Guantánamo Public Memory Project

Archive: October 2012

“Persons” verses “People”: How Semantic Gymnastics Have Made Guantánamo a Legal Black Hole

“Persons” verses “People”: How Semantic Gymnastics Have Made Guantánamo a Legal Black Hole Thumbnail Image

The naval station at Guantánamo Bay presents a number of complicated questions concerning human rights, international relations, and the United States constitution. The bay is located on the Southeastern tip of Cuba and has been leased by the United States since 1903.  The lease gives the United States sovereignty over the territory––the land is American…

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Art of Guantánamo

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When first hearing about Guantánamo, I was not very interested in learning about the sire. It was not until I explored the readings, photos, and videos associated with the Guantánamo Public Memory Project that I wanted to understand more about the place the issues it represents. I learned that GTMO is more than a prison.…

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The Colorful Voices of Guantánamo

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Prior to this course, I had little knowledge of the history of the naval base located at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO). Like many Americans, it was difficult for me to comprehend what was going on there because we are so detached from the site and comfortable in our lives, a distance compounded by the amount of…

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Combatting a Culture of Fear

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After fully immersing myself in the history of the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, I am surprised at how much history I was unaware of at the site. With Guantánamo constantly on my mind, I find myself striking up conversations with anyone and everyone regarding their opinions on the current status of the base.…

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Legacy is Knowledge, Legacy is Power

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Museum exhibits often present stories to engage visitors with the past and encourage contemplation about the legacy of a particular chapter of history. What makes up a place’s legacy? Is it what we have learned from its history? Is it what we still have failed to learn from it? I recently read a 2003 article…

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The Importance of Knowing Your “Enemy”

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When we reflect upon the Cold War at Guantánamo it is easy to focus on tensions on the global stage. We often forget that there were Americans and Cubans at the site who were living out these tensions in their daily lives. Although Cuba and the United States were openly hostile to each other, the…

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Guantánamo the Eye Opener

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In 1971, war broke out in South Asia. East Pakistan struggled to break away from its Western counterpart and become a separate entity, but lacked the resources to do so. India was caught in the crossfire, geographically and quite literally as it bore the brunt of East Pakistan’s weakness – its refuges flocked to India’s…

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Interrogation and Torture at Guantánamo

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When the September 11th terrorist attacks occurred, I was a young teenager developing a personal interest in the world around me and the politics that controlled it. However, there wasn’t much to discuss in the aftermath of 9/11. President Bush had announced that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” and…

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Recovering Haitian Stories

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This image captures the faces of just a very few of the Haitian detainees at the United States naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. They include young and old. Their hands are raised in the air in protest of their captivity behind hurricane fencing. They are unprotected from the sun’s heat. A sign in Haitian…

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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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