kony2012

The #NotaBugSplat Art Piece in Pakistan Won’t Be Making Drone Pilots Feel Empathy

Earlier today, many publications, including VICE News, started reporting on a large art display in Northern Pakistan. Photos depict an open field or a rural farm on which a giant portrait of a young girl has been unraveled. It’s part of a project called #NotABugSplat.

Saks Afridi, the online PR rep for the project, says “for now, we’re an artist collective from Pakistan, USA, and France.” He won’t divulge precisely who else is involved for the time being. The French component, however, is reported to have been JR, who you may know from his sweet, humanity-affirming art, or his downright saccharine TED Talk.

As The Verge observed, #NotABugSplat is meant to show people coming together to say, “We exist.” In short, it’s like Banksy meets Kony 2012: Straight-up, uncut internet heroin.

Continue

Facebook, marked by its insular communities, segregation and siloed realities, was the central engine for Kony 2012. This, and the nascent status of “black Twitter,” created conditions under which the “white savior” mentality thrived. While white Americans who participated in Kony 2012 were purchasing a tool kit or contributing to “justice” with their clicks and dollars, they didn’t have to inconvenience or challenge their privilege or identity.

Movements to address injustice when the victims are African American don’t have the same formula. So it’s no wonder that since 2012, there has not been a #Trayvon2013, a movement for #Renisha2013 or a #Ferguson2014. It’s no wonder there have been no viral videos on #Every28HoursABlackManIsKilled, or mainstream efforts to galvanize national attention for Eric Garner or Marissa Alexander or countless others.