Blue Sky Days will be on display at Berlin’s Museum for Photography with twelve gelatin-silver prints as part of the Watching You, Watching Me group exhibition from Feb. 17 to July 2, 2017.
Museum für Fotografie
About Blue Sky Days:
In October 2012, a drone strike in northeast Pakistan killed a 67-year-old woman picking okra outside her house. At a briefing held in 2013 in Washington, DC, the woman’s 13-year-old grandson, Zubair Rehman, spoke to a group of five lawmakers. “I no longer love blue skies,” said Rehman, who was injured by shrapnel in the attack. “In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey.”
With my camera attached to a small drone, I traveled across America to photograph the very sorts of gatherings that have become habitual targets for foreign air strikes—weddings, funerals and groups of people praying or exercising. I also flew my camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields, and the US-Mexico border. The images captured from the drone’s perspective engage with the changing nature of surveillance, personal privacy and war.
About Watching You, Watching Me:
What right do governments, corporations, and individuals have to collect and retain information on your daily communications? What tools – both today and in the past – have been used to monitor your activities? What are the immediate and far-reaching effects? As governments and corporations around the world expand their efforts to track the communications and activities of millions of people, this not only threatens our right to privacy, but also opens the door for information to be collected and used in ways that are repressive, discriminatory, and chill freedom of speech and expression.
It is in this context of massive information gathering that Watching You, Watching Me – the 22nd installment of the Open Society Foundations’ Moving Walls exhibition – explores how photography can be both an instrument of surveillance and a tool to expose and challenge its negative impact. In tackling the inherent difficulty of visualizing something that is meant to be both omnipresent and covert – seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time – the artists in this exhibition employ a dynamic range of approaches. Together, these 10 artists provide a satellite-to-street view of the ways in which surveillance culture blurs the boundaries between the private and public realm. These projects raise important and provocative questions about the role of privacy in preserving our basic freedoms and rights.
Watching You, Watching Me: A Photographic Response to Surveillance curated by Stuart Alexander, Susan Meiselas, and Yukiko Yamagata. Organized by the OSF – New York in cooperation with the Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.