While practices of visibility, visuality, and visualization have long impacted migration, recently the drone's-eye view has become part of the iconology and iconography of mobility. With the European “migration crisis” of 2015, varieties of drones were used by states to securitize borders, by NGOs to increase accountability and to aid migrants, and by independent drone photojournalists to document the event. This article discusses how the politics of drone use involves understanding the homologies between militarism, securitization, and humanitarianism in the history of the aerial view, and why drone ethics are intertwined with drone aesthetics. Focusing on the photojournalism of Rasmus Degnbol and Rocco Rorandelli, it argues that, while humanitarian drone images are becoming increasingly mundane and unremarkable in news media, there is an aporia immanent to such images, which require confrontation with histories of racialization and colonialism. It seeks to cultivate “aesthetic literacy” in drone journalism by addressing the way humanitarian events are being revisualized through remote technologies that are underpinned by histories of targeting and racialization in which “the human” is often hardly visible at all.

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