Yemen’s New Ways of Protesting Drone Strikes: Graffiti and Poetry

Citizen Media at Manchester

Street artists and poets in Yemen campaign against American drone strike

US drone attacks in Yemen

A Yemeni boy looks at graffiti depicting a U.S. drone at a street in Sana’a, Yemen, Nov. 6, 2013.

An American drone hovers along a main thoroughfare in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. Not a real drone, but rather a 7 foot-long rendition of an unmanned aircraft spray-painted near the top of a whitewashed city wall. Below it, a stenciled-on child is writing: “Why did you kill my family?” in blood-red English and Arabic script.

Painted by Yemeni artist Murad Subay, the Banksy-esque mural sits beside three others also admonishing the United States’ use of drones in Yemen to track and kill terrorism suspects. This drone art is part of Subay’s latest campaign, “12 Hours”, which aims to raise awareness about twelve problems facing Yemen, including weapons proliferation, sectarianism, kidnapping and poverty. Drones are the fifth and arguably most striking “hour” yet…

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