Guantánamo Public Memory Project

Tag: Torture

Public Memory and the History of the McRib

Public Memory and the History of the McRib Thumbnail Image

If you are a politically conscious person in the least, you probably have an opinion on Guantánamo Bay, the American Naval Base cum Temporary Detention Center for Haitian/Cuban Refugees cum Indefinite Detention Center for Enemy Combatants, quixotically located on the southeastern edge of Communist Cuba. Though the existence of the base has been public knowledge…

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GUANTÁNAMO BAY, U.S.A. Thumbnail Image

The location of a space is not merely geographical, mappable via GPS and defined by a specific longitude and latitude or address. A space is also a concept, positioned within an ambiguous region (e.g. the South) or only in a perceptual region (e.g. the good old South), and is defined by integral sociopolitical characteristics. The latter…

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Visions for the Future of Guantánamo

Visions for the Future of Guantánamo Thumbnail Image

In the course of doing research on whether the Guantánamo base can be closed, and if so, what to do with the space when the U.S. is no longer using it for Navy operations, the question of how to best use the site has become more difficult than I originally thought. At the beginning of…

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Domesticated Gitmo, Or Why We Should Care about Harold and Kumar

Domesticated Gitmo, Or Why We Should Care about Harold and Kumar Thumbnail Image

During previous graduate work, I taught two sections of Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, a 1000-level course that fulfilled a social science credit. Near the end of our textbook, there was a section about “War and Violent Conflict” in various cultures. Since my content specialization concerned American civil defense during the Cold War, I generally supported the lectures and readings…

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Painting of Guantanamo: More Than Just Violence

Painting of Guantanamo: More Than Just Violence Thumbnail Image

The author of Guantánamo Blues (anonymous Naval Wife) describes the accounts she had heard describing life in Guantánamo Bay for Naval families: “Cuba sounded romantic, she recalls; “it was the fleet’s winter base. There would be dancing, swimming, sailing, horse-back riding, and all other things I love.”   The world in which I grew up, the…

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Jilting Geneva at GTMO

Jilting Geneva at GTMO Thumbnail Image

  “The conscious, deliberate decision to abandon the Geneva Conventions and the entire fiasco that is Guantánamo will undoubtedly be viewed by historians as an even more disgraceful chapter in our history.”  On June 19, 2008, Major David J.R. Frakt spoke these words during his argument for a pre-trial dismissal of a case against a…

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The Global States of America

The Global States of America Thumbnail Image

For centuries America has used Guántanamo as an uncharted land to execute procedures that would otherwise be illegal in the states. Exploitation of Cuba’s location and resources is not a new idea. In the 1860’s American farmers relocated to Cuba around the time slavery had been abolished in hopes of making a lot of money…

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Government, Media, and the History of Guantánamo

Government, Media, and the History of Guantánamo Thumbnail Image

While browsing through the Guantánamo Public Memory Project’s archives, I came across a video of Frida Berrigan’s speech in Lafayette Park at the “Ten Years Too Many” Rally. The focus, of course, was about the detainee camp in Guantánamo Bay. As Berrigan discussed the “10 years of shame” that took place at GTMO, a number…

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Making Sense of Guantánamo

Making Sense of Guantánamo Thumbnail Image

Guantánamo. What does this word call to mind?  Until starting the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, my mind conjured up several thoughts upon hearing this word — injustice, torture, the War on Terror — and then went blank, only to be replaced by feelings of confusion and ignorance.  I like to think that I’m a well-informed…

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This Week in Guantánamo: 2012 and 2002

This Week in Guantánamo: 2012 and 2002 Thumbnail Image

On July 26, 2012, Cuba held its annual Revolution Day ceremonies. In an apparently impromptu speech at a gathering in the city of Guantánamo, President Raúl Castro announced willingness to enter into talks with the United States. A State Department spokesman responded by calling for the easing of Castro’s authoritarian rule. Repeating the Cuban government…

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