Noor Behram

"American Predator"


March through November 2012

In a remote northern region of Pakistan, local resident and photographer Noor Behram has been documenting the U.S. government’s drone missile campaign, ongoing since 2004.

According to Behram, unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, carrying Hellfire missiles as part of the "War on Terrorism," fly frequently and directly near his home in North Waziristan.

Behram’s documentation includes photographs and video footage of the extant presence of drone activity in the tribal areas of Pakistan, as well as the aftermath of missile attacks aimed specifically at militant or extremist targets but exacting a higher cost to civilian populations than is officially reported. Targeted missiles have been reported to hit homes, public marketplaces and community meetings known as ‘jirga.’

Many of Behram’s images have been published in recent months, including this still image from a video shot in Dande Darpa Khel in North Waziristan, documenting a low-flying American Predator Drone, a familiar sight in the region.

Noor Behram/American Predator, selected by artist Trevor Paglen to accompanied the 2012 exhibition On Watch which explored contemporary surveillance strategies in art and global culture. The project was realized through the cooperation of Paglen, an American artist and writer known for creating work that explores the secret activities of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, and Reprieve UK, an international charity dedicated to providing legal and humanitarian assistance and whose current investigations include the CIA drone program.