Since 2002, prisoners at Guantánamo Bay detention camp have been force-fed as punishment for hunger striking, prompting the question of at what point the medical clinic becomes a site of punitive suffering. This essay examines force-feeding as an instantiation of the tension between authority, visuality, and pain. Through a detailed analysis of prisoner testimonials, the policy manual Medical Management of Detainees on Hunger Strike, and a video project by human rights organization Reprieve featuring artist Yasiin Bey simulating the “proper” techniques for force-feeding, the author argues that pain becomes the basis of not only political subjectivity but also relationality between those held captive and the spectator.

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