In military slang, Predator drone operators often refer to kills as ‘bug splats’, since viewing the body through a grainy video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed.
To challenge this insensitivity as well as raise awareness of civilian casualties, an artist collective installed a massive portrait facing up in the heavily bombed Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan, where drone attacks regularly occur. Now, when viewed by a drone camera, what an operator sees on his screen is not an anonymous dot on the landscape, but an innocent child victim’s face.
The installation is also designed to be captured by satellites in order to make it a permanent part of the landscape on online mapping sites.
The project is a collaboration of artists who made use of the French artist JR’s ‘Inside Out’ movement. Reprieve/Foundation for Fundamental Rights helped launch the effort which has been released with the hashtag #NotABugSplat
The child featured in the poster is nameless, but according to FFR, lost both her parents and two young siblings in a drone attack.
The group of artists traveled inside KPK province and, with the assistance of highly enthusiastic locals, unrolled the poster amongst mud huts and farms. It is their hope that this will create empathy and introspection amongst drone operators, and will create dialogue amongst policy makers, eventually leading to decisions that will save innocent lives.
24 thoughts on “A giant art installation targets predator drone operators”
Blessed are the peace makers. This is the way of the future, if we are to have a future.
This is a beautiful and powerful message. Well done!
The portrait speaks for itself. Conquer hate with love, evil with good, meanness with generosity, and lies with truth.
The portrait speak for itself. Conquer hate with love, evil with good, meanness with generosity, and lies with truth.
I love it, fight hatred with peace….this is whT they did with precious wars in training they called the Chinese “geeks” or other words,to,dehumanize the targets… The innocent are targets and victims of hateful brainwashed terrorists.
As a licensed and active pilot, I feel drone “pilots” and I use that term loosely are the biggest COWARDS on the planet, and I will gladly say it to their faces.
Reminds me of this comic by SMBC:
War is weird.
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