Friday, September 02, 2011
the abu salim prison art of libyan artist mohammed bin al amin
update: 19 Sept 2011:
The pictures & notes below were posted on 2 Sept. But today I came across the photo above that shows all the drawings - they have an amazing impact.
Last night on BBC1 news at 10pm Jeremy Bowen reported from the hell that was Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, Libya, now empty of its prisoners. "Torture was routine, sometimes prisoners disappeared, and now you can just walk in," Jeremy said. As he wandered into one cell the camera showed two walls covered with drawings and writing. "Even here one inmate didn't hide his defiance" Jeremy said. "He signed his name, Mohammed Bin Al Amin above his dreams of freedom".
The camera panned down from the signature to a haunting face gazing out through bars clutched by the subject's hands. One can only imagine the conditions under which the drawing was done. Powerful testimony to the unquenchability of an artist's spirit. It must be the work of the famous artist from Misrata, who was seized by Gaddafi forces from his Misrata studio on 18 February together with his poet brother Elhabib Elamin, and taken off to Tripoli. The brothers were released a few days ago when the prison was liberated.
Above: Mohammed Bin Al Amin after his release: below, Elhabib Elamin.