Attention Drone Operators: You Could Be Killing This Child!
April 07, 2014
This is one of those, "a picture is worth a thousand words" stories.
An artists collective has installed a massive poster of a child in an area of Pakistan that is said to be heavily bombed by drone operators, according to #NotABugSplat. The Twitter handle and Facebook page refers to a particularly insensitive piece of military jargon, "bug splat," that is used to describe drone kills. Apparently, a human body looks like a bug splat through the grainy images drone operators view.
According to the Facebook page, the poster was unfurled in the "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 poster is said to be large enough to be captured by satellites collecting landscapes for online mapping sites.
Artists associated with French artist JR’s ‘Inside Out’ movement traveled to the remote province, and with the help of "highly enthusiastic locals, unrolled the poster amongst mud huts and farms," according to the Facebook page. "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."
According to the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, the child in the poster lost both her parents and two young siblings in a drone attack.