Author Archives: Debi Cornwall

About Debi Cornwall

Debi Cornwall is a conceptual documentary artist who returned to visual expression in 2014 after a twelve-year career as a civil rights lawyer. She is a 2016 nominee for the Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer, winner of the Duke University Collection Award for Women Documentarians, and an alumna of Brown University and Harvard Law School. Her work on Guantánamo Bay has been published in the New York Times Magazine, the British Journal of Photography, and Polka Magazine, among others. Her first book, Welcome to Camp America (Radius Books, 2017), will be available in September 2017 in an English/Arabic first edition. The book juxtaposes images—from Gitmo, its gift-shop souvenirs, and environmental portraits of men once held there, after they have been cleared and released—with once-classified government documents and first-person texts.

A Lens on Mohamedou Slahi at Guantánamo: A Conversation with Debi Cornwall and Larry Siems

Beginnings Jean-Philippe Dedieu: How did you first become interested in Guantánamo? Larry Siems: I came to this through my human rights work, and I came to human rights work through literature. I have a master’s degree in fine arts in poetry from Columbia. I’ve always been challenged by the idea of how writing and activism intersect and by poetry that makes action urgent and its nature clear. When I moved to California not long after graduate school, I was deeply interested in the American political Continue reading → Continue reading →

Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play

This photo essay is excerpted from Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play, an investigation of daily life for both prisoners and guards at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where nobody has chosen to live, and where photographs of faces are forbidden by military regulation. Since the first “War on Terror” prisons opened on January 11, 2002, 780 men have been held at “Gitmo,” the vast majority without charge or trial of any kind. As of autumn 2016, most have been cleared and Continue reading → Continue reading →