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Drypoint on 240gsm Arches etching paper, 2009, Ed 25. by Chris Diedericks

The Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp is a detainment facility operated by the Joint Task Force Guantánamo of the United States government since 2002 in Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, which is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

High fences covered with thick green mesh plastic, and ringed with floodlights shroud the buildings used by the CIA. They sit within the larger Camp Echo complex, which was erected to house the Defense Department's high-value detainees and those awaiting military trials on terrorism charges. The facility has housed detainees from Pakistan, West Africa, Yemen and other countries under the strictest secrecy.

In January 2009, US President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp as well as all overseas CIA detention centers for terror suspects. Signing the orders, Mr. Obama said the US would continue to fight terror, but maintain their values and ideals. Obama also ordered a review of military trials for terror suspects and a ban on harsh interrogation methods.

Recently, a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay has died of an apparent suicide. In a statement issued from Miami, the US military said the detainee was pronounced dead by a doctor after 'extensive life saving measures had been exhausted'.

The man's death is the fifth apparent suicide at the offshore US prison, which President Barack Obama hopes to close by January 2010.

My work Guantanamo Bay deals specifically with suicide. Suicide is the act of causing ones own death. Suicide may be positive or negative and it may be direct or indirect. Suicide is a positive act when one takes ones own life. Suicide is a negative act when one does not do what is necessary to escape death such as leaving a burning building. Suicide is direct when one has the intention of causing ones own death, whether as an end to be attained, or as a means to another end, as when a man kills himself to escape condemnation, disgrace, ruin, etc. Suicide is indirect (and not usually called suicide) when one does not desire it as an end or a means, but when one nevertheless commits an act which courts death, as in tending someone with SARS knowing that they may well succumb to the same illness.

I am personally intrigued by the act of suicide, especially in circumstances where people seemingly have no other choice. Ultimately my work Guantanamo Bay investigates the issue of choice, whether this choice is own will or forced choice. Without being literal, I wish to provide another clue for the reading of this work: corporate suicide.


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