Sketching Guantanamo: Janet Hamlin


Until this year Janet Hamlin has been the sole court sketch artist at Guantanamo, providing the public with the only visual log of what happens there. We speak with her today about her key role in one of the most important chapters in history and her upcoming book, Sketching Guantanamo: Court Sketches of the Military Tribunals, 2006-2013.

Courtroom Sketch Artist, Janet Hamlin

If you've read or watched even a single story about the U.S. Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba ... you've seen Janet Hamlin's handiwork. She's the court sketch artist.

And according to National Security Reporter for the Toronto Star Michelle Shephard, Janet Hamlin takes her work very seriously. Michelle shared her thoughts on the personal trials of sketch artist Janet Hamlin.

Whether it's trying to get the right nose on confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or trying to capture Omar Khadr's focused look as he rests a bearded chin on his hand during closing arguments at his trial ... Janet Hamlin has been a constant presence at Guantanamo.

Her tools are simple enough -- just paper and pastels. And over the last seven years, she has provided the world's only visual record of the closed-door proceedings.

Now Janet Hamlin plans to release a collection of her sketches and reflections on her more than 25 trips to Guantanamo Bay. It's called Sketching Guantanamo: Court Sketches of the Military Tribunals, 2006-2013. The book is due out in October. Janet Hamlin was at her home in Nyack, New York.

Below are some of the sketches from the book due to be released in October.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino.

To add your thoughts to anything you hear on the show, tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or on Facebook. Or email us from our website. And if you missed the conversation on yesterday's edition of The Current, you can hear it on our podcast.

Other segments from today's show:

The story of an Afghan translator & his efforts to emigrate to Canada

Ottawa's biggest racial profiling study to date in Canada

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