Declassified: The Lives of Female Guantanamo Veterans

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Razor wire. Orange jumpsuits. A tiny white cell. These are some of the few images the outside world associates with Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, arguably the world’s most famous prison. Well over 700 detainees from around the world have been held here and we rarely get a glimpse inside. Yet hundreds of Americans know the place intimately.

In 2012, I worked with two female veterans and artist Lucy Bellwood to create a nonfiction comic about the base the women called home while the military imprisoned detainees at Guantanamo’s Camp X-Ray. Their experiences shed light on how the detention system affects those who serve. While many of us can put places like Guantanamo at the back of our minds, veterans do not have that luxury.

The comic was originally published in Symbolia magazine and is now available for free on Narrative.ly. The 2013 Open Engagement social practice art festival in New York selected the comic as a featured work. In February 2017, the comic was republished by PEN-American. 

Read more about Declassified at the Nieman Journalism Lab.

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