Jason Abisch

Equinox Staff


5.4 million in Congo, over 2 million in Sudan-these are the amount of people that have been killed due to a genocide that has been occurring in these countries since 2003.

On Friday, Oct. 28, the Holocaust and Genocide Awareness club hosted  the “One Million Bones Project” on the Student Center lawn.

“One Million Bones is a large-scale social arts practice. That means we use education and hands-on art making to raise awareness of genocides and atrocities going on around the world, this very day,” as stated on the one million bones project website.

Senior and President of the Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Club Brittney Sousa hosted the event and went from student to student to inform them about the genocides that are currently happening and what this project means to club members and others.

Her goal for this event was to bring awareness to students about the genocides that are occurring.

“It could happen in any country and to anyone,  no matter their economic status,” Sousa said.

At the event students made bones from papier-maché that were then sent to Washington D.C. as a part of the Road to Washington Campaign.

Their goal is to get one million bones on the Capitol lawn by the year 2013.

One Million bones is also working with Students Rebuild Project and for every 100,00 bones contributed, $100,000 will be donated to CARE, the leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.

Sousa later said, “It’s a different approach to bring awareness and it’s a good way to get students involved without a large commitment.”

Currently, there is a 50,000 bones preview installation in Albuquerque, New Mexico which inspired the Road to Washington Campaign.

“They hope the bones will represent those who have died and is a visual representation of that,” Sousa concluded.

Other beneficiaries of this project include “Enough” which is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity, Women for Women International which provides women survivors of war, civil strife, and other conflicts with tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, and Genocide Intervention Network (GI-NET) to empower individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide.

Junior Bridget Love, a holocaust and genocide studies and sociology major with a psychology minor, also attended the event and is a member of the club along with Sousa strongly encouraged Keene State students to make a bone for the cause.

Like Sousa, she hopes that this project will bring awareness to the KSC community that a genocide is still occurring to this day.

Also, she hopes to connect with other clubs and to have others realize that it’s not such a dreaded thing and can bring to light these issues in a constructive way.

“Learn from history,” Love said.

By getting people more on board and having other become more aware will slowly make a difference.

Along with Love and Sousa, senior Kelsey Mogell, general member of the club and the president of the Honor Society for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, assisted with this event and stressed the same idea of bringing awareness to students.

“So many people don’t know, it’s constantly going on,” Mogell said.

Other events that the Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Club will put on in the future will be taking part in the exhibition for World AIDS day Dec. 1, and a poetry slam for freedom of speech and religion.

Naomi Natale, founder and director artist behind the One Million Bones Project, speaks internationally on the topic of art and activism and headed similar projects such as “The Cradle Project” which is a large scale installation calling attention and raising funs for the 48 million children orphaned in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The one million bones collection from across the country and installed on the National Mall offer a visible petition, to remember victims and survivors, to bring awareness to the issue and to call upon our government to take much needed and long overdue action,” the One Million Bones project website said.

Students can get involved by going to the onemillionbones.org website to donate, see when the next collaborative events are going to happen, and constantly get updated on what’s currently happening in places of genocide.


Jason Abisch can be contacted at jabisch@ksc.mailcruiser.com

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