The Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay
Letters cut from the Koran and Bible
42 x 34 in.
I've been working on this piece since last year. I'm really happy to have finished it for a show that may or may not be happening this Fall; the gallery is in transition. Regardless, it was one of those pieces that took a long time to finish, and I'm glad to have completed it.
It's a tribute of sorts to the Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. The center star is comprised of their names, with letters cut from the Koran. The next ring out reads "La ilaha illa Allah", or "There is no God but Allah". The letters create a prison of their own, which is a summary of how I feel about fundamentalist religions in general. The next ring is the prisoners' Internment Security Numbers; each detainee was given a number by which he is categorized.
And so on. There are men in Gitmo who should be kept imprisoned, as they are murderers, and a threat to any country. There are men who are innocent, and who have been cleared to leave the prison, but who are still there, caught up in governmental red tape. Each man has a story, and each story deserves to be heard in a federal court. The entanglements are deep, and from what I can tell, any attention given to the situation by Obama (which is little) has been blocked at every turn, mostly by Republicans. Thus the limbo that keeps Guantanamo Bay an active prison.
This is my homage to the prisoners, their internal angst, their external prison, and their incomprehensible separation from their families and loved ones. May justice be done quickly, but it's too late for that.
Names of the Detainees cut from the Koran
Internment Security Numbers
assigned to each detainee