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Tina Farifteh

Thousands of people died in drone attacks. The psychological impact of this constant threat from above is enormous. The Dutch-Iranian Tina Farifteh shows innocent skies of the days of attack in another part of the world. What is it like to fearfully look up at a beautiful clear sky, when drones have the best view?

Killer Skies

Armed drones are an efficient way of waging war. Since 2001, the US military has been using them in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. They ‘enable you to exercise your power without showing vulnerability’, concluded a former air force officer. Between seven and ten thousand people have died in drone attacks in the past three years. The psychological impact of this constant threat is enormous.

‘These drones have turned the eye into a weapon’, says Tina Farifteh (Iran, 1982). She tried to imagine what it is like to fear a beautiful clear sky, when drones have the best view. Every day she photographed the sky and searched the database of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism whether a drone attack had taken place that day. On average, she counted one attack every four days. She only shows us skies of the days of attack.

What does this technology mean for the future of warfare, asks Farifteh. ‘Is it still war if the opponent can not defend himself? And what does it mean for democracy when citizens are barely aware of the structural war that their country is involved in?’ The Iranian-Dutch Farifteh attends the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

Read an interview with Tina Farifteh here.