece. (the bottom one above) targuish tov! Hanoch
Sally Heflin October 30, 2007
Hanoch - i think you and I need to talk about this stuff. Call me.
Tim O\'Brien October 30, 2007
I Love Drawger. Great article Hanoch!
Adam McCauley December 6, 2007
Jeezus H., somehow I missed this one. Great post Hanoch!!!