Art of Captivity / Arte del Cautiverio

By Kevin Lewis O’Neill and Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela

© 2020

Through a series of rich photographs, Art of Captivity / Arte del Cautiverio tells a compelling story about the war on drugs in Central America. The book focuses on the country of Guatemala, now the principle point of transit for the cocaine that is produced in the Andes and bound for the United States and Canada. Alongside a spike in the use of crack cocaine, Guatemala City has witnessed the proliferation of Pentecostal drug rehabilitation centers. The centers are sites of abuse and torment, but also lifesaving institutions in a country that does not provide any other viable social service to those struggling with drug dependency.

Art of Captivity / Arte del Cautiverio explores these centers as architectural forms, while also showcasing the cultural production that takes place inside them, including drawings and letters created by those held captive. This stunning work of visual ethnography humanizes those held inside these centers, breaks down stereotypes about drug use, and sets the conditions for a hemispheric conversation about prohibitionist practices – by revealing intimate portraits of a population held hostage by a war on drugs.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 168 pages
  • Illustrations: 66
  • Dimensions: 7.9in x 0.5in x 10.0in
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SKU# HE000856

  • PUBLISHED NOV 2020
    From: $28.95
    ISBN 9781487524807
  • PUBLISHED NOV 2020

    From: $45.00

    Regular Price: $60.00

    ISBN 9781487507121
  • PUBLISHED NOV 2020
    From: $23.95
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Quick Overview

This bilingual photography book investigates the complexities of today’s war on drugs by examining the art and architecture of Guatemala City’s Pentecostal drug rehabilitation centers.

Art of Captivity / Arte del Cautiverio

By Kevin Lewis O’Neill and Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela

© 2020

Through a series of rich photographs, Art of Captivity / Arte del Cautiverio tells a compelling story about the war on drugs in Central America. The book focuses on the country of Guatemala, now the principle point of transit for the cocaine that is produced in the Andes and bound for the United States and Canada. Alongside a spike in the use of crack cocaine, Guatemala City has witnessed the proliferation of Pentecostal drug rehabilitation centers. The centers are sites of abuse and torment, but also lifesaving institutions in a country that does not provide any other viable social service to those struggling with drug dependency.

Art of Captivity / Arte del Cautiverio explores these centers as architectural forms, while also showcasing the cultural production that takes place inside them, including drawings and letters created by those held captive. This stunning work of visual ethnography humanizes those held inside these centers, breaks down stereotypes about drug use, and sets the conditions for a hemispheric conversation about prohibitionist practices – by revealing intimate portraits of a population held hostage by a war on drugs.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 168 pages
  • Illustrations: 66
  • Dimensions: 7.9in x 0.5in x 10.0in
  • Reviews

    "Intensely probing and deeply moving, Art of Captivity / Arte del Cautiverio shatters our abstractions of how the war on drugs refigures social life and humanness across the Americas. People’s arts of living and escaping are not lost to history in this creative photo-ethnography, which so hauntingly redirects our ethical and political imagination."


    João Biehl, author of Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment and co-editor of Unfinished: The Anthropology of Becoming

    "Art of Captivity / Arte del Cautiverio offers a very different perspective on the effects of the war on drugs, on incarceration, on the role of religion. This book raises a lot of interesting – and urgent – questions about violence, addiction, and creativity in the midst of captivity. Superbly written and supported by powerful and jarring images, Kevin O'Neill and Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela provide enough context that even readers not familiarized with Guatemala can follow the narrative. This unique book will generate lots of conversations with both undergraduates and general readers."


    Javier Auyero, Department of Sociology, University of Texas, Austin

    "This is an urgent work that uncovers a world of captivity, regeneration and collective impotence. The text is concise, poignant, and perfectly clear, and the photos are striking."


    Claudio Lomnitz, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

    "Art of Captivity/Arte del Cautiverio takes us into the nearly invisible world of Pentecostal drug rehabilitation centers in Guatemala City where pastors incarcerate drug users who then wait long days—years even—for the miracle of salvation from addiction. By means of their deeply emplaced and probing photo-ethnography, Kevin O'Neill and Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela serve as powerful witnesses to the stultifying life inside these facilities as well as the artistic efforts and collaborative insights of the captives."


    Carol Hendrickson, Marlboro College
  • Author Information

    Kevin Lewis O’Neill is a professor in the Department for the Study of Religion and the director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto.


    Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela is a Mansueto Institute Fellow and Sociology Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction / Introducción
    1.Façade / Fachada
    2.Captivity / Cautiverio
    3.Freedom / Libertad
    4. Art / Arte
    Conclusion / Conclusión
    Methodology / Metodología
    Works Consulted / Trabajos consultados

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