Hands Shaping Hope

Clay models of leg bones, backbones, jawbones and ribs will be glazed, fired and sent to Washington, D.C., as a part of the One Million Bones genocide remembrance project.

Twenty-two first-year students created the bones as part of an inquiry seminar focused on hope and healing from the tragic events. The special trip to Concordia’s ceramics studio was made in conjunction with this year’s Faith, Reason and World Affairs Symposium. Dr. Amy Watkin teaches the class.

“Going beyond genocide in a project like this helps in alleviating the depth of sorrow that comes from learning about the stories of tragedy,” she says.

One Million Bones is a national art project to recognize and raise funds for those who have been killed or displaced in humanitarian crises. The bones will be placed on the National Mall in spring 2013.

Matt Ziebarth ’16, Cambridge, Minn., created a rib cage with three of his classmates as a symbol of unity.

“Everyone – one way or another – is affected [by genocide],” he says. “It is not just one place. It is a global issue.”

Blair Solberg ’16, Buffalo, Minn., already knew about genocide in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo from a student activism group she joined in high school. She was surprised to learn that genocide happened on American soil.

“When I think about genocide, I think about Africa,” she says. “I don’t think about America and the Native American genocide.”

Watkin wants the students to see that they can make a difference in aiding victims of genocide and preventing future atrocities through awareness and education.

“I hope that when they see the bones on the National Mall that they will realize they are a part of a larger world where they are empowered to be responsibly engaged,” she says.