Ode to the Sea: Panel Discussion and Closing Reception


Add to My Calendar Monday, January 22, 2018 6:30pm to 8:00pm


Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
860 Eleventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Please join us for a discussion and reception to mark the conclusion of the exhibit, Ode to the Sea: Art From Guantánamo Bay, at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 

Detainees at the United States military prison camp known as Guantánamo Bay have made art since the prison opened in 2002. The exhibit displays evocative works made by eight men: four who have been released from Guantánamo, and four who remain detained. They paint the sea again although they cannot reach it. Their work reveals important viewpoints on the wide-ranging effects of the so-called "War on Terror".

The exhibit opened in October and attracted worldwide attention, resulting in a military policy change, banning any more art from leaving Guantánamo. The speakers will discuss how the artwork has shaped public debate by displaying the humanity of the men held at Guantánamo – and what the policy change means for those still making art at the prison.

The event, sponsored by CCR, is free and open to the public, and will take place at the Shiva Gallery, John Jay College. Enter at 860 11th Avenue. Doors open at 6:00 pm, and the discussion will begin at 6:30 pm and will be followed by a reception with light refreshments. There will be organized tours of the exhibit at 6:00 pm (meet in the Shiva Gallery) and 7:30 pm following the program. Ode to the Sea runs through January 26, 2018.


William Pangburn, Director of the Shiva Art Gallery at John Jay College, will make opening remarks

Phyllis Rodriguez is the mother of Gregory Rodriguez who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald/E-Speed and died in the September 11, 2001 attacks. She is a founding member of 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and an advocate for alternatives to war and violence.

Shelby Sullivan-Bennis is a Staff Attorney at Reprieve US, where she represents a number of Guantánamo detainees

Erin Thompson is a Co-curator of Ode to the Sea and professor of art crime at John Jay College

CCR Advocacy Program Manager Aliya Hussain and Guantánamo lawyers Alka Pradhan (Military Commissions Defense Organization) and Ramzi Kassem (CUNY Law School), who represent artists in the exhibit, will join in the moderated discussion and Q&A. 

Last modified 

January 22, 2018