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This is Camp X-Ray

This is Camp X-Ray was a fully operational, life-size replica of the U.S. internment camp at Guantanamo Bay. The installation was created on land earmarked for regeneration in October 2003 and set out to challenge attitudes over the camp, by investigating experiences of incarceration and sensory deprivation.

Commissioned by UHC and artist Helen Knowles, This is Camp X-Ray was built and maintained using only mainstream media images as its source.

Recruited from the audience and online applicants, prisoners and guards performed their roles on site over nine days of the installation, bringing traffic to a standstill. The piece attracted national and international media coverage including articles in The Guardian, The Sun, The Washington Post and across TV news networks. The Observer’s arts review of 2003 cited the project as one of its performance highlights of the year.

UHC commissioned a video documentary of This is Camp X-Ray which includes an emotional interview with the sisters of Jamal Al-Harith, a Manchester resident who was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2004 after three years of imprisonment without charge.

Supported by Arts Council England.