JESS SHANE

Audio Producer + Community Artist

Photo by Jordan Scott

Photo by Jordan Scott

AMBIENT, SIr

After studying interrogation transcripts from Guantánamo Bay detention camp, Jordan Scott, a poet who stutters, grew interested in how detainees' stutters were systematically interpreted as signs of their dishonesty.

Scott applied to tour the prison to interview interrogators about this, but at the last minute was informed that his interviews wouldn't be possible.

With Guantánamo's strict censorship policies in mind, Scott changed tactics. He asked to record ambient sound at the prison instead. Gitmo officials, though puzzled, obliged.

This piece considers how institutional silence can be documented and represented, and the possibility of listening in spaces of trauma. It features Scott's field recordings from both his prison media tour and a night visit he took to Camp X-Ray - now the site of an active war crimes investigation. Commissioned by Falling Tree Productions for BBC’s podcast Short Cuts.

This documentary contains Scott's field recordings and retelling of events from his visit.

You can learn more about Jordan and his research at Guantanamo here

Ambient, Sir was commissioned and produced for BBC Short Cuts and edited by Eleanor McDowall. It was featured in the official selection of the International Features Conference in Cork, Ireland in 2019.