From Camera As Torture Device To Camera As Restorer Of Humanity
September 22, 2014 7:38 AM   Subscribe

"There is not one person in prison in Iraq who has not been subjected to some kind of abuse." "I want people to consider, what if that happened to your family member?"

Selected portraits of Iraqi victims of US torture. Their faces and their stories, since they are so much more than just statistics or footnotes to long-forgotten articles.
posted by blankdawn (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The exhibit site linked in the article includes line drawings by another artist, as well as a description of a lawsuit initiated by these people.

In my relatively small city Victoria BC there is a survivors of torture supprt group that estimates there are 1200 torture survivors living here, and this includes only survivors of political violence/ torture during war, not survivors of residential schools.

I think this work to humanize people through art is very important... It is true that it is very tempting to turn away, as with other structural violence.

If you are interested in the question of "what can be done", a description of the practical work done by my local group does is here.

Of course, thus important work comes after torture, and the long haul goal is to stop torture all together.
posted by chapps at 8:14 AM on September 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

How is a camera used as a torture device?
posted by michaelh at 8:18 AM on September 22, 2014

I think it refers to the humiliating practice of posing prisoners for photos in order to shame and humiliate, as in Abu Ghraib prison.
posted by chapps at 8:27 AM on September 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

How is a camera used as a torture device?

Er, the very first sentence of the linked article gives the answer:
The U.S. military used a camera as a torture device at Abu Grahib. To add further humiliation to detainees who were already put in cages, urinated on, stripped naked then stacked in macabre human pyramids, their photos were taken during these degrading acts.
posted by flug at 9:00 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Such beautiful portraits. This is much more powerful than I expected it to be.
posted by freya_lamb at 9:04 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

My bad; I went straight down to the photos and stories.
posted by michaelh at 9:06 AM on September 22, 2014

"what if that happened to your family member"

If you need to imagine it happening to a family member before you can care, you're already beyond hope.
posted by Legomancer at 10:35 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

"urinated on" Let that sink in. What kind of depraved individual even thinks of doing that to another human being?!?!!?!?!?

Americans: Nazi's for the 21st century.

It's pathetically disgusting. And to think that I've had many relatives KIA in support of this nation. I'm certain they would all be screaming the loudest about this outrageous behavior.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 7:40 PM on September 22, 2014

Self-righteousness, to the level of insanity. Captured enemies. Like, we get to do that, we're the good guys! Pride blinds the public.
posted by Goofyy at 7:50 AM on September 23, 2014

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