arts and pop culture | August 06, 2013

An Artist's View Of Guantanamo Bay: Molly Crabapple Visits Cuba

Art speaker Molly Crabapple reminds us that while it has largely disappeared from public discourse, Guantanamo Bay is still very much operational. Crabapple was one of the few artists allowed to enter and document her experiences at the American detention camp. She wrote an essay about her surreal experience at the Cuban-based facility for Vice, accompanied by sketches of her surroundings. Despite being given access to the compound, reporting from Guantanamo is a difficult task.

Here's an excerpt from her article:

"At the KSM hearings, viewers are allowed to bring nothing with them but a notebook, or, in my case, art supplies. I drew the proceedings behind three layers of bulletproof glass. There was a monitor for sound, but it ran on a 40-second delay to allow our minders to censor sensitive information. Security officers had to approve our drawings before we took them from the courtroom, leaving Post-it notes in my sketchbook telling me when I misspelled a name."

Crabapple also shared an insider's look at the prison with Huffington Post Live. Crabapple says that it's important to get information about the operation of the Guantanamo Bay base to the public. And, that the perspective of an artist gives a new look into the conditions at the institution and to pressing political issues in general. Her drawings present an eye-opening account of an infamous American institution that few will ever see; a portrait that is sure to stick in the minds of many.

Crabapple is a respected and award-winning artist who has documented major political movements both through her writing and her visual art. In her talks, she describes the crucial link between art and politics. She explains that the role of the artist can, and should, extend beyond that of a bystander and that engaging in political movements through art can help spark engagement and really make a difference. To book Molly Crabapple as a speaker for an event, contact The Lavin Agency.

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education | August 05, 2013