Reality strikes: Dronestagram shows photos of drone hits

Dronestagram, the new project showing aerial photos of recent drone strikes, complete with the details of the villages and the death tolls is the debated website of the day. Is this an altruistic way of providing eye-opening information or is it one step towards Hunger Games style voyeurism?

That can only depend on the mind of the viewer, but according to the founder of the project, UK freelance writer and artist James Bridle, he created the project as a way of forcing the reality of drone warfare into our consciousness.

He explained to Buzzfeed:

"The Dronestagram project is another way to make these things more visible and immediate. We don't see them, or where they work, and it makes it easier to ignore — it's why I'm choosing to do this within networks like Instagram and Tumblr, which are more integrated into people's daily lives."

To be clear, the photos themselves are not of devastated countryside or villages after the strikes themselves. They are a collection of Google flyover and satellite shots taken before the strikes. Since the actual strikes themselves are often classified information they are best guess photos of the Pakistani, Yemeni or Somalian villages within a few miles.

The pictures may be innocuous, but the data along with them is what makes the psychological impact. Some shots include data on the number of people killed or injured, the names of the al-Qaeda targets and whether civilians may have died at that location.

In fact, the photo above? The site reports people died there.

Bridle gets his information from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based nonprofit that compiles information from government, academic and news reports. He hopes to expand the project to include drone information from other countries such as Israel and Turkey, as well as adding other information sources.

It's a sobering project that will no doubt court controversy about how much information is too much — or whether it's bringing to light facts we need to be conscious of.

You can decided for yourself should you come across his images on Instagram or Tumblr, or choose to visit his website.

James Bridle/Dronestgram, via Buzzfeed, Mashable, Gizmodo

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