Sketching Guantanamo

Sketching Guantanamo

Court Sketches of the Military Tribunals, 2006-2013

By Janet Hamlin; Karen J. Greenberg (Afterword by); Carol Rosenberg (Foreword by)

Fantagraphics Books, Hardcover, 9781606996911, 171pp.

Publication Date: October 2013

Camp X-Ray in the U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, opened in January, 2002 in the wake of the 9-11 attacks to house alleged terrorists off the American mainland, unaccountable to the U.S. judiciary in indefinite detention. Newer and more permanent prisons were later built miles away, and continue to house terrorist suspects today. The United States government does not allow photographs of the military trials at Guantanamo, but beginning in 2006, Janet Hamlin went to Guantanamo as a courtroom sketch artist to serve as a visual witness to the courtroom prceedings and provide worldwide media with artwork drawn during them. She has been the only sketch artist covering these trials from 2006 to the present time. Sketching Guantanamo is both a collection of her most potent and revealing sketches drawn during this period, as well a chronicle of her experience at Guantanamo. Before entering the viewing booth behind multi-paneled soundproof glass in the back of the court, Hamlin is daily subjected to thorough searches, wanding, and metal detecting in three separate checkpoints. The U.S. government and even detainees can demand that certain details be smudged or even changed. When one detainee who had just pled guilty demanded that sketches of him not be released, Hamlin staged a four-hour sit-in until the authorities relented. Hamlin's drawings and her accompanying text provide rare insight into the military courts of Guantanamo. The trials are considered notorious and historic, among the most carefully censored trials in recent U.S. history, and sketches are the only visuals the world is allowed to see. Sketching Guantanamo features nearly 150 drawings, as well as photographs of the surrounding facilities that enhance the artist's illustrations and her running commentary. It also includes a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award winner Carol Rosenberg, a member of a reporting team that won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize.

About the Author
JANET HAMLIN graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design and lives in New York. Her clients include Time Warner, Universal Studios, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, IBM, HarperCollins and Associated Press to name a few.

Karen J. Greenberg is the Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security. She is the editor of the NYU Review of Law and Security, co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, and editor of the books Al Qaeda Now and The Torture Debate in America. She is a frequent writer and commentator on terrorism, international law, the war on terror, and detainee issues. Her work has been featured in the L.A. Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Nation, the American Prospect, and on major media outlets.

Carol Rosenberg is a self-help book editor and writer and is the cocreator of The Jon & Jayne Doe Series.