Guantánamo Public Memory Project

Arizona Artist Joan Baron discusses her work with the project

“The responsibility of the scribe is to record people’s emotions, people’s questions, and people’s concerns.”

GTMO great writ

In addition to working with Phoenix Public Library to host our traveling exhibit and produce a great schedule of public events, our team at Arizona State University has also partnered with local artist Joan Baron. Baron was invited to create a one-of-a-kind installation to accompany our exhibit.

 “I was very excited about the opportunity to look at using art to communicate really important issues of our times, and to encourage conversation, debate, and seeking solutions.”

For the installation, Baron has been inscribing words and fragments of text that represent the many voices of the national dialogue that our exhibit has been fostering.

“Through the course of listening to hundreds of interviews and tapings, and reading newspaper reports… I just became deeper and deeper involved.”

Baron’s work will be on display starting from Saturday, October 19, when our exhibit opens at Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix, AZ. Watch this video for a larger discussion of her work with the project.

For more information about the exhibit, check out this flier. For more about Baron’s work, visit her homepage.

6 Comments to: Arizona Artist Joan Baron discusses her work with the project

October 18, 2013 11:34 amSuzanne D. Johnson wrote:

Yes, ma’am! Very eloquent, Joan,and timely. Art does elevate – may the dialogue continue.

October 18, 2013 2:56 pmlaurie wrote:

GREAT JOAN! I look forward to seeing the work

November 7, 2013 8:47 pmKathleen Hulser wrote:

taking out small phrases makes them stick more in memory, suitable for a public memory project. Like Joan Baron’s response to the many-layered stories of dark detention, and cries unheard from that place that tried so hard to be far away from all succor.

November 8, 2013 10:37 pmAidyl Gonzalez wrote:

Did Ms. Baron ever go to the South Bronx in the 80’s? If so, I was one of her South Bronx kid artists. Would love to reconnect with her.

December 7, 2013 2:58 pmAlexandra latona wrote:

I wish that I had a chance to see this art installation in person! The creation of art to memorialize the naval station is not only thought provoking, but in keeping with GTMO creative tradition, for art has been created on the base by both refugees in the 1990s seeking asylum, and by detainees today seeking their freedom. Baron’s installation can be seen as a culmination of the art created at GTMO, as well as a validation of the voices that emanate from Guantánamo. When the GPMP comes to Greensboro, we too hope to record the emotions of Guantánamo’s former and present residents in our “Voices from Guantánamo” panel series. We have set up three different panel discussions that focus on three different eras of GTMO’s long history: the Cold War, the Cuban and Haitian Refugee Crises, and Post-9/11 detention. We hope that these events, like Barons artwork, will bring to light the personal stories that have played out at GTMO, sparking debate, and raising awareness of this contentious place and the lives that have been changed there.


Creative: Picture Projects & Tronvig Group