Fantagraphics to Publish Book of Guantanamo Courtroom Sketches by Janet Hamlin
In the wake of 9-11, alleged terrorists were housed on a U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba. While there, these terrorist suspects were confined in “indefinite detention,” off the American mainland, unaccountable to the U.S. judicial system, nameless and faceless to the world. At the military trials of Guantanamo, which started in 2006, no photographs were permitted in the courtroom. Only one person was allowed to cover the trials, not with a camera but with her pencils and pastels. Janet Hamlin has been the only sketch artist covering the trials from 2006 to the present, granting the suspects humanity and dignity while allowing the world to see the process through an unapologetic lens.
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.
This October, Fantagraphics will be releasing a collection of those courtroom sketches and commentary. This is a piece of history to few know about and anyone with the interest in courtroom proceedings, the rule of law and the United States government should check this out when it hits shelves. Sketching Guantanamo helps bring these proceedings out of the shadows and into the light of public scrutiny these extra-judicial trials.
Before entering the viewing booth at the back of court, Hamlin is subjected to daily thorough searches, wanding, and metal detecting in three separate checkpoints. All a reader needs to do is open the book to be transported to the infamous base. Hamlin’s drawings and accompanying text provide a rare insight into the military courts of Guantanamo; they’ve appeared on ABC News and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, and were recently featured in The Colbert Report‘s story on censorship of the trials. With nearly 150 drawings, the book will also include photographs of the surrounding facilities to enhance Hamlin’s illustrations and commentary. It also includes a foreward by Robert F. Kennedy Johnson Award winner Carol Rosenberg, a member of a reporting team that won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize.
176-page full-color 11″ x 8.5″ hardcover
Cover price: $28.99
In-store date: October 2013 (subject to change)