Photoville

Debi Cornwall
Debi Cornwall
Debi Cornwall
Debi Cornwall
Debi Cornwall
Debi Cornwall

Thirteen years after the first prisoners arrived at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (“Gitmo”), over 100 men remain held indefinitely, almost half cleared for release years ago. Over three visits in the last year, I explored America’s offshore exercise of power in the post-9/11 era. 

”Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play” looks at the grim absurdity of daily life there through the residential and leisure spaces of prisoners and military personnel. For some, Gitmo is a tropical paradise, the “best-kept secret in the military.” The performance of American normalcy is pervasive here, from McDonald’s to minigolf. Prisoners’ and guards’ experiences can never be equated. Still, these two groups have something in common: life is defined by routine, order, and tedium. Everyone, it seems, is counting the days until they can go home. Of course, the detainees do not know if this day will ever come.

Gitmo on Sale investigates the role of commerce in the exercise of military power at Guantánamo Bay, by way of gift shop souvenirs.

Artist Bios

  • Debi Cornwall

    Debi Cornwall

    Leica Women Foto Project 2019 Awardee

    Debi Cornwall (Brown 1995, Harvard Law School 2000) is a conceptual documentary artist who returned to visual expression in 2014 after a 12-year career as a civil-rights lawyer. Her visual work examines American power and identity in the post-9/11 era. Exhaustive research and negotiation were critical to her advocacy and remain integral to her work as an artist.

    Publications including Art in America Magazine, European Photography Magazine, the British Journal of PhotographyHyperallergic, and The New York Times Magazine have profiled Debi’s work. She is a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow, a Harpo Foundation Visual Artist grantee, a Center for Emerging Visual Artists fellows, and a Duke University Archive of Documentary Arts Collection Award winner. Her last project, “Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay,” has been internationally honored as both a book (Radius, 2017) and exhibition. Radius will publish her Leica Women Foto Award-supported work, Necessary Fictions, in 2020.

Organizations

  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.

    Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.

Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play (Gitmo on Sale)

 archive : 2015

Featuring: Debi Cornwall

Presented by: United Photo Industries (UPI)
  • United Photo Industries (UPI)
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