A decision by art students at Jackson Community College in Jackson County, Michigan, to draw attention to the treatment of terror suspects in U.S. custody by creating a Banksy-inspired Guantanamo Bay installation was thwarted when a vandal destroyed their handiwork, according to the Jackson Citizen Patriot. A Towleroad reader and professor at the college sent us these exclusive shots of the project.
The installation, reminiscent of Banksy’s recent plant of an inflatable doll inside Disneyland’s Thunder Mountain Railroad exhibit, consisted of eight black-hooded wooden figures in orange jumpsuits behind a chain-link fence. The installation was accompanied by a banner that read “Happy Constitution Day from Guantanamo Bay.”
According to the paper, “The message came on the day professors at JCC were required to teach about the U.S. Constitution as mandated under a 2004 federal spending bill. The document had its 219th birthday Sunday.”
College officials had approved the display, hoping it would serve its purpose and generate debate about current U.S. policies as well as free speech. Though reactions were mixed, some thought it served its purpose. Said student Cody Litzer: “I think it’s a nice reminder that sometimes we step on other people’s civil liberties trying to defend our own.”
The debate ended at around 5 pm the day it was put up, when it was destroyed by a vandal who apparently didn’t have the same ideas about free speech.