Sophie Scholl visits Boubacar Bah from the other side
Sophie Scholl makes a rare appearance from the other side to visit Boubacar Bah at his deathbed in a prison cell at the Corrections Corp. of America prison, Newark, New Jersey, spring 2007
Media: Ink, gouache, pencil, colored pencil
Framed, 28.5 in H x 35 W
Boubacar Bah was an illegal immigrant in the U.S. who supported families in Guinea and in New York from 1989 through his arrest by INS in 2007. He worked as a tailor. He had gone back to Guinea to see family and then was arrested by INS on his return; he had overstayed his original visa issued in 1989.
Bah was murdered by the intentional neglect of prison staff, medical staff and Federal U.S. government agents who monitored a privately operated contract prison in Newark, New Jersey, 2007. He had severely injured himself from a fall on his head, and Corrections Corp. of American prison guards, prison medical staff, and Federal agents who monitored the prison chose to ignore his condition, which included foaming at the mouth, incoherent responses and vomiting. Four months after going into a coma he died in spring 2007.
The drawing was inspired by a New York Times article by Nina Bernstein, “Few Details on Immigrants who Die in Custody,” May 5, 2008., article © NYTimes. Excerpts from the article’s text were drawn by the artist in pencil throughout background areas of the drawing.
Sophie Scholl, a Protestant and student at the Univ. of Munich, was a member of the White Rose anti-Nazi resistance group. Sophie, her brother Hans and their friend Christoph Probst were guillotined on Feb. 22, 1943 for having distributed leaflets at the campus critical of the regime. An academic member of the group, Karl Huber, and student Alexander Schmorell were executed on on July 13, 1943, and student Wili Graf was executed on Oct. 12, 1943.
The last White Rose member to be executed was Hans Conrad Leielt, who had distributed leaflets in Hamburg, was executed on Jan. 29, 1945.
M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery, Seattle Central College, 2013.