At John Jay College of Criminal Justice, over 30 artworks by Guantánamo Bay detainees are currently on display. Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantánamo Bay is a powerful new exhibition showcasing never-before-seen inmate depictions of the unattainable water that surrounds them, eerily juxtaposing freedom with captivity.
Eight current and former inmates at Guantánamo Bay have been given a rare platform of free expression in New York.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Housed within The President’s Gallery at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a new exhibition of 30 paintings, works on paper, and “three-dimensional works crafted from the few materials permitted to detainees, including model ships made from parts of shirts, prayer caps, razors, and mops,” according to John Jay’s website, all portraying a theme typically associated with boundlessness.
In the exhibition’s catalogue, former detainee Mansoor Adayfi writes that the sea was chosen as the show’s central theme because it “means freedom that no one can control or own, freedom for everyone.” This “freedom” is contextualized by the reality of the artists’ prolonged detainment without trial.
At Guantánamo Bay, inmates are positioned near the sea with tarps concealing their coastal surroundings. For only four days in 2014, the veil was lifted in anticipation of a hurricane. “All of those who could draw made drawings about the sea,” Adayfi remembers.
Only two artworks included in the exhibition have been seen before. The majority have been handed over by the inmates’ attorneys and thoroughly processed, scanned, and analyzed for hidden messages. “A stamp reading ‘Approved by US Forces’ signals that the works have been cleared, and its ink often bleeds through to the image on the other side, a ghostly mix of art and authority,” John Jay’s website explains.
Artworks by current detainees Moath Al-Alwi, Ammar Al-Bluchi, Ahmed Rabbani, and Khalid Qasim will be exhibited alongside the work of former inmates Muhammad Ansi, Djamel Ameziane, Abdualmalik (Alrahabi) Abud, and Ghaleb Al-Bihani.
“When I start an artwork, I forget I am in prison,” Yemeni national Moath Al-Alwi told his lawyer, according to The Guardian. “Despite being in prison, I try as much as I can to get my soul out of prison. I live a different life when I am making art.”
Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantánamo Bay will remain on view at The President’s Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W 59th Street, New York, NY 10019 until January 26, 2018. A symposium and reception will be held on Monday, October 16 from 6pm until 8:30pm.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.