Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Carl Wilkens Fellow, Scott Sutton who partnered with sculptor, Mitch Lewis to produce the Raleigh installation for the Road to Washington Campaign. Speaking with Scott about the different aspects they incoporated into their installation and how they personalized it for their community really hit home the point that this project in many ways, belongs to us all.
Scott and Mitch were able to engage local high schools and colleges and within the first three weeks of coming on board as organizers they created the first 1,000 bones of their 1,500 bones installation.
Despite Prom and upcoming finals, thirty students came to Pullen Park on that Sunday morning to lay down the bones they had made. To begin, everyone gathered as volunteers read aloud stories of struggle and survival from the Holocaust, Armenian genocide, Rwandan genocide, Darfur genocide and the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To honor these victims and survivors, they began to silently lay down bones.
After all the bones had been laid, the group took a moment of silence over the bones before Janessa Goldbeck, spokesperson fro Make US Strong and cycling 4,200 miles from coast-to-coast to spread the word that international development (foreign aid) keeps us safe (you can learn more about Janessa and her journey here).
Scott incorporated a photo petition in to the installation. 4x6 professional photos of the installation taken by Laura Collins (2011 Carl Wilkens Fellow) surrounded by handwritten pleas to their Representatives to sign the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act of 2012. Scott plans to deliver these framed petitions himself.
Although they had seen our 50,000 Bones Preview Installation Video, they still couldn’t wrap their heads around what 1,000 bones would look like. They took a moment of silence around the bones and shared the feelings they were experiencing with one another, “It brought gravity to this situation and a sense of urgency, I mean, if this is only a thousand bones and we’re having such a reaction – think of the mass graves filled with thousands of people constantly being found – we must do something” Scott reflected to me.