Whether invoked as the rationale for the "extraordinary rendition" of Canadian citizen Maher Arar to Syria or as the basis for the suppression of indigenous movements in South America, the war on terror has had significant effects on human rights in the Americas. But nowhere have these effects been greater than at the detention facilities of the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Consequently, it seemed appropriate to begin our project by looking into the human rights situation at these facilities.
We begin our endeavor with The Guantánamo Testimonials Project. The goals of this project are to gather testimonies of prisoner abuse in Guantánamo, to organize them in meaningful ways, to make them widely available online, and to preserve them there in perpetuity.
The strength of these testimonies is considerable. Based on them, a number of distinguished individuals and organizations have called for the closure of Guantánamo.
Oral History Program
The Museum’s Oral History Program plays a central role in our research, collections, exhibits and programs. The Museum has now conducted more than 180 interviews with people from Canada and around the world.
What is Oral History? Oral history involves interviewing individuals about historic events and activities to which they were witness, or in which they were involved, in order to gain a more comprehensive and personal view of the past. This personal testimony is as critical as the newspapers, government documents, and personal papers that traditionally have been consulted by historians. Oral history offers something other sources lack — perspectives from often marginalized groups and individuals whose stories have not otherwise been preserved in the historical record.