I went to Albuquerque today to have lunch with my friend and repentant Weather Underground co-founder Mark Rudd, and my new friend, artist Naomi Natale.
Naomi is the founder of the One Million Bones project. One Million Bones is a fundraising installation responding to the ongoing contemporary genocides and armed conflicts of the world. Naomi is networking with advocacy groups and people across the country to create one million bones that will be installed on the National Mall in Spring of 2013. She receives boxes of homemade bones mailed to her office from across the world, and she also holds daily bone-making workshops in Albuquerque with various groups of people, including school children. Naomi encourages people to sponsor the production of the bones by donating $5 per bone, and she is donating everything she raises to several NGOs that address genocide in various ways.
After conversing for several hours, Mark, Naomi and I made bones. Naomi encourages interested people to host bone-making parties, and after having participated in the activity of bone-making, I think it is an interesting and effective way of inciting dialogue and raising awareness of the issues of genocide, which do largely go ignored in our comparatively comfortable nation.
For the record, I'm still on the fence about art with political goals. I feel like I'll be sitting on this fence for a while drinking tea, contemplating it all. But regardless, I do really like the One Million Bones project, and I appreciate the enthusiasm, intelligence, and passion of Naomi even more.
Here are some blurry cellphone photos of the One Million Bones office and the bones we made.
the bones we made: