Molly Crabapple

  • Caught Between ISIS and Assad

    “ISIS are good fighters, but we fucked them,” Yusuf Halap said in fluent English. I was sitting with Yusuf and two other young media activists in the Bab al Salam camp for internally displaced Syrians, a hundred yards south of the Turkish border. Bab al Salam houses 20,000 refugees, mostly women and children. Under dusty tarps, these refugees live in horrid conditions.

  • I Confronted Donald Trump in Dubai

    Donald Trump's hair should not be. It sits on his head like a soufflé, both airy and solid, as improbable as any building to which he’s given his name. At a press conference last month, I asked him about the paltry wages his company pays to the migrant workers constructing luxury villas bearing his name. It did not go well.

  • Photo Real: On Photoshop, Feminism, and Truth

    While websites delight in publishing un-retouched outtakes of Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham, Faith Hill, and the like, it's not Photoshop that misleads us. Photos themselves are already lies.

  • Theater of Justice

    In the past three years, I've sketched many courtrooms and seen the “widget factory” that is the criminal justice system firsthand. Courtrooms are a violent theater. The violence happens off-scene, but the courtroom itself is the performative space, the stage where the best story triumphs and "justice" is rarely found.

  • Project ROSE Is Arresting Sex Workers in Arizona to Save Their Souls

    A moralistic program in Phoenix arrests sex workers in massive raids and brings them to a church, where they are held extrajudicially and offered alternative sentences without lawyers, judges, or due process.

  • On Turning 30

    Age is a weapon society uses against women. Each year that you gain comfort in your own flesh, your flesh is seen as worth less. Thirty, like 40 or 50, is a demarcation line, but a particularly loaded one. Cross it, says the world, and you leave the trifling-but-addictive privileges of girlhood behind.

  • The Horror of the Blank Page: A Conversation with Art Spiegelman

    Art was in his Borgesian-library/studio—“The Haus that Maus Built”—surrounded by a century’s worth of illustration books. He climbed a ladder propped against his tall, wooden shelves like a mad archivist, grinning, pulling out the volume that might best speak to my ink-stained heart.

  • Inside a Guantanamo Bay Prison Tour - Molly Crabapple Returns to Guantanamo Bay

    After VICE published my piece about my first visit to Gitmo, a Department of Defense spokesman phoned my editor, upset that I'd made him look like “a tool.” A former camp doctor, Monty Granger, sent me over 100 tweets calling me a “#pathetic #Islamist #apologist.”

  • It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This

    A T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan IT DON’T GITMO BETTER THAN THIS is perhaps the definitive physical manifestation of globalization. Sewn in Honduras and sold by Jamaican contractors on land rented from Cuba, the shirt celebrates an American prison holding Muslims who’ve been declared enemies in the war on terror.

  • Molly Crabapple Draws Guantanamo's Camp X-Ray

    Camp X-Ray is the first place that the US held detainees in Guantanamo. Captives lived there for four months in 2002 while the military built permanent prison camps. Prisoners lived in open mesh cages under the brutal Cuban sun. Their cells had no running water. Guards gave them two buckets: one for water and one for shit.