San Francisco and Chicago, January 2012, a set on Flickr.
Earlier this week, I posted the first two sets of photos on my new Flickr account. The first set was of of my wanderings in New York in January, at the start of my two-week US tour to campaign for the closure of Guantánamo on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the prison, and the second was of the protests in Washington D.C. on the 10th anniversary, January 11, when it poured with rain, but our spirit was strong.
This third set concludes the photos of my trip, taken in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley during a one-day visit to the Bay Area, and in Chicago during another brief visit (my first ever to the Windy City), before flying back to New York, and 24 hours in Brooklyn preceding the long flight home.
Regular readers may well have seen my reports from my US trip, and perhaps even watched and listened to some of the many videos and audio files of the events, TV appearances and radio shows I took part in during what was a very intensive tour organised by my friend and colleague, the indefatigable Debra Sweet, the national director of The World Can’t Wait.
These photos occasionally cross over into that world, which, at its busiest, left me with barely a moment when I wasn’t either talking to someone in person, or on a cellphone, and they are sometimes just glimpses of what I could see during the journeys I undertook to take part in the various events, but they also chronicle a different journey I took across America, as a photographer reunited with a camera for the first time in many years, and I hope that they provide readers with a number of perspectives that might not always be apparent from my writing.
These are my observations, in which I use my eyes rather than my words, and frame what I see rather than what I think, although the same sensibility no doubt infuses both methods of communication. Both are probably an attempt to make sense of the world, or to capture it, to mark its passing, to commemorate it, although I haven’t analyzed it too deeply, as I’m rather enjoying letting the camera’s lens take me on a journey, accompanying me wherever I go these days, and providing a refreshing break from the words that otherwise possess me.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, where I chose the photo “Anti-torture reunion” to publicize the set, I wrote:
That’s me in San Francisco with Jason Leopold, Jeff Kaye and Michael Kearns! Like some ageing boy band reunited …!
Kevi Brannelly wrote:
So glad to hear u on tour!
Margaret Heller wrote:
I got to catch your presentation and the panel in Chicago. It was life changing.
Zilma Nunes wrote:
I like your photos In Sf specially the photo about “Stop Violence” in Oakland. Unfortunately, Oakland has a bad violent reputation.
I was glad to have the opportunity to talk, Kevi, and Margaret, that’s really wonderful to hear. Makes it all worthwhile!
And Zilma, it’s sad how deprivation works to isolate suffering communities. As MaryAnn and I drove through Oakland, it was crystal clear how the neighborhood became more and more deprived as we drove. Just ten minutes by car made a world of difference.
When Andy Moss, featured in the panel discussion in Chicago, posted the photo of the panel, I wrote:
That was quick, Andy! Considerably quicker than me making the photo available in the first place! I hope to visit Chicago again – perhaps in January, unless Guantanamo is miraculously closed by then (falls off chair).
Andy Moss wrote:
If that’s your criteria I think we can just start planning now to see you in Chicago next year…
Margaret Heller wrote:
I saw some guy reporting on “the last prisoner” (now what show was that…) and he was laughing as if there was something humorous about there being a forever prisoner.
I’m happy to undertake another punishing schedule in January, Andy. It will be nice to see you again.
And as for your heartless propagandist masquerading as a journalist, Margaret, that’s disgraceful, but sadly typical of the times we’re living in. It’s why our mission to remind people of the value of fairness and decency is so important.
So Andy, time to add Denver to the tour. We need a few rabble rousers here to stir the blood.
Yes please! Perhaps this time we can work out how to do it!
Ann Alexander wrote:
Great photos, Andy. Much appreciated.
Thanks, Ann. Very glad you like them. Lots more to come! Cycling around London and taking photos has become a welcome break for me from sitting immobile and becoming steadily blind in front of a computer screen!
Jason Leopold wrote:
Ha! So glad we got the band back together Andy! Next stop London!
Yes. come over, please! Kearnsey’s been here, but not you and Jeff!
Zilma Nunes wrote:
Happy that who has a cause of defending than who has no reason of living.
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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