This guest post by Naomi Natale originally appeared on the Genocide Intervention Network blog.
As a 2010 Carl Wilkens Fellow, I am excited for the opportunity to introduce a new project to the anti-genocide community. I am thrilled to announce that on March 14, 2010, the One Million Bones project officially launched in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
One Million Bones is a fundraising art installation designed to recognize the millions of victims who have been killed or displaced by ongoing genocides, creating a visual demand for solutions to this issue. Our mission is to increase global awareness of these atrocities while raising the critical funds needed to protect and aid displaced and vulnerable victims.
The goal of One Million Bones is for one million people to each create one bone to represent one victim of genocide. In the spring of 2013, each bone will be installed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Like a mass grave, the installation will recall the millions of victims of genocide, and demand action from the American people, our policy makers, and the worldwide community to end ongoing atrocities.
To raise funds, One Million Bones requests a sponsorship of $5 for each bone submitted in hopes of generating $5 million. Proceeds will be donated to our beneficiary organizations – Genocide Intervention Network, Enough, and Women for Women International.
To open the project up to a larger audience of people and to raise further funds, the project offers a second way to participate. This option will allow individuals who would like to be a part of the project but who cannot create a bone to make a $15 contribution that will enable a bone to be manufactured and sponsored in their name. These manufactured bones will be constructed of biodegradable materials impregnated with seeds. When the installation is completed, One Million Bones will distribute these bones to be buried with a foreseeable future of growth. That way this project will not end with the installation; rather, it will renew itself the following year. Hopefully, this regeneration will celebrate the end of one or more outbreaks of genocide; if not, it will reinvigorate the movement calling for an end to the atrocities.
The importance of this project within the anti-genocide movement lies in its mission to create a visual movement that is based on civic engagement and participation. One Million Bones offers an open, creative and educational environment in which students can address the issue of genocide. The project also offers an opportunity for individuals to find their voices in this movement, while creating a visual space where that voice will be heard and understood in a tangible way. But the most important component of this project is to use the momentum and participation to change the behavior of the international community regarding genocide.
I am excited for the opportunity to introduce this project to the anti-genocide community and to ask for your support. On behalf of the One Million Bones project, I invite all of you to be a part of it… to find your voice through your actions, your hands, your eyes, and your vision. For more information please visit our website at www.onemillionbones.org
Photo courtesy of One Million Bones