Debi Cornwall
at Percé


Welcome to Camp America:
Inside Guantánamo Bay

Charles-Robin historical sector of Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé National Park | Rue du Quai | Percé

Debi Cornwall, New York (United States) |

Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay opens the doors of the first military detention center under strict surveillance linked to the war on terrorism initiated by American president George W. Bush in 2001.

Debi Cornwall photographed the different spaces where prisoner and guards live their lives, then developed the negatives on site under military scrutiny. Going far beyond the photos that have emerged from Guantánamo, the artist’s shots reveal the interstices of a chaos that takes place both in secret and under nonstop surveillance. Between familiarity and toughness, these empty places fill up with a worrisome strangeness. They reveal, without ever showing it, a muted violence and the exceptional climate of this prison criticized by public opinion and numerous international organizations.

Beyond Gitmo unveils the silhouettes of detainees after their release. Incarcerated for years without being judged or found guilty, these men were sent back to their own lands or to another receptive country. From Albania to Qatar, Debi Cornwall traveled to nine nations to capture these portraits, bowing to the military no-faces regulation.


Welcome to Camp America:
Inside Guantánamo Bay

A former civil-rights lawyer, Debi Cornwall is a conceptual documentary artist concerned with post-9/11 issues, especially in the U.S.

Her work has been recognized with a number of awards, and presented in many collective exhibitions (BAL, Paris; Aperture Gallery, New York) and festivals (Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles; Fotofest Biennial, Houston, Texas). Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay has been exhibited since 2015 around the world, including in Switzerland (Centre de la photographie Genève), Asia, Australia and the U.S.

Denouncing the lines and faults of chaos

CHAOS denounces the bankruptcies of a present fragmented by conflicts. It reveals the faults that give shape to places and that affect populations, notably through borders, architecture or military zones: Youri Cayron and Romain Rivalan in Palestine; Debi Cornwall at the Guantánamo Bay military detention center; Nadav Kander in Russia and Kazakhstan; or Daniel Schwarz and Andreas Rutkauskas along the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada.