Welcome to Camp America: Life at Guantanamo Bay in Pictures
Guantanamo Bay, located in southeastern Cuba on the coast, is a base that has been leased by the United States since 1903. Sharing a 17-mile stretch of the border, the detention facilities were repurposed following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, to hold detainees in the “war on terror.”
In 2009, then-President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the detention facilities yet they are still open today. As detainees not officially on US soil, therefore, they are not covered by the US Constitution and could be denied some legal protections.
As of August 2017, there are 41 detainees at Guantanamo Bay who are suspected of or charged with terrorism (only one of whom has been convicted of a crime) and at least nine detainees have died in custody since it first opened. The cost to run Guantanamo Bay is believed to cost the US Defense Department $445 million, according to CNN News.
New York-based photographer Debi Cornwall took her camera inside the detention facility and the rules were strict: no photographing faces, surveillance mechanisms, locks, and certain parts of the coastline. She revealed to the National Geographic
that her camera was then taken by guards at the end of each day as they poured through the pictures to check for any restricted images.
What Cornwall managed to capture was an eerie look at life at Guantanamo Bay and her
photographs appear in the new book, Welcome to Camp America,
and on display
at the Steven Kasher Gallery
in New York City. She said, “As we continue to grieve 9/11, can we also look at what happened next? After 16 years, there are still 41 men held offshore without charge or criminal trial. They’re being held in our name. It feels like our responsibility,” she says. “Our work is not done even when innocent men are cleared and freed.”
Detention officials take a smoke break
Downtown Lyceum is one of three outdoor movie theaters
Feeding Chair, Camp 5
Recreation Pen, Camp Echo
Playground, Windward Side
Marble Head Lanes