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RightlessnessTestimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since World War II$
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A. Naomi Paik

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469626314

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626314.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Living in a Dying Situation

Living in a Dying Situation

Preserving Life at Guantánamo

(p.188) 6 Living in a Dying Situation

A. Naomi Paik

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the prisoner practices of self-harm at Guantánamo, including suicide attempts and hunger strikes, as well as the efforts of the camp administration to forcibly keep the prisoners’ bodies alive via force-feeding and suicide restraints. It reads detainee testimonies, including op-ed articles, poetry, suicide notes, and statements given to legal and media advocates, as well as statements from the U.S. government defending its practices as the ethical preservation of life. The chapter examines the prisoner body as a site of power and struggle waged between the U.S. state and its prisoners. While the camp seeks ever-increasing control, prisoners assert their agency through that same body—the body that has been disappeared, obscured, and rendered invisible and unhearable, in part through its forced living. These acts diagnose the camp as a space of living death, communicate with audiences to which they have few avenues of access, and subvert their captors’ authority.

Keywords:   Hunger strike, suicide, force-feeding, enteral feeding, Guantánamo, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, biopower, biopolitics, necropolitics, torture, al-Adahi v. Obama

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