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.
125 thoughts on “A giant art installation targets predator drone operators”
brilliant initiative .. i am with you guys
you are doing a great job (y)
A fascinating idea. It’s great to see artists using their talents to really try and affect change and help the most vulnerable amongst us. Great work!
Beautiful & powerful work, a shame and a tragedy that it is necessary!
Nice gender diversity in those photos.
Brilliant idea! Beautiful children in the photograph.
It’s kind of a heart breaking blog post, I hate to see that some people are treated exactly or even worse than bugs. And indeed I think it’s a briliant idea, hopefully times will change and innocent won’t have to suffer.
And not to forget, I think that the world has to pay way more attention to this than a commercial…
Great idea to raise issue of illegal Drone strikes on Pakistan.Totally with you.
Please can we also have 70000 #NotBugSplat posters outside the homes of those #Pakistanis who were slaughtered by Taliban (TTP) terrorism via bombs & slit throats.
I wish what you say is also picked up by the artist otherwise the poster will depict only one side of the story.
so you mean that anyone who is murdered by drone attacks enemies of those who are killed by bomb blasts etc?
No, both are same side of story not opposite ones. both are murdered by butchers.
p.s. this campaign is against killings of innocents not terrorists etc.
How’s about the Pakistan authorities arresting and prosecuting the people who have killed 70,000 citizens by bombs and slitting throats? Drones are used by people acting as judge, jury and executioner without evidence. Drones are murder weapons. Murder is a local problem whereas mass murder of foreigners is an international problem. I saw German drones over England during WW2 …… I was 7 when the war ended … been there, done that, seen the film, got the tee shirt. These #NotBugSplat artists are doing a brilliant job!!!!
It is so so fucked up that this is necessary, but thank you for your beautiful response to the insanity.
This is a beautiful post and the girl in the photo is so innocent, so pure and the way these drones have harmed her…its scary for me to these read comments which express empathy for the children but say using these machines is necessary. I mean, it is so ingrained in your brains that this is the ONLY means to fight the Taliban. Do you actually think so? Do you actually think that with all our technology and all our creativity, this is all we can come up with? It might be the easiest. But really, the only one?
Well, I’d like to ask, would you like a government to hunt down criminals in this way among you? Especially a foreign government?
Any way of hunting down terrorists in a way that puts innocent people’s lives at risk should not be used. Instead a better method should be thought about and brought to actuality. It might be easier for you to accept this girl’s fate, living comfortably in your homes, but actually for a moment try to imagine her reality and her memories and the environment she will be living in. And please, really think about it and then say, drones are necessary.
This is brilliant. Let’s hope it works!
And also the idea that, “Well, the Taliban are killing them anyway, so lets just kill them some more” is also very dangerous. Believe me, I hate the Taliban, I wish they never existed, the amount of horrific crimes they have committed, I don’t know how they live with themselves. But these sacrifices for greater good are NOT necessary, they shouldn’t happen, there has to be a better way but I don’t find anybody working on it!
excellent idea, may help these heartless killers have some sense, before pressing that button
Brilliant and beautiful initiative. It’s a tragedy that it was required in the first place.
I wish humans would “grow up” and become more sensitive to other humans’ suffering.
Love and best wishes from India.
Such a beautiful idea with such heart breaking context! Nice job KPK govt.
A very touching story. Count me in
I think that the world has to pay way more attention to this
And if we all think, drones have a conscience….God have mercy on us.
i want a job any one.
Wonderful initiative. I hope this brings some sanity to the “bug squashers”.
This is an excellent idea. Opposing military aggression with anger and hatred fuels continued aggression. It is better to appeal to conscience, so that the aggressor wakes up and realizes “What we are doing is wrong.”
Nice Very Nice
ok, now taliban will rent the house near that picture
Excellent way to bring this to the world’s attention – thank you!
Humans can act in ways to make them of the highest moral creatures, and at the same also act to become the lowest of the low. Thank you for your effort.
Great work. I’ve done a premonitory work in 1980 about war technology that than is used by all. Full crcle now 😦
Brilliant Idea, let’s all step up and support this great initiative pls.
Just a wonderful project and my heart laments~!~
Great work and Idea. May be the artists could make the drawing available to us on line to spread across the planet.
You can. Visit http://www.insideoutproject.net/en to learn how.
Another way that shows how art can help the world. Hopefully this effort works.
This is a truly moving response to the atrocity that is the loss of any life. I wish you will in your continued efforts and know that there is support out there!
What a brilliant intelligent way to remind us of the values these drones are supposed to defend.
This is non-violent political resistance at its best.
I am ashamed of our Interventionist Foreign Policy. We have become our worst enemy. As Ron Paul has said countless times, we need to mind our own business. Folks, the blood of Abel screams from the ground.
This is Amazing work and will make a difference like I think it already has!
Hello, I am the Editor of Zardozi Magazine (zardozimagazine.com). May we use this image in our Spring/Summer issue? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
More power to all of you. It gives me the shivers to think they use the term ‘bug splat’ -horrific.
Are you putting up more pictures like this one?
Brilliant idea and very powerful!
I sincerely hope that this helps. It should be put on the roofs of the houses though – otherwise it takes up valuable field space, and the locals will probably remove it so that they can grow their crops. Physiological needs come before safety needs…
shameful drone campaign from the US, which is killing all those civilian people as ‘collateral damage’. Why does the public press in the West not talk about these actions more
“Look who are you killing, stupid soldier”. Nice and necessary work!
CAPITALISM KILLS INNOCENT PEOPLE.
Please elaborate. You may start by defining ‘Capitalism’.
Thank you for creating a beautiful, moving work of great power. Let’s all hope it touches their hearts deeply, if only for a moment, and makes them feel their humanity/inhumanity.
Beautiful idea. Hope it’s the start of many to come as others take initiative to make the headlines.
‘The Drone That Killed My Grandson’