(The Root) — Rapper Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, recently volunteered to be force-fed as the subject of a human rights video. The video demonstrates the standard nasal-to-stomach force-feeding procedure employed at Guantanamo Bay to circumnavigate prisoners’ hunger strikes and fasts.
The video was made by noted documentarian Asif Kapadia for the human rights group Reprieve. Many are urging the United States to suspend its force-feeding of prisoners, especially during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, which begins Monday evening. Some of the prisoners have been striking for months, and it is reported that 44 of them — some of them Muslims — are being force-fed in the manner depicted in the video, which many viewers have found difficult to watch. (I personally threw in the towel seconds after the procedure began on the video.)
Though some wonder at the theatrics involved in the production of the video (cinematic camera angles, the chains, etc.), there is no doubt that it has raised awareness of force-feeding at Guantanamo Bay, and it definitely has Twitter talking.
watching Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) go through the force feeding procedures was rough, but informative.
— V the Villain (@verocakes_) July 8, 2013
Not even going to attempt to watch Yasiin Bey’s force-feeding video. I’ll just take his word for it #CloseGuantanamo
— Sir Pants (@nelsonpants) July 8, 2013
Not sure how I feel about this Yasiin Bey clip, I get the intent but it feels queasy to me. Must we experience to actually empathize?
— Blackgirlinmaine (@blackgirlinmain) July 8, 2013
@tnwhiskeywoman I see the expressions on his face in the various thumbnails on links to the video, & I KNOW I don’t need to see that.
— Alivia’s Daughter (@bgirlshimmy) July 8, 2013
I’ve loved @MosDefOfficial since I was old enough to steal my big brothers cassette tapes! So good to see what he’s doing re: Guantanamo
— Sky Montique (@SkyMontique) July 8, 2013
Sometimes a big load of information is the hardest to hear or watch. Much love to Yasiin Bey.