Department of Defense Threatens to Shut Down New York Show of Artwork by Guantánamo Prisoners | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Department of Defense Threatens to Shut Down New York Show of Artwork by Guantánamo Prisoners

A new policy of the Department of Defense threatens to shut down an exhibition of artworks by Guantánamo Bay prisoners at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, provoking a heated debate over art censorship and the appropriateness of displaying art by suspected terrorists.

The show, titled “Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantánamo Bay,” opened on October 2 and features 36 paintings and sculptures by current and former detainees, many of whom have been held indefinitely without trial. Art crime professor Erin Thompson, who co-curated the show with archivist Paige Laino and artist/poet Charles Shields, told the Guardian she hoped the works would help viewers reexamine how they think about Guantánamo detainees. “In the era of Trump, who is saying he wants to expand Guantánamo, the exhibit now has a more activist purpose,” she added, “which is showing that indefinite detention harms detainees and the people working in the prison.”

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