Drone- Kazim Ali


I selected this poem for illumination because of the author’s beautiful use of imagery to describe a relatively modern concept, the fear of drone attacks, in a way that is purely emotional. In other words, Kazim uses the title of the poem to characterize the subject matter of it, as, without it, the poem could be about a large variety of subjects. Also, I am a large fan of mixing science and poetry, and I believe this particular poem does it very well, as the tone convey’s an emotion behind the science of drone attacks, rather than just explaining that they are a terrifying thing. The final line in the poem struck me in particular, as the author’s fear and uncertainty he feels towards his situation in life is shown in the form of him questioning his place and his identity on this earth.

For my illumination, I wanted to capture the author’s emotional tone of the poem, the authors fear, while still maintaining a science-fiction-esque image. Also, I wanted to keep it relatively medieval in how the illumination looks, which was a huge part of the inclusion of more symbolic imagery, as opposed to more literal imagery. The two faces, one with the eyes covered, and one with the mouth covered is meant to represent the effect of drone technology on humanity, as the blocked eyes represent not being able to see the drones, while the blocked mouth represents the hopelessness of the victims. Between them, and above them, is a sun with a peace sign, a star, and a moon inside of it, and coming from it is a beam shooting down to the bottom of the image. This is meant to represent the sky at any given time, where the drone attacks are coming from. The beam in the middle begins with 1’s and 0’s to represent binary code, or the transmission of that code, which ultimately turns into an explosive beam at the bottom, characterizing the path the drone attack takes. The satellite and radio tower represent both sides of the attack. My reasoning for putting the entire image in a frame was to keep in practice with more medieval illuminations.

Before talking about this subject in class and completing this workshop, I did not really think much on the relationship of text and image. I believed them to be separate from each other, but complimentary towards the other, meaning that they can exist as separate entities, but still have a relationship with the other. My understanding that has changed in that I now see the relationship as a multi-faceted one, meaning that the image and the text can not just be understood one way, but a plethora of ways, ultimately changing how the text and image are understood depending the way they are interpreted. I guess what I am trying to say in short is that the relationship is in the eye of the beholder.



One thought on “Drone- Kazim Ali

  1. I’m very much impressed by your artistic skill here, John! The image reflects your careful thinking about the poem’s content, particularly the fear of a drone attack, even going so far as to represent the binary code that governs the functioning of the drone.

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