Photos: A Million Bones Laid Across the National Mall

An art installation transforms the National Mall into symbolic mass grave and call for action against genocide.
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Thousands of volunteers, including monks, Holocaust survivors, Sudanese refugees, students, and activists blanketed the National Mall with a million "bones" for a three-day installation. The One Million Bones project, organized by artist Naomi Natale, was created to be a "visual reminder" of ongoing genocide abroad. According to the Washington Post, the installation has roots in an earlier project where Natale asked artists to make cradles honoring the war orphans she had seen while working as a photographer in Africa. In "One Million Bones," Natale aimed to create both a symbol of genocide and a reminder of the fragility of human life.

It took three years to craft and collect the bones, which are made from papier-mâché, plaster, stones, and other materials. Along with the installation, there were also workshops, a candlelight vigil, and advocacy meetings on Capitol Hill to urge legislators to take action against ongoing violence in Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.