“Everybody slept, sat and ate at the tiled floor, when I started there, we all had about 35 x 180 cm space to sleep in but had to endure kicks every time one of the inmates tried to turn or tried to get up. The suffocating heat and the mass of people sweating all around us mixed with the stink of the pillow was nauseating. Only after two days when I must of smelled worst, that the smell became tolerable. When the number of inmates exceeded 20 a new rule was instated. 6 would sit in a tight circle for about 6 hours while others slept and then they are replaced. Several are exempted and can keep their space at all times they were the drug lord, his protégé, 2 sick inmates and me.”  

“On the fourth day we had to line up and were escorted one at a time to the corridor where we were ordered to sit on a chair while a man with a trimmer just sheared our hair and beard.  Somehow this hurt me much more than was reasonable, especially since I don’t have much hair anyway, but I felt that I was violated and another piece of my identity was altered.”

“A guard came and escorted me back to the cell. Disappointment and despair set in.  I went into a deep depression that I was still being investigated when I thought that everything was done. It was Ahmed, only 23 years old that was the one comforting me and giving me advice on the need to be strong and not to give up. He would force me to eat and start conversations that would keep my mind away from my situation. This young man’s influence was so positive that helped me greatly through the next 17 days of total neglect of my case.”

5-25 Sep ‘16       
Unreachable, Governor’s Island Art Fair, Governor’s Island, New York