Pakistani Girl's Face Greets US Drone Operators

Artists unfurl huge poster to deter airstrikes

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 7, 2014 3:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – In a field in Pakistan, an international group of artists has installed a huge portrait of a girl's face to remind US drone operators who's really living down there, Yahoo reports. Locals helped unroll the 90'x60' poster two weeks ago in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area of northwest Pakistan, where drone strikes are reportedly common. The installation, called #NotaBugSplat, was inspired by drone operators' term for kills—"bug splats," says the project's website. "A grainy video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed," but now operators will see "an innocent child victim’s face," the site says.

The child went unnamed but apparently lost both parents and two young siblings in a drone strike. "We don't know if [the image] is still there or not," said a project rep, after villagers were encouraged to use the fabric for practical purposes like roofing. But it's getting attention now, after some 900 civilians may have been killed in 330 drone strikes over the past 10 years, according to Amnesty International (journalists have estimated the death toll at up to 3,646, RT.com reports). What's more, the collective that created the image—made up of artists from Pakistan, France, and the US—considers itself at risk in Pakistan and refused to divulge their names. "This area is pretty dangerous," the project rep said.

An image of the work, #NotaBugSplat, by an artists' collective including the French artist JR.
An image of the work, #NotaBugSplat, by an artists' collective including the French artist JR.   (notabugsplat.com)
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