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Captured – Echoes of absence: hostages family photos recreated

Feb 27, 2024 | JMW News

by Sharon Derhy / Natalie Neubauer

The “Captured” initiative, advocating for the return of Israeli hostages, was launched by
Sharon Derhy, the daughter-in-law of Chaim Peri, who was abducted on October 7th by
Hamas from his home in Israel.

The initiative emerged when Derhy’s husband, Lior, visited his father’s home in Kibbutz Nir-Oz and recalled a photo taken there a year earlier. In the photo, he and his father are seen at the doorstep of the house, reading weekend newspapers in a laid-back setting. Lior recreated the photo, now with his father absent and the aftermath of the October 7th massacre evident. He sent the recreated photo to Derhy, who juxtaposed both images, added the caption ‘Waiting’, and uploaded it to Facebook. The overwhelming response to the photos made her realize this could be the strong campaign she was seeking, connecting viewers immediately to the urgency of bringing the hostages back home.

Derhy collaborated with the Hostages and Missing Family Forum to lead the recreation of more family album photos where hostages are absent. The original and recreated photos, presented side by side, illustrate the void left in the families’ hearts, depicting their worry and excruciating pain as they await the return of their loved ones.

“Captured” transcends mere imagery. It serves as a powerful voice for families torn apart by kidnappings, their pain echoing through the silence of empty spaces. The absence of the persons in the photos draws you in, compelling you to want to complete the photo, reassemble the harmony and by that reunite the family.

By sharing these stories, we aim to draw attention to the human cost of the horrid events of October 7th, urging decision-makers to prioritize the release of the hostages and bring about their immediate release.


Additional photographers: Michal Chitayat, Amiram Oren, Ari Folman
Production: Liba Ne’eman
Graphic design: Oren Vermus
Video editing: Michael Patrick and Roni Kleiner
PR: Gali Zander and Tammy Gorli
Thanks: Aurit Zamir, Noa Erenberg, Doron Lahav, Jill Burks, Adi Assaf, Aviv Fogel Special thanks to all the participating families and to the Hostages Families Forum.