|photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta/ AP|
|photo by Jonathan Ernst/ Reuters|
When you come from a place like my rural South Jersey area, you really don't expect to grow up with a world-changer. But if you attended the crop-field-surrounded Cumberland Regional High School in the late 1990's that assumption would be wrong. For the CRHS Class of 1999 produced Naomi Natale, co-founder of The Art of Revolution and founder and director of One Million Bones, the 2 groups which sponsored a 3-day campaign on the National Mall in DC this past weekend to serve as a call to end genocide and mass atrocities worldwide.
Under Natale's direction for a powerful collision of art and activism, volunteers from around the country created a poignant "mass grave" on the Mall that displayed more than 1 million handmade human bones constructed from clay, plaster, and other materials.
Tutu also explained that the grave serves as a reminder of those whose stories have been lost in places such as Sudan, Germany and the former Yugoslavia and reminds people of the collective responsibility to be one another's keeper. “Each individual’s humanity is inextricably linked to one another’s. We must raise each other up or else we all sink down,” he said.
The Mall installation was the culmination of a project begun in 2010. Since then, Natale and her groups have been trying to raise awareness of genocide and mass killing in Sudan, Congo, Burma and Somalia by taking the provoking, grisly display from city to city. In each city, local artists, students and activists were recruited to add to the growing stock of handmade bones.
Throughout the weekend, the event included speakers, performances and a candlelight vigil from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, followed by an hour of quiet reflection. Today, volunteers took some of the bones to the Capitol to urge Senators and Congressmen to join the struggle against genocide.
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
|Naomi Natale (photo by Teru Kuwayma)|