Yesterday, January 11, marked 20 years since the opening of Guantánamo Bay, the infamous US detention camp in Cuba that has faced allegations of torture, abuse, and indefinite detention without charges of Muslim foreign nationals. Despite widespread international condemnation, and the promises of US Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden to shut down the facility, it continues to operate, holding dozens of detainees with no prospect of a fair trial. On this grim anniversary, Amnesty International and the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) launched the Guantánamo 20th Anniversary Youth Poster Contest, an open call for artists below the age of 30 to submit designs for a poster about Guantánamo for a top prize of $1,000.
“Art is a powerful medium for telling a story and inspiring others to take action,” the human rights organizations said in a statement. “Guantánamo has now been open for 20 years. President Biden needs to hear from you!”
The two organizations accused President Biden of dragging his feet on closing Guantánamo, saying he “doesn’t seem to be making it a priority.”
The contest is seeking original digital artwork that corresponds with the theme “Closing Guantánamo: 20 Years Too Long” and educates the public about the detention facility. The submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges including representatives from Amnesty International and CVT, as well as Sabri Al Qurashi, an artist from Yemen who was detained in Guantanamo for over 12 years.
Submissions for the contest are due on February 9. The winning design will be announced on February 12 and will be used widely in Amnesty and CVT campaigns. Second and third place winners will receive $500 and $200 respectively, and runners-up will be shared on the social media accounts of both organizations.
Created in the wake of the September 11 attacks of 2001, Guantánamo was fashioned as a facility that operates outside of normal US laws or judicial oversight. In the past two decades, 780 Muslim men and adolescents have been detained in the facility, and 39 remain behind bars, according to recent disclosures from the US government’s interagency Periodic Review Board. The board recommended the release of 12 of the remaining prisoners, but the transfer is pending security agreements with destination countries, according to the New York Times.
Over the years, Guantánamo detainees have described harrowing torture, sexual degradation, forced drugging, and religious persecution committed against them by US forces at the facility’s grounds. A new report released by Amnesty International yesterday details ongoing human rights violations at Guantánamo. According to the report, two of the current 39 detainees have been held at the site since its first operational day on January 11 of 2002. The rest have been held there for at least 12 years.
“This is about more than just the 40 people still held at Guantánamo — it is also about the crimes under international law committed over the past 19 years and the continuing lack of accountability for them,” Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA’s Director of Security with Human Rights, said in a statement. “It is about the future, too, as we move towards the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and strive for enduring justice.”
Remembering the Migrants Who Died in US Detention
Artist Jackie Amézquita will lead a caravan of trucks with the names of the deceased to LA sites representing systems of oppression and solidarity for immigrants.
Mark Thomas Gibson’s Cartoons See the US Going Nowhere
If Thomas Nast, who is considered the “Father of the American Cartoon,” has an heir, it is Gibson, who goes one step further and elevates caricature and commentary into art.
LSU School of Art Grants Highest MFA Stipends in the Southern US
With funded assistantships, full tuition waivers, and generous stipends, Louisiana State University helps students lay the groundwork for a successful lifelong art practice.
Kahori Kamiya Transmutes Grief Into Play
Through artworks that encourage viewers to explore varied vantages, Kamiya conveys her accrued wisdom and experiences without the weight of their pain.
Maya Deren in Vivid Focus
Maya Deren: Choreographed for Camera depicts how the artist’s life and ideas cemented her place as a champion and influencer of culture.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Offers Summer Art and Design Courses Online and On-Campus
Emerging and established artists can choose from over 50 Adult Continuing Education courses at one of the most influential art and design schools in the US.
AI Image Generators Finally Figured Out Hands
Midjourney fixed its inability to render hands realistically, one of the telltale signs of an image being AI-generated.
Lorraine O’Grady, Emily Jacir Among American Academy of Arts’s 2023 Awardees
Artist Faith Ringgold and scholar Helen Hennessy Vendler received this year’s gold medals.
IDSVA Offers a Non-Studio PhD in Visual Arts: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory
With no campus, the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts is a truly nomadic institution, existing everywhere our students and faculty are.
MTV’s The Exhibit Needs a Cutthroat Judge
In episode three, the artists created works about the pandemic and bonded with each other, which is cute but doesn’t really make for good TV.
Cauleen Smith’s Drylongso Depicts a Bygone Oakland
Smith’s 1998 film exudes the DIY charm of a low-budget, first-time feature while keenly depicting the complexities of both race- and gender-related inequalities.
Tyler School of Art and Architecture Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibition Series
Students working in diverse disciplines explore temporality, connectedness in time and space, and global reckonings. On view in Philadelphia.
Take Ai Weiwei’s Middle Finger Anywhere in the World
A new collaboration between the artist and Avant Arte invites users to flip the bird anywhere and everywhere on Google Maps.
This week, gifted DeSantis a “fascist” snowflake, NASA’s Webb telescope captures a supernova, corporatizing London’s creativity, and much more.