Guantánamo Public Memory Project

Archive: December 2012

This Week in Guantánamo: 2012 and 1994

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This week, three members of congress submitted a request to deliver a presentation to the Senate arguing that the U.S. government should broaden its powers to indefinitely detain people believed to be a threat to national security. The move seems to indicate that indefinite detention is becoming increasingly acceptable, and that Guantánamo’s exceptional legal status will…

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GPMP Featured on BBC’s The World

BBC’s The World recently published an audio interview on the Guantánamo Public Memory Project and on the story of former base worker Alberto Jones, “Over the past century, thousands of Cubans have worked at Guantánamo as contract military and government employees, and domestic workers. That era officially came to end Friday when the last two Cuban…

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Guantánamo Bay’s Other Anniversary: 110 Years of a Legal Black Hole

Guantánamo Bay’s Other Anniversary: 110 Years of a Legal Black Hole Thumbnail Image

Liz Ševčenko recently wrote an article for The Guardian on the importance of opening dialogue about Guantánamo, “…Guantánamo is much more than a prison: it’s made up of the thousands of people who worked there, grew up there, and served there, whose stories reveal the many things Gitmo is and can be. Refugees remember Gitmo as both a site of…

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Challenging Myth in Representations of American History

Challenging Myth in Representations of American History Thumbnail Image

In museum representations of contested periods of US history, narratives are often based on rigid notions of who constitutes the victim and the perpetrator.  Examples include West As America’s revisionist interpretations of frontier art which implicated artists in the violence of westward expansion; Enola Gay’s highly critical depiction of the US and the atom bomb in…

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U.S. as Empire

The United States as empire.  The phrase seems unsettling or inappropriate.  Throughout a K-12 education, one comes to understand the US as leader of the free world, bastion of liberty, promoter of democracy and defender of the downtrodden.  Indeed, lobbying for Cuban inclusion in the peace treaty of their own independence, Cuban General García invoked…

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Guantánamo Is Mostly Not Exceptional

Guantánamo is not exceptional. There has been enough scholarship-activism – enough debunking of myths and re-writing of histories – to make that abundantly clear. The history of the site is a history not of extraordinary, singular happenings, but of careful strategies. ‘Guantánamo’ could have been in Cuba or Haiti. Within Cuba it was selected from…

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Perspectives on Guantánamo

Before I was introduced to this project, I knew very little about the historical circumstances surrounding the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay (GTMO). I was aware of its location in Cuba and connection to the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but understood next to nothing about the site’s legacy of political and military intermittence. This perspective,…

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Imperialism in American History

It is hard to deny that the United States of America is an imperial power. This is clearly seen in the United States’ ongoing actions in Cuba starting in the Spanish American War or the existence of any of our territories. However, being an imperial power does not mesh as well with the American story.…

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This Week in Guantánamo: 2012 and 1903

This Week in Guantánamo: 2012 and 1903 Thumbnail Image

  December 12, 2012:  The Justice Department has ruled that the Obama administration does not have to disclose video showing the forced extraction of Guantánamo Bay prison detainees because doing so would be detrimental to national security. December 10, 1903: Official control of Guantánamo Bay is “handed” to the U.S. in a ceremony on the…

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