There’s been no shortage of news for the past ten years about drones. Drones have become synonymous with the face of war in the 21st century. Hailed for their ability to keep the American warfighter out of harm’s way, understandable, and criticized for the unfeelingness that those same war fighters have towards their targets, also understandable, when you learn that drone kills of humans are often referred to as ‘bug splats.’ Whatever your stance on the matter, you’ll find opposition to it.
It seems, as has been the case throughout many a war and troubled time, that it is the artists who are, in fact, trying to usher in a world that’s more peaceful and humane. All artists, from musicians, to graffiti artists like Banksy, and photographers, often highlight what is wrong with the world, in an effort to fix it. They often see from a different angle, and their creativity is the means of communicating peace.
There’s a project titled #notabugsplat, whose aim is to bring attention to drone operators and their superiors, and the world public, that their kills are people and often innocent, and that life should never be referred to as a ‘bug splat.’ They have released an aerial photograph of a huge poster spread in a field that shows a girl who is a victim of drone attacks. The child lives, but now without parents and siblings, due to their being killed in American drone attacks. They are not alone. It’s estimated that over 400 innocent people have been killed by drones and almost 200 of those, children.
It should be noted here that there are a handful of drone operators who have left their jobs and gone public with harrowing stories. They’ve expressed how their involvement in such incidents, and the lack of emotion felt in killing other people from the other side of the planet.
I’ve personally spent a little time with one. He, like some others, felt there should be a requirement for operators to actually have a full dossier on the people they killed, and view the results of their actions, and the suffering brought on by them. They are compassionate people. Some. And I can only imagine that something like this, a photography project with high hopes, will bring more emotion to remote killing. It’ll also help, hopefully, a younger generation of photographers to see their work can have more meaning than could be achieved through a selfie.
Source and Images via: Gizmodo