Art Criticism Draws Outrage From Guantanamo Detainees
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) is home to the toughest and worst offenders in the war on terror. Its been criticized for the treatment of detainees, the conditions of the camp, and even the legality of its existence. Every day, the detainees call the Army and Navy personnel that work there infidels — and worse — but now they are accusing them of being overly harsh art critics.
The detainees have recently taken to expressing themselves in artwork on the walls of their cells — after completing government sponsored art classes.
“I think it is my right of free expression,” says Detainee 0256, a former bomb-maker and glue-sniffer. “I cannot understand why they do not take my art seriously!”
The art in question is titled “Die You American Infidels” and depicts an American flag used as a picnic blanket with two goats fornicating, as a burqa veiled Marilyn Monroe gives birth to President Obama. The bas-relief painting/sculpture is formed of a soft mixture of toothpaste and feces, and has carefully covered the side of the cell.
0256′s “Poo-caso”, as he refers to it, says it should be protected under free speech rights given to all evil Westernized-American cultures, of which he participates in but is not really a part of. He disagrees that the art might cause health risks to himself, and says he plans to repeat his work day after day, because the therapeutic qualities inherent in creating art are good for the body.
Army Staff Sergeant Richard Nabor, NCOIC of Camp 5, disagrees with the “tainers” artistic interpretation.
“Now if this guy was smearin’ [sic] shit in a non-surrealist, more realistic manner, I wouldn’t really complain,” Nabor said. “He has good use of color, I guess he waits for curry day to get his reds and greens, but his representation is too distorted for my taste.”
Navy Captain Dwight Ellsgood, Joint Task Force Guantanamo Commander, says his troops focus on the importance of many art periods, not just selected years of quirky, and sometimes tasteless art.
“He could probably get away with Cubism, or Minimalism,” Ellsgood said. “But I am so tired of abstract works because every time they splash a guard they claim ‘modern art!’ and ‘don’t destroy the work I put on that guard!’”
0256 says he is trying to move past the performance art of his “Tainer flung poo” series, and now simply works to decorate out of defiance. “I cannot help that I have these emotions and I wish to express myself,” 0256 said.
“All I want to say is that you can teach me to read, paint a picture, give me three meals a day, world class medical care and a $625,000 football field, but I want you American dogs to die.”
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