Gaming in Waziristan

21 July 2011

Reprieve founder Clive Stafford Smith and Pakistani human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar will speak at 6.30 pm at the Beaconsfield contemporary art gallery, introducing an exhibition of images related to unmanned aircraft ' drone' attacks in Pakistan.

The gallery is curating a show that includes some photographs and videos of the havoc wrought by drones firing missiles in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. The photos will be published for the first time next week.

Reprieve founder Clive Stafford Smith, along with Pakistani human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar who helped Reprieve secure these photographs, will speak, introducing the images and the issues, at Beaconsfield, 22 Newport Street, London SE11 6AY +44 (0)20 7582 6465

Reprieve will independently be promoting our new project “Bugsplat” at the event.  “Bugsplat” is the official term used by the US authorities when human beings are successfully killed with drone missiles – whether they are significant terrorists or (more commonly, it seems) innocent civilians.

The implications of this novel form of videogame warfare are profound: how likely is it that the US soldiers and CIA civilians operating drones from 13000 km away will hit the right person in the middle of the night? How can people surrender to a drone that is plying the sky above their homes? What is the US doing using drones in Pakistan anyway, given that the US is not at war with their ally?

Reprieve is issuing a call to (peaceful) arms to artists and supporters of all stripes to join the discourse on this crucial issue. Please come to the event, learn about our latest project, and join the debate. We hope that this will be the first of several joint projects between Reprieve and artists on the issue.

Note: while Beaconsfield is kindly presenting this event in the context of the exhibition Gaming in Waziristan, the goals and aims set out above are those solely of Reprieve, and should not be attributed to the gallery. 

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