Guantánamo Public Memory Project

Tag: Oral History

“At Times It’s Best Not to Open a Jar” – Conflict in Extracting Memories?

“At Times It’s Best Not to Open a Jar” – Conflict in Extracting Memories? Thumbnail Image

Throughout my experience contributing to the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, I often found myself considering the contradictions of attempting to capture memories regarding a time and a place that many people who experienced it firsthand do not wish to remember. In discussing the guiding principles of the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, the project website asks…

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Obtaining Refugee Voices: In Whose Interest Does the GPMP Act?

Obtaining Refugee Voices: In Whose Interest Does the GPMP Act? Thumbnail Image

While researching for and carrying out this project, one of the major ethical concerns I encountered was the issue of speaking for another person or group. Although one of the Guantánamo Public Memory Project’s main goals is to allow people to relate their own memories of Guantánamo, I found that such personal memories are incredibly difficult…

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Guantanamo: A Lieux de Memoire

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How can we trust memory? As historians, we strive to be objective as possible. We gather evidence, often basing our arguments on documents that we find in archives. Yet, we have to be able to trust our sources. Oral histories and people’s memories are hardly perfect. Who can remember what exactly happened five or ten…

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The Gift of an Oral History

The Gift of an Oral History Thumbnail Image

The oral history process begins far before the interview starts. The dialogues are far longer than the soundbite portraits they often become. The process by which a lead – possibly just a name or a phone number – becomes a historical source, is incredibly personal and fraught. A person’s memories are a vast and interesting…

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The legal framework of marginalizing

“The law operates through practices and principles that purport to be objective, impersonal, and neutral, but are, in fact mired in hidden subjectivities and unexamined claims which often serve to denigrate the experiences of marginalized subjects and populations, experiences that contradict or challenge these unquestioned assumptions.” A. Naomi Paik, “Testifying to Rightlessness: Haitian Refugees Speaking…

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“I’ll be home for Christmas”

“I’ll be home for Christmas” Thumbnail Image

How often are we subjected to the harsh criticisms of Guantanamo Bay? News of the base consists of much of the same: detainees, imperialist presence, and torture. But what of the people who are stationed there? What do we know of them, their experiences, and their lives? Is GTMO only filled with hardened soldiers inflicting…

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Behind the Cactus Curtain: Innocence in the Midst of History-Making

Behind the Cactus Curtain: Innocence in the Midst of History-Making Thumbnail Image

Hearing Susan Lagos reminisce about her childhood of horseback riding, traveling with her parents, learning Spanish, and memorizing Shakespeare for high school English, you would think she was a fairly normal middle-class American who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. But Susan did not grow up in America; she grew up as a civilian’s…

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Peace and Solitude: A New Perspective about Life at GTMO

Peace and Solitude: A New Perspective about Life at GTMO Thumbnail Image

If you stopped a person on any street in America today and asked them what they thought about the U.S. naval station at Guantánamo Bay, chances are, you would hear a response about “detainees,” “torture,” or the “War on Terror.” If you asked a person who has lived or served at GTMO that same question,…

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Social Life at GTMO: Soldiers at Play

Social Life at GTMO: Soldiers at Play Thumbnail Image

I came to Pensacola to study at the University of West Florida, but almost anyone you might ask would consider this a military rather than a college town. Comparatively, when many people think of The U.S. naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, they immediately think of the military installation there.  This means thousands of military…

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“I Never Missed Out on Anything”: GTMO Children and Growing up Abroad

“I Never Missed Out on Anything”: GTMO Children and Growing up Abroad Thumbnail Image

“I never missed out on anything,” said Daline Riley, who was born at GTMO in the 1950s and spent several years at the Caribbean base as a teenager. Daline was one of several GTMO children interviewed in the summer of 2012 through the University of West Florida’s Public History program. “It gave me a better perspective; it…

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Categories

About GPMP

A look at the past, present, and future of the Guantánamo Public Memory Project.

Guantanamology

Excavating GTMO’s hidden histories in the Guantánamo Public Memory Project Archive

National Dialogue and Traveling Exhibit

Students and communities explore GTMO's history and debate its implications in a traveling exhibit.

Reflection + Action

What does GTMO's history suggest about what to do now? Add your take.

This Week in Guantánamo: Present and Past

Today's breaking news in historical perspective.

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