A Bone to Pick With Genocide? Try a Million
June 12, 2013
Grantee News From One Million Bones:
For 48 hours, the grass on the National Mall disappeared underneath a sea of white and grey “bones,” a symbolic mass grave on the footsteps of the U.S. Capitol. The One Million Bones project is a public art installation created to protest genocide and raise awareness of ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Burma and Somalia.
Installation artist and activist Naomi Natale conceived of the project in 2009 while the violence in Sudan was unfolding. She was reading Philip Gourevitch’s well-known recounting of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families.”
“I felt moved to make the reality of what was being described [in the book into] something we in the United States could see,” Natale told the PBS NewsHour. One Million Bones embodies what Natale called “the art of the uncomfortable and the inconvenient.”
Partnering with poet Susan McAllister in her hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., Natale founded Art of Revolution, a nonprofit dedicated to using art for social change, and began organizing One Million Bones locally. From there, they branched out to New Orleans and began coordinating with 2,000 schools around the country, encouraging teachers to incorporate education about genocide and bone-making workshops into their curriculum.
“Art allows for a connection on an emotional level,” says Natale. More >
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