One Million Bones is a large-scale social arts practice, combining education, hands-on art making, and public installations to raise awareness of ongoing genocides and mass atrocities in places like Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma.

For the past three years we have been collecting 1,000,000 handcrafted bones for a three-day installation event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., June 8-10, 2013. The installation will exist as a collaborative site of conscience to honor victims and survivors, and will also serve as a visual petition against ongoing conflicts and a resounding call for much need and long overdue action.

The National Mall installation will feature international speakers and performers, educational workshops, a candlelight vigil, and the opportunity to Act Against Atrocities during an advocacy day on Capitol Hill led by our partners at the Enough Project. For more detailed information and a full program schedule, please visit our Plan Your Trip page! 

The One Million Bones project offered two ways to create a bone. Participants registered to create bones as part of the Students Rebuild challenge. Every bone created through this initiative generated $1, up to $500,000, towards CARE’s work on the ground in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  These funds were generously donated by the Bezos Family Foundation.

Supporters also had biodegradable bones made in their name for a donation of $5. The bones will be placed in their honor on the National Mall.

Over the last three years, the One Million Bones project has launched several major campaigns and organized two preview installations:

Albuquerque 50,000 Bones Preview Installation on August 27, 2011

New Orleans 50,000 Bones Preview Installation on April 7, 2012

The Road to Washington on April 28, 2012

We never cease to be amazed at how many people have only a vague notion of what genocide is, and how many more have no idea that it’s happening today. While we must remember genocides throughout history and honor those lost to unimaginable horrors, the current crimes against humanity we focus on require immediate attention and action. We understand genocide to be defined as outlined in the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

“Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

One Million Bones is a project of The Art of Revolution, an organization dedicated to leveraging the power of art to inspire activism. We believe that art is such an incredible tool with which to engage and mobilize communities around a specific social justice issue. It offers tangible a way for people to connect to things that are not presented to them daily. Please visit the Art of Revolution website for more information and to keep an eye out for future projects!