Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Guantanamo Images

I was thinking that it would be really good to have some visual images for our Guantanamo event in October and I came across these. Gwyneth Leech was commissioned to paint the Stations of the Cross for an Episcopal parish in Connecticut. The ones above are amongst my favourites. They brilliantly draw in some of the political images of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. I think the presence of the woman in the crowd dressed in Muslim clothes is brilliant. I also think the association of Jesus' death with the victims of Guantanamo is great. I know this is nothng new. I think someone has already blogged about the way Jesus is presented as a Guantanamo inmate in Manchester's Passion. There's a quite good theology of guantanamo available here, which says, "if Jesus were caught living the vicious subversive Gospel today, he would not be on a wooden cross, since the wooden cross no longer symbolizes what it did then: the dishonouring and dehumanization of the individual in the presence of the entire city as a punishment. He would be wearing an orange jumper, living in a cage, dishonoured and dehumanized, in the presence of the entire world who behold all this on the TV screen."
About the one of Jesus naked, Leech writes, “The Roman stripped the condemned and crucified them naked as a way of humiliating them and utterly breaking their spirit. Here, I had dozens of images of modern prisoners stripped for the same reasons,” Leech said.“I decided to compose the 10th station with the man threatened by dogs, echoing Psalm 22, sung each Good Friday: ‘Deliver me from the mouth of the dog.’”
To see the rest of the stations of the cross, click here.
For me, I want Engage to a holistic thing that brings together the creative as well as the logical, the mysterious as well as the cerebral and blurs some of the lines of distinction between the religious and secular, the pietistic and the political. I'd love the event we have in October to draw together some of these things that are often kept disperate. Can we get prints of some of this stuff and leave it on tables for people to bounce off on the evening?
Feel free to bounce off it here on the blog.

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