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Articles by Sundiata Acoli

Survivor Manual, compiled and edited by Bonnie Kerness, illustrated by Todd Tarselli and other talented artists, 90 pgs.

Book review by Sundiata Acoli

This is a Survivor Manual by survivors—so it can’t get much more real than that. Most of its contributors have spent many years in Control Units, some are still there while others have been back and forth multiple times.

A Control Unit, Control Prison, Supermax or SHU is by whatever name a Long-term Lock-down Unit designed to isolate, punish and preferably to break prisoners, sometimes maiming or killing them in the process. Control Units are serious business and are not to be taken lightly so that any valid information on how to survive them is valuable indeed. This small booklet provides that.

Each contributing man, woman or child tell in their own words how they survived or how to survive Control Units: the domestic Abu Ghraibs and Guantanomos that dot American. soil. Their stories tell not so much of the day to day atrocities of the Control Unit, though enough of its horrors are adequately described and artistically illustrated therein, but mainly they tell how to survive, how to come out perhaps bruised and definitely changed but with one’s core intact, oftentimes stronger than when one first entered or maybe even weaker ...

 

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