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Guantanamo spotlighted by Phoenix Public Library, Public History at ASU

Guantanamo Public Memory Project
October 14, 2013

Guantánamo Bay evokes thoughts of human rights and detainees more than warm sandy beaches and children growing up. However, both are equally real when seen through the Guantánamo Public Memory Project.

The exhibit, hosted by the Burton Barr Central Library, gathers stories from people with very different backgrounds and experiences – from residents of the Guantánamo naval base in the 1950s to the present. Military personnel, dependents, contractors, Americans, Cubans, Haitians and attorneys connected to “GTMO’s” infamous recent past are among the stories featured. The project seeks to open a dialogue about the future of the naval base through exposing its past. This exhibit was developed with support from 11 universities, which include Columbia, Brown, Rutgers and Arizona State University.

“Guantánamo represents many different things depending on your experience and knowledge of this unique place – with interesting sovereignty implications and consequences,” says Nancy Dallett, assistant director of the Public History program in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at ASU. “This is the first time public history programs across the country have collaborated and we’re learning from each other as the exhibit travels from state to state.”

The free exhibit runs from Oct. 19 to Nov. 24 and includes a series of presentations featuring ASU faculty on Wednesday evenings. The lectures explore themes around internment and its legal, ethical and philosophical implications. A look at our local experiences will include a talk about Japanese internment on tribal lands in the 1940s and the ongoing incarceration trends in Arizona.

Burton Barr Central Library is located at 1221 N. Central Avenue, just south of McDowell.

The School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.