NotABugSplat Photo

NotABugSplat Reminds Us Drone Strikes Are Not A Game

A Pakistan-based collective of artists has created a new project to put a human face to the US’ indiscriminate drone strikes. Following the inspiration of the French photographer JR, the NotABugSplat project has created a giant poster of an unnamed child said to have lost her family to a US drone strike. This poster has been stretched out on the ground near a group of homes in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, and has been designed to be clearly visible from a drone’s camera.

Drone operators are able to drop bombs remotely, in a manner which some operators have compared to playing a video game. According to a 2012 Rolling Stone article, the term “bug splat” has been used to describe the human remains left behind following the strike. By making the image of a child visible to the drone operators, NotABugSplat hopes to “create empathy and introspection amongst drone operators,” reminding them that the casualties of the drone strikes are often innocent human lives.

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