When Kennedy Died: Breaking the News (en)

On November 22nd, John F. Kennedy's day of death, people almost collectively remember where they were when they heard about his assassination. Today, we are constantly reminded of atrocities happening all over the world: push notifications are front and center and the news constantly breaks. And still, because of the sheer amount of information, we tend to quickly forget and we just swipe the news away. But how do we manage to remember when another alert is just around the corner? In 2014 I started the project „When Kennedy Died“. Based on data from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism I began to take pictures of all the places I was in when I heard about U.S. drones striking, among others, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen. I realized: in order to be reminded of something, first I have to remember.

Thus far, I have created around 100 square-shaped collages. They show on the left side a screenshot of the push notification, and on the right side a picture of the place I was in when I heard about the news: on the street, in the restroom, in bed, sometimes even playing a game on the very phone on which I received the message. Walking these same places again in my everyday life, I see myself remembering the drone strikes. It's a vague memory: I don't know the victims, I don't know their names, I don't know where exactly it happened. But what I do know is this: walking this soil that is unburdened by those drone strikes, I pulled into my world a distant reality that feels much closer once I interacted with it.

In this talk, I'd like to speak, in detail, about this piece I started over two years ago. I want to discuss unmanned drone strikes, their quite literal impact and what draws me personally to this topic. I will also get into the follow-up project that I felt was necessary to do. 

There will be a Q&A after the talk.