London / 15th June / 2013 / 10:00am
We found ourselves crammed into a modest East London studio with a small white washed cove and a few lights. A very last minute zero budget shoot for charity Reprieve and Don't Panic London. The setting proved to be ideal. The objective was to document the process of force feeding, not shoot a slick music video.
Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, volunteered to be force-fed according to standard Guantanamo operating procedure.
The result was a video that shocked the world.
5 million + Current YouTube Views
135k + Current Shares
1,170 + Hunger strike days pledged at Stand Fast for Justice
Desperate men seek desperate measures. And after years locked up with no end in sight, no trial, no charges and, in many cases, clearance for release, the men in Guantanamo Bay are desperate enough to hunger strike to focus the world’s attention on their plight. They are force-fed to keep them alive, a horrific procedure that robs them of the one thing they have left: their dignity.
The Guardian.co.uk recorded its 3rd busiest day ever. The video received 1.25M views there on day one alone – The video was the number 1 featured video on YouTube a day after it’s launch – ‘Yasiin Bey’ was the top trending topic on Twitter on the day of release. ‘Mos Def’ was also in the top ten – Mos Def was in Google’s top ten most searched terms in both the US and UK – The video was the 7th most shared video in the world three days after its launch – It was picked up by just about every major news agency and entertainment outlet on both sides of the Atlantic including:Mail Online, Washington Post, New York Times, Time, MTV,CNN, Sky News, BBC World, Gawker, E Online – It was tweeted by notable figures including Michael Moore, Frankie Boyle, Busta Rhymes, Danny De Vito, Questlove Johnson, Caitlin Moran, Talib Kweli, Sir Patrick Stewart and even Dick Van Dyke