Giant artwork shows drone pilots their victims



On drone pilots’ screens, the people that they target look as tiny as bugs. That’s why they sometimes call their killings “bug splats”. A collective of artists is now trying to show them the faces of their victims, in a way they can’t ignore.


A massive portrait of a young drone victim was installed in the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan, where drone attacks regularly take place. Locals helped unfurl the giant poster. The parents of the girl in the photo were reportedly killed in a strike.


A group of locals posing in front of the poster. 


According to organizers, the oversized project, called “Not a Bug Splat”, is meant not only to give drone pilots pause, but also to get photographed by satellites, and thus captured for posterity on online mapping sites like Google Earth.


The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which tracks drone strikes, estimates that at least 2,290 people have been killed in Pakistan strikes since 2004. At least 168 of these were children.


The poster, seen from the ground.