“Baseball practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. According to records obtained from the FAA, which issued 1,428 domestic drone permits between 2007 and early 2013, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Navy have applied for drone authorization in Montgomery County.”
Image and caption by Tomas van Houtryve/VII. United States, 2014.
In Blue Sky Days, photographer and Pulitzer Center grantee Tomas van Houtryve frames the notion of drone warfare in a context close to home. He mounts his camera on a quadcopter purchased over the internet, a drone, and shoots his subjects from the air as they go about their daily lives. He remains anonymous throughout, similar to how might the pilot of a drone flown as a weapon of war.
It’s sometimes said that social media lobbying is the ultimate in armchair activism, but are there lessons to be learnt from Nigeria?
This weekend saw one example: Yusuf Siyaka Onimisi had been detained for 12 days apparently for tweets he posted showing an embarrassing jailbreak in the capital Abuja.
He was released and is back with his family. On hearing murmurings of his disappearance, Nigerians on social media began to investigate - verifying if the story was true, tracking down his friends and relatives, then launching a campaign for his release using the hashtag #FreeCiaxon (@ciaxon is his username on Twitter). The protest on Twitter went to the streets too, with demonstrations in cities including Lagos, Ibadan, Kano and Kaduna.