Nearly two years ago, Alibi writer Summer Olsson told you about the One Million Bones art exhibition, an ambitious large-scale project designed to honor victims and survivors of genocide in Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma and Somalia. Both a disturbing reminder of the human cost of mass atrocities and a fundraiser to anti-genocide organizations, the project is finally coming to a head this weekend in Washington D.C., where one million bones will be laid out in the National Mall.
On August 27, 2011, a preview installation of 50,000 bones was placed at the intersection of Fourth and Central by Albuquerque volunteers. Now, after three years of planning, education and hard work, the complete exhibit will unfold June 8 through 10 in our nation's capital. Each one of the million artwork bones, handmade by students, artists and activists from around the world, "represents a call to action, a story, a voice."
The project, which was born in Albuquerque, is headed by Naomi Natale. Speakers and performers, including Albuquerque's Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy, will be present, and a candlelight vigil will take place Sunday evening.
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Spectral figures clad in white float into the intersection of Fourth and Central. They carry armfuls of bones, which they deposit on the ground. As they retreat, more couriers appear and they too place dozens of skeletal pieces in the street. The cycle continues until 50,000 white offerings fill the crossroads. This is the first round of the activist art installation One Million Bones, and it happens on Saturday, Aug. 27.