Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture, & Reparations | Chicago to Guantánamo with Artists Amber Ginsburg and Aaron Hughes, and Torture Survivors Mansoor Adayfi and La Tanya Jenifor-Sublett
1111 East 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637
Presenting student organizations: International Law Society Human Rights Law Society
Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture, & Reparations | Chicago to Guantánamo, brings together activists, artists, poets, and torture survivors to investigate and resist the ecosystems of violence that connect Chicago to the US military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The publication uncovers moments of beauty, poetry, and shared humanity within and despite the traumas of state violence.
Together with collaborators, Amber Ginsburg creates site-generated projects and social sculpture that insert historical scenarios into present day situations. Her background in craft orients her projects towards the continuities and ruptures in material, social, and utopic histories. She teaches in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago.
Aaron Hughes is an artist, activists/organizer, teacher, and Iraq War veteran, whose work seeks out poetics, connections, and moments of beauty, in order to construct new languages and meanings out of personal and collective traumas. He uses these new languages and meanings to create projects that deconstruct systems of dehumanization and oppression.
Mansoor Adayfi is a writer, advocate, and former Guantánamo detainee, held for over 14 years without charges as an enemy combatant. Adayfi was released to Serbia in 2016, where he struggles to make a new life for himself and to shed the designation of a suspected terrorist. He has published several New York Times pieces, including a "Modern Love" column. He contributed to the graphic anthology Guantanamo Voices and the scholarly volume Witnessing Torture. He participated in the creation of the award-winning radio documentary "The Art of Now: Guantánamo" for BBC radio and the CBC podcast Love Me, which aired on Radiolab. Regularly interviewed by international news media about his experiences at Guantánamo and life after, he was also featured in the PBS Frontline episode Out of Gitmo. In 2019, Adayfi won the Richard J. Margolis Award for nonfiction writers of social justice journalism. He is also one of the Sundance Institute’s 2020 Episodic Lab Fellows, through which he is working to bring Don’t Forget Us Here to television. Currently works as Cage's Guantanamo Project coordinator.
LA TANYA JENIFOR-SUBLETT
La Tanya Jenifor-Sublett, Director of Holistic and Liberatory Peer Re-entry Program for Chicago Torture Justice Center, Program Supervisor for The Road Map Initiative Program for Heartland Alliance Health, Social Justice Advocate, Community Organizer, and Public Speaker, experienced abuse and torture at the hands of Chicago Police at the age of 19. Sentenced to 42 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections under the Theory of Accountability for a crime she did not commit, she did her very best to reinvent herself.
During her 21-year incarceration she studied law, business, and social justice. While incarcerated, La Tanya earned two Bachelor’s Degrees, completed the Cosmetology Program, Computer Technology, Restaurant Management, Business Management and Construction Occupations. Upon her release in October of 2013, she began working at Dawson Technical Institute as a Recovery Coach and an Employment Specialist serving clients who were formerly incarcerated, in recovery, veterans, and clients with disabilities.
La Tanya is an active member of several Chicago social justice organizations advocating for human rights, social justice, and prison reform and sentencing reform. These organizations include: The Worker’s Center for Racial Justice, the Harm Reduction “All of Us or None” Advisory board for Men and Women’s Reentry Prison Ministry, and she sits in official capacity as a Survivor and Family Board Member of the Chicago Torture Justice Center. La Tanya continues to fight for freedom, justice and equity.
Also, as a member of the Chicago Torture Justice Center’s Speakers Bureau, La Tanya visits Chicago Public Schools speaking and teaching students about the history and trauma of police violence in over policed communities. La Tanya has also spoken at several colleges and universities including, Kennedy King, Northwestern, DePaul, and The University of Chicago. La Tanya is also a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Human Rights Lab, speaking on social justice, human rights, and mass incarceration of women. La Tanya was also spoken at The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center, “Purchased Lives” Slavery Exhibit. She has also narrated a selection for the Holocaust Museum’s Nelson Mandela Exhibit and Tour in April of 2021.
La Tanya’s fight for justice includes eliminating the “Collateral Consequences” that many formerly incarcerated individuals face upon their release. Her dream is to create ground level services that directly connect formerly incarcerated individuals to services that that not only intersect but drive them to successfully reunify them to their communities and to society.
La Tanya plans to complete her Masters of Arts Degree with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Social Justice this fall.
This event is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago Law School's International Programs, The International Law Society, The Human Rights Law Society, and The University of Chicago Pozen Family Center for Human Rights. Lunch will be provided.