The sight of thousands of human bones is thunderous, and the goal of One Million Bones is to raise awareness about genocide and other atrocities by using art and education in a nationwide collaboration which, when completed, will bring 1,000,000 bones together as a single installation at the National Mall in Washington D.C.
Boise State students gathered in the Student Union Building, Wednesday, Oct. 17 to help the Idaho branch of the project reach its milestone of 1,000 bones out of a total of 7,000 to be contributed by
Students took blocks of grey clay and using photos of bones tried to create replicas as closely as they could. As the minutes passed the pile of completed bones grew.
Although the message of One Million Bones is about genocide, the project itself is an art event.
“This is a one-time art event. We have until December to make our bones,” said Jamie Lish, the Idaho coordinator for One Million Bones.
In addition to heading the project’s Idaho branch, Lish is a Boise State graduate student who not only laid the groundwork for the project in the state, but continues to utilize the skills of the university’s students to continue
“We’re trying to get students involved in this,” Lish said.
Many of the One Million Bones events this year will be headed by Service Learning students who have a 15-hour service requirement to fulfill in their class, which provided a unique opportunity for students such as Michele Ozosnowski, a junior marketing major.
“I took this class because I wanted to take something other than the other area two requirements,” Ozosnowski said. “I was inspired by the class. I’ve been using what I learned in marketing with planning and social media.”
For Ozosnowski, this was the first opportunity to become involved with something that made a difference in the lives of others.
“It’s actually going to Washington D.C., the bones we made in Idaho,” she said.
People can sponsor bones to be made or people can make their own. For each bone made a dollar is donated by the Bezos Family Foundation, up to 500,000 dollars. The money will go toward efforts to raise awareness on the issue of genocides primarily in African countries like Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, as well as Burma and in the Middle East.
Additionally, a portion of the proceeds will go toward continuing relief for refugees both in their home country, and right here in the United States.
“We have a lot of people in the U.S. who have gone through this, a lot of them come as refugees from Africa, some of them are right here in Idaho,” Lish continued. “I think it’s a powerful way to connect to people through art.”
In addition to having a powerful message, the large-scale collaboration is a great opportunity for students to get together and take part in a unique project with an important message.
If you missed this chance to take part, One Million Bones will have more events up until December. There will be another event on October 30 in the Student Union Building.
To learn more visit onemillionbones.org