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Drawing Gitmo

June 21, 2013 | by

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In the eleven years since captives arrived at Guantanamo Bay, only three artists have been allowed to visit. I’m here drawing the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed hearings for VICE magazine. Artists sketch through three layers of soundproof glass. There’s a monitor for sound, but it runs on a forty-second delay. The delay is to allow for any classified information to be cut. The world in front of you does not sync with the censored world on the screen.

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We sit far from the accused. Our opera glasses were confiscated as “prohibited ocular amplification.” Before we take drawings into the outside world, a court security officer must approve and sticker them.

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These are portraits of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, defense attorneys, attorneys from the Red Cross, and families of those murdered on 9/11. They are the only images of the Gitmo war court besides those of Janet Hamelin, the official sketch artist.

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Miles away, in the Gitmo prison camp, 104 men are hunger striking. Forty-four are being force-fed. During the KSM hearings, journalists are not allowed to see the prison.

 

4 COMMENTS

2 Comments

  1. bob | July 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    How’s the 15 year old boy doing? Guess he’s in his 20s now? This situation is the most embarrassing example of America’s paranoid sickness since McCarthy.

  2. Steve Mumford | July 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Nice work.
    I just wanted to add for the record, that I drew that courtroom for a couple of days in Feb during the al-Nashiri pre-trial for Harpers magazine.

    Steve Mumford, artist
    NYC

2 Pingbacks

  1. […] Since Guantanamo Bay started receiving captives, only three artists have been allowed to visit. Here are drawings from the latest visit. [Paris Review] […]

  2. […] Since Guantanamo Bay started receiving captives, only three artists have been allowed to visit. Here are drawings from the latest visit. [Paris Review] […]

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