The Many Bodies of Mos Def: Notes for an Unremarkable Poem on Failure
- 129 Downloads
Before his death after ten years of detention in the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, the prisoner Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif wrote a poem in which he asked, “Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?” This chapter considers his question in the context of the video ‘Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) Force Fed Under Standard Guantánamo Bay Procedure,’ which has over six million views on YouTube. Offering a close, critical reading of the video set against the backdrop of contemporary police violence against African American men, it explores the limits of representations of violence while also explaining Guantánamo’s hold as a metaphor that links the still-unseen bodies of detainees to the hyper-visible dead bodies of black American men.
- Ahmed, Sara. Willful Subjects. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.Google Scholar
- Badiou, Alain. The Age of Poets: And Other Writings on Twentieth Century Poetry and Prose. London: Verso, 2014.Google Scholar
- Baraka, Amiri. “Black Art.” Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/Leroi Jones, 106–7. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1979.Google Scholar
- Borzutzky, Daniel. The Book of Interfering Bodies. Callicoon, NY: Nightboat Books, 2011.Google Scholar
- Butler, Judith. Precarious Lives: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso, 2006.Google Scholar
- Carrillo Martín, Francisco. Excepción Bolaño. San Juan, PR: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 2015.Google Scholar
- Ferguson, Ben. “When Yasiin Bey Was Force-fed Guantánamo Bay Style: Eyewitness Account.” The Guardian, July 9, 2013. Accessed January 4, 2017. http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/jul/09/yasiin-bey-force-fed-guantanomo-bay-mos-def.
- Halberstam, J. Jack. Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal. Boston: Beacon Press, 2013.Google Scholar
- Latif, Adnan Farhan Abdul. “Hunger Strike Poem.” In Poems from Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak, edited by Marc Falkoff, 51–52. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007.Google Scholar
- Nelson, Maggie. The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning. New York: Norton, 2011.Google Scholar
- Nocera, Joe. “Is Force-feeding Torture?” The New York Times, May 31, 2013. Accessed January 4, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/opinion/nocera-is-force-feeding-torture.html?_r=0.
- Rancière, Jacques. Moments Politiques: Interventions 1977–2009. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2014.Google Scholar
- ———. Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.Google Scholar
- Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2014.Google Scholar
- Reilly, Ryan. “Military Drops Case Against Navy Nurse Who Refused to Force-feed Guantanamo Detainees.” Huffington Post, May 13, 2015. Accessed January 4, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/13/guantanamo-force-feeding_n_7274884.html.
- Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others. New York: Picador, 2004.Google Scholar
- Sutton, Jane. “Rapper’s Force Feeding Video Riles U.S. Medics at Guantanamo Bay.” Reuters, July 26, 2013. Accessed January 4, 2017. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/26/us-usa-guantanamo-rapper-idUSBRE96P11H20130726.
- Wilkinson, Alec. “Something Borrowed.” The New Yorker, October 5, 2015. Accessed January 4, 2017. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/10/05/something-borrowed-wilkinson.