Radio: ‘Guantánamo Voices’ on Resonance FM, Featuring Sarah Mirk, Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Me, and Music by The Four Fathers

26.1.23

A banner image produced by Alex Fitch for his show ‘Guantánamo Voices’, broadcast on London’s arts-based radio station Resonance FM.

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I’m delighted to promote a one-hour show, ‘Guantánamo Voices’, produced by comics journalist and broadcaster Alex Fitch for Resonance FM, the London-based non-profit community radio station, specializing in the arts.

The show is based on two interviews and one recording of an event — interviews with myself, discussing Guantánamo’s history, recorded last week to mark the 21st anniversary of the opening of the prison, and with comics creator Sarah Mirk, whose wonderful graphic novel anthology, ‘Guantánamo Voices’, was published by Abrams in 2020. I reviewed it here, and was also thrilled to be featured in a comic about Guantánamo that was written by Sarah and published in The Nib in 2018.

The event recorded by Alex, featuring former prisoner and author Mohamedou Ould Slahi and myself, took place at the University of Brighton in March last year, during Mohamedou’s first UK speaking tour, which I wrote about here when I first met him, after years of writing about him, and campaigning for his release. Please also see the video here of a Q&A featuring both of us in Tunbridge Wells, following a screening of ‘The Mauritanian’, the feature film based on Mohamedou’s story, directed by Kevin Macdonald, and also feel free to check out my article about the screening and the tour here.

Alex’s ‘Guantánamo Voices’ show was initially broadcast on January 23 and 24, and is also available on Mixcloud. I’ve also embedded it below.

I’m pleased that Alex chose to open and close the show with two songs I wrote for my band The Four Fathers — ’Song for Shaker Aamer’, and ‘Close Guantánamo.’ The former was used as the campaign song for We Stand With Shaker, which I launched in November 2014, with the activist Joanne MacInnes, as part of concerted and eventually successful efforts to secure the release the last British resident in Guantánamo by numerous MPs, celebrities, campaigners and concerned British citizens.

What impressed me the most about the show, however, was hearing Sarah discuss how and why she spent ten years working on her book, and how she remains committed to exposing the truth about the prison, and to getting it closed, and hearing Mohamedou relate his astonishingly powerful account of how, isolated and tortured at Guantánamo, he discovered the power of forgiveness, because he recognized that, unless he forgave those who had wronged him, he in turn would be consumed by anger, and only forgiveness could set him free.

It’s always extraordinary to hear Mohamedou’s message, and I hope that you have time to listen to the whole show, which, via all its contributors, is a very powerful condemnation of Guantánamo’s continued existence. I also hope that you’ll share it if you find it informative.

POSTSCRIPT Feb. 19, 2023: A longer version of the show is now available on Alex’s website.

* * * * *

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer (of an ongoing photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’), film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and see the latest photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.50).

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and he also set up ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham’ as a focal point for resistance to estate destruction and the loss of community space in his home borough in south east London. For two months, from August to October 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody. Although the garden was violently evicted by bailiffs on October 29, 2018, and the trees were cut down on February 27, 2019, the struggle for housing justice — and against environmental destruction — continues.

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, The Complete Guantánamo Files, the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, promoting, and linking to ‘Guantanamo Voices’, a one-hour show by Alex Fitch, broadcast on Resonance FM, featuring comics creator Sarah Mirk discussing her 2020 graphic novel anthology ‘Guantanamo Voices’, me discussing Guantanamo’s history, and a recording of former prisoner and author Mohamedou Ould Salahi and I discussing Guantanamo at an event in Brighton last March, during Mohamedou’s first UK speaking tour. Alex also opened and closed the show with songs by my band The Four Fathers.

    As I state in my article, “What impressed me the most about the show … was hearing Sarah discuss how and why she spent ten years working on her book, and how she remains committed to exposing the truth about the prison, and to getting it closed, and hearing Mohamedou relate his astonishingly powerful account of how, isolated and tortured at Guantánamo, he discovered the power of forgiveness, because he recognized that, unless he forgave those who had wronged him, he in turn would be consumed by anger, and only forgiveness could set him free.”

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Deborah Emin wrote:

    This will become unforgettable to me. Thank you, Andy.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks very much, Deborah. Alex Fitch, the programme maker, will be delighted by your appreciation of the show.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    For a Spanish version, on the World Can’t Wait’s Spanish website, see ‘Radio: “Guantánamo Voices” en Resonance FM, con Sarah Mirk, Mohamedou Ould Slahi y yo; con música de The Four Fathers’: http://www.worldcantwait-la.com/worthington-radio-gtmo-voices-en-resonance-fm.htm

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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