Thursday, 9 December 2004


This is Camp X-Ray

Amnesty International refers to it as a ‘human-right scandal’ and the otherwise studiously neutral International Committee Of The Red Cross has diplomatically raised concerns about ‘significant problems regarding conditions and treatment’ there. But Maerica still keeps hundreds of prisoners in Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay.

Jai Redman is part of the Manchester based UHC radical art and design collective. Last year, in the unlikely surrounds of Hulme, he created a working facsimile of the camp (pictured), containing nine prisoners (representing the nine British ‘detainees’) and guards.

Film-maker Damien Mahoney decided that this was something which needed recording so, suing a variety of cameras and borrowed equipment, he filmed the nine-day project. The resulting documentary, This is Camp X-Ray, receives its first public screening on Sunday at the Dancehouse Theatre.

interviewed in the film are two sisters of Jamal al-Harith, a Mancunian who was arrested in Afghanistan and who spent two years in captivity without ever being charged. Originally, he was going to provide an introductory voiceover to the film but, with his legal action on the US pending, had to withdraw.

For Mahoney, the film was a case of maintaining the public profile of something that flickers only occasionally on to the news media and thus easily fades from public consciousness. The issues raised here will be addressed in a panel discussion, which will follow the screening.

Rob Hayes

Sun, Dancehouse, Oxford Road, Central Manchester, 7.30pm, £3. Tel: 237 9753,