Many of us have heard, at least to some extent, about the horrors of Guantanamo Bay. Famed for being the United States’ answer to not being able to torture prisoners in our borders it represents a dark period of fear and mistrust in our country’s history. What is often past over, however, is the sociopolitical issues present when female interrogators working with suspects from a male chauvinistic society. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig has made a bold attempt to chronicle the complications of life after Guantanamo. “Lidless” follows the life Alice, a former interrogator in Guantanamo, as she attempts to move beyond her past.
For myself I feel that by the time I really became aware of what was going on at Guantanamo, at least aware enough to be outraged by it, the place was being shut down. What’s left to history is the impression of what happened in this place, the terrible things that were done to people who may have been innocent or guilty. We as a nation are left with this scar on our country’s virtue, a virtue that we hold so dear in our doctrine “Liberty and Justice for all!” This was not the case at Guantanamo and many Americans know what happened in that particular prison.
After the prison was closed down, however, nothing more was heard and nothing more was said. We all know the atrocities that were acted upon the prisoners but of the guards? When the prison was closed what happened to the people who carried out these acts. That’s where I feel this show carries real importance and, although at times it may be “preachy” it provides a point of view that Americans didn’t hear. I always assumed the interrogators of Guantanamo to be as bad as the people they were interrogating but a play such as ‘Lidless’ gives people a context, it humanizes them. To achieve with a topic as controversial as Guantanamo, a sense of humanity amongst the characters is not only a great feat but a frightening one. If we begin to realize that the interrogators at Guantanamo were human, then we must ask ourselves if we would have acted different, are we really as far removed as we like to think?