The latest work in street artist JR‘s “Inside Out” series aims to remind military drone pilots that their victims are not faceless, anonymous specks, but people with lives and families. Often, they are children.
This particular child, whose name was not released, lost two siblings and both of her parents in a Predator drone strike. A group of artists, using the printing technology behind JR’s work, placed a massive portrait of the girl in Pakistan’s Pukhtoonkhwa region, where drones have killed over 200 people. Now, they hope, pilots flying overhead might see her face and be reminded of their victims’ humanity. The artists write on their website:
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 title of the work, Not a Bug Splat, to a particularly cringe-inducing drone operator colloquialism. “In military slang,” the artists write, “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.”
See ANIMAL’s video interview with JR here.