The Guantanamo Public History Memory Project, now housed at Jones Hall at Tulane University through October 30, weaves an intriguing and complex portrait of the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay Cuba. Utilizing stories, photographs, and documents, the exhibition brings to life the controversial history of the naval base and those who have been affected by its presence.
Jana Lipman, an associate professor in the Department of History and expert on US foreign relations, has written extensively on the base and was instrumental in bringing the traveling exhibition to Tulane. Her recent work on the naval base in Guantánamo Bay demonstrates how neocolonialism, empire, and revolution functioned in working people’s lives.
According to Lipman, “The exhibit presents the history of the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay from multiple points of views, from Cuban base workers to detainees' lawyers and from military families who lived on the base in the Cold War to Haitian refugees who were held on the base in the 1990s. We hope the exhibit will provide a complex portrait of GTMO's history and will raise questions about U.S.-Cuban relations, human rights, national security, refugee policy, and the rule of law in today's society.
The exhibit includes video testimonies and mobile multimedia accessible through visitors’ smartphones. It also features a series of presentations. One presentation, “Angola and Guantánamo: Art and Incarceration” will take place Oct. 16 at 6 p.m., followed by “Guantánamo: Cuban and Haitian Refugee Stories” Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. All programs will take place in 204 Jones Hall.
The exhibit is sponsored by Tulane University’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute, African and African Diaspora Studies, The Murphy Institute, the Altman Program, the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, Center for Public Service, Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching, Newcomb College Institute, Honors Program, Department of History, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, The University of New Orleans’ Latin American Studies Department, CubaNOLA Arts Collective and the Jefferson Muslim Association.
The Guantánamo Public Memory Project is free and open to the public Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.