Art of War: Murals from an Iraqi Detainment Center

Many thanks to Spc. Samuel Soza, 367th MPAD for providing the following captions for these images he has photographed, provided by 1LT Shamika Hill. Each mural shown here was painted by a detainee at the Theatre Interment Facility (TIF) at Camp Bucca, Iraq, near the southern city of Umm Qasr.

Numerous murals exhibited figurative themes about good versus evil, while others had more literal subjects like serene water landscapes or women and children.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samuel Soza) 


The 2-square-mile facility is home to many murals painted by the detainees as part of a vocational training program that aimed to empower them with marketable skills in preparation for their time after Bucca. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samuel Soza) 


Sgt. Rob Bingham, “D” Company, 132nd Brigade Support Battalion, from Madison, Wisconsin, sits in front of his favorite piece. Bingham worked at the TIF in early 2009 and said he was happy to take a last look around as deconstruction teams begin taking the facility down. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samuel Soza)

The TIF was closed down September 16, 2009. Geneva Convention considerations for the rights of detainees may leave U.S. military leaders no choice but to tear the art down with the rest of the facility’s deconstruction. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samuel Soza)


A mural done by a detainee known by the pseudonym “Mohammed Pecaso,”  Mohammed taught many other students at the art school and was released in 2008.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samuel Soza)

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