Bombing London With Poetry

This past June, the Chilean arts group Los Casagrande dropped more than 100,000 poems, printed on scraps of paper, from a helicopter above central London in a performance titled the Bombing of Poems. They have done the same in Warsaw, Berlin, and Santiago — all cities which have been bombed during wartime.

Local government approved of the Bombing of Poems as a jubilant spectacle anticipating the pomp of the Olympic festivities to come, but the stunt’s meaning may be more ambiguous. Was the poetry drop an emergency measure in an era in which funding the arts has been deemed no longer possible, and the metropolis is dominated by finance? Is it a commentary on the blanketing of the city with propaganda?

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