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Social Issues
This Giant Photo Gives A Human Face To Drone Strikes (& Other Great Projects From Artist JR)
April 14, 2014
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#NotABugSplat
1/15 OPEN GALLERY

Last week, a coalition of Pakistani artists made headlines around the world with the above image, an attempt to give a human face to the U.S. drone strikes that, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, have killed thousands in northwest Pakistan over the last decade. The photo allegedly shows a victim of one such strike, who died along with her parents and siblings, and the work's title, #NotABugSplat, appropriates a term used by drone operators to refer to a successful kill.

The coalition of artists — who haven't been individually identified — worked with the French street artist and photographer JR to create the giant photograph, which is intended to be visible to both drone operators and satellites above the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan. It's part of JR's Inside Out project, for which he solicits people from around the world to band together around a statement and submit their portraits. He then prints them out at large scale, and sends them back to the group leaders to paste up in their own communities. Here's his 2011 TED talk, where he launched the project:

To date, over 120,000 people from 108 countries have participated in the project, and in 2013, HBO made a documentary film about the series, Inside Out: The People's Art Project. Here's the trailer:

Take a look through the gallery above for more photos of #NotABugSplat, selected Inside Out installations, and some of JR's other projects and works.

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